Thomas Built Buses: one of America’s leading school bus manufacturers

Jun 25, 2007
  • Supporting mobility since 1916
  • Expansion to Canada and South America
  • Close coordination with truck manufacturer Freightliner LLC
In 2006, Thomas Built Buses, based in High Point, North Carolina, celebrated 90 years of building buses and other vehicles. The company was originally named the Perley A. Thomas Car Works, after its founder, and has had its present name since 1972. The word “car” in the original name referred not to automobiles, but to streetcars. This mode of transport operated in every major American city before gradually fading from the scene in the 1930s, because of the Great Depression and the increasing prevalence of individual transport. This did not deter Perley A. Thomas, and in 1936 he started a changeover to a mode of transport less sensitive to economic cycles, which still dominates the American bus market today: school buses.
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