Sales Process - Prevost is a very well established motor coach company hailing from Canada and closely aligned with Volvo out of Scandanavia. Most custom crew/band coaches seem to be built on the Prevost. The sales representative used during the evaluation of Prevost, Hicken Ward while not 100% perfect in response time by far away had the fastest and most consistent response out of the 3 motorcoach manufacturers. Prevost was the first company to provide some semblance of an ordering system to customize a passenger coach to Roitit’s specifications. Prevost’s template was used to attain pricing for the other two manufacturers since there didn’t seem to be any form physical or online to be had from them. Prevost like the others however could greatly benefit for an on-line configurator/ordering system to help potential buyers what opitions may look or function like. Parts could also use an overhaul with a typeical Model year”xx”, then Model, then drive trains, then trim of bus. Currently you sear for radiator many dfferent options come up and none of them yours.
Initial Price - Prevost had the 2nd highest coach pricing behind Van Hool.
Parts and Service - Prevost has an online parts ordering service but it is in serious need of a redesign. It is very difficult to use and ordering parts only seems possible when one knows the required part number up front. Use of John Deere’s, Auto Zone’s or O’Reilly websites would give a much better example of what a parts system can do. Though they were the no. 3 company for parts pricing over 3 years they were only 1% different than Van Hool the number 2 placed company. Until recently Prevost had the best support as well but they have cut back to the lowest denominator on the same level with MCI and Van Hool. Roadside assistance to the next town and support between normal business hours is now the new norm amongst all of the companies.
Disposition/Sale of the Asset - A very large factor in the ROItit rating system is the spread between the new price and the used price of a coach. The base differential pricing gives Prevost an overall lowest cost per mile operating. When one factors in the six-year parts pricing even with it parts being more expensive the Prevost still has the lowest overall cost per mile at $0.61 cents per mile. Responsive was a key word, and knowledgeble was another when dealing with Prevost. The Prevost salesman Hicken talked ROItit out of premium pricing options that were available but most likely not used or needed for example pointing out a jake brake and a transmission retarder was somewhat redundant.
Pricing, availability, depreciation and parts pricing all favor Prevost in some degree. Often being in first place in any given category or a close second. MCI isn’t far behind and their online ordering system is marginally easier to use than Prevost’s but both systems are in desperate need of user interface revamping. There are many examples of systems that would be indicative of this such as John Deere’s parts system, Autozone.com, O’Reilly.com or Napaauto.com
Intangibles - Whether a tour operator prefers the look of one coach over another is a subjective matter but the Prevost styling has stayed current with expected style and no concerns were voiced about either the look of the coach or the materials used in construction. Drivers seemed to unanimously like the Prevost but their comments were not officially included in the scoring as there were not enough to be statistically significant. Here are some of their responses for Prevost from drivers.
Pros – Driver and passenger A/C is separate. Driver compartment is better separated from passengers. Lavatory is more easily accessible. Storage door height is higher which helps with a driver’s back. The kneeling and tag on the Prevost are superior. Overall ride quality seems to be better than the other two competitors rated in this evaluation.
Cons – The doors opening and closing can be problematic. When making tight right turns it’s not easy to see what is less than a 90 degree turn because the front seats are in the way, on the right side. Front video screen can’t be seen by front row passengers because of the LCD angle. Microphone jack placement should be on both sides to accommodate guides who like to sit behind driver.
Best resale value. Lowest operating cost per mile. Most Responsive in both sales process and parts. Canadian based division of Volvo. Large parent company with strong financials.
Has fallen into a three-way tie for after hours support which isn't good for any of the three companies. There is opportunity to set a company apart being passed up. Volvo only engine choices.