WESTFIELD, Ind. — On Thursday, IMMI announced that its new line of SafeGuard XChange seating will soon be available to order on Thomas Built buses.
The new product line, which was unveiled in late April, will allow school bus operations to buy standard seating now and then exchange seating modules to add or configure belts at a later date.
IMMI Vice President of Sales James Johnson discussed the company's partnership with Thomas Built Buses. "Through our long-standing partnership with Thomas, we have had many opportunities to sit down with customers and truly understand their needs related to seating," he said.
Ken Hedgecock, vice president of sales, marketing and service at Thomas Built Buses, added that the partnership has been important to both companies in preparing to offer seating that insulates school districts and contractors from future shifts in regulations and practices.
"No matter what kind of school bus buyer you are, fleet versatility makes your job easier," Hedgecock said. "Whether you're a school transportation director who expects a future local demand for belted seating, or you are a contractor anticipating the need to relocate buses, you need meaningful seating options that work now, as well as 10 years from now."
XChange seating will be manufactured at the IMMI High Point, N.C., facility, which opened in summer 2010 to offer just-in-time deliveries to Thomas Built Buses.
IMMI will continue to manufacture SafeGuard school bus seat components and seating modules for Thomas at its Indiana headquarters, while using the North Carolina plant for final assembly of its new line of products.
Company officials said that XChange seating is currently in the final stages of compliance testing and will soon be available for order on Thomas buses, with delivery this fall. The new seating line will be on display in the Thomas C2e hybrid show bus touring the U.S. this summer.