The SafeGuard XChange line from IMMI will let school bus operations buy standard seats initially and then exchange seating modules to add or configure belts in the future. The SafeGuard XChange product line was scheduled to be launched this summer.

"No matter what a school district or contractor needs for the future, XChange provides more options than ever before to give school districts a simple, practical means of adding lap-shoulder belt seats and integrated child seats to their buses," said James Johnson, IMMI vice president of sales. "In essence, we're offering a future-proof seating solution."

The XChange line was slated to be presented to the industry for the first time at the Texas Association for Pupil Transportation's convention in June.
Moreover, the line will soon be available to order on Thomas Built buses, with delivery this fall. IMMI said in May that the seating was in the final stages of compliance testing.

Ken Hedgecock, vice president of sales, marketing and service at Thomas Built Buses, said that the companies' partnership has been important to both in preparing to offer seating that insulates school districts and contractors from future shifts in regulations and practices.

XChange seating will be manufactured at the IMMI High Point, N.C., facility, which opened last year to offer just-in-time deliveries to Thomas.

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.