Combining the Best of Two Groups
Volvo Buses first entered the Singaporean market in 1979 with the introduction of 100 Volvo B57 single-deck buses. That was the beginning of a successful journey for Volvo Buses in Singapore with many notable milestones along the way. Following the success of the B57, a new B10M model was introduced bringing air-conditioned comfort to bus transport for the first time in tropical Singapore and raised the bar for the industry.
Starting with a small but agile team of four, Volvo Buses Singapore aimed to provide products specifically designed to meet the needs of local operators with reliable performance and locally based, world class support from their dedicated team.
As supporting an ever-growing fleet became a greater task over time, Volvo Buses Singapore entered a partnership with ComfortDelGro Engineering (CDGE). The partnership was officially formed on July 1st, 2000, and marked the start of a journey of shared focus – a focus on outstanding uptime, reliable parts and services support, and ultimately local bus manufacturing in Singapore.
With over 40 years’ experience in the automotive industry, CDGE is the leading one-stop vehicle maintenance and repair workshop in Singapore. The company services over 10,000 private passenger cars, 5,000 commercial vehicles, from vans to prime movers, annually at its six workshops across the island. CDGE provides a comprehensive range of automotive services including servicing, diagnostics and repairs, engine and component overhauls, accident repairs & insurance claims, and 24-hour vehicle recovery service.
Today, CDGE remains the sole distributor for Volvo Bus parts and services in Singapore. A team of Volvo certified technicians and dedicated bus servicing bays at CDGE’s Braddell workshop, located in central Singapore, provides the aftersales care, ensuring that almost 2,000 Volvo Buses are on Singapore’s roads every day.
“We are glad to celebrate two decades of friendship with Volvo Buses. It has been a fruitful partnership and we have grown together from strength to strength, as we worked in tandem towards improving our offerings throughout the year. We look forward to many more successful years ahead,” said Mr Ang Soo Hock, Chief Executive Officer of CDGE.
Offering state-of-art products and services
In addition to spare parts and services, the partnership between Volvo Buses Singapore and CDGE has delivered a number of innovative products over the years – some that were produced together in CDGE’s Defu bus building facility.
One such product was the Volvo B9TL double deck bus, which is currently still the single most common model of transit bus in Singapore. At the time of introduction, these new double deck models provided Singaporeans with a zero-step entrance, a manual wheelchair ramp and other wheelchair-friendly features.
Over time, passenger amenities such as Singapore’s first wheelchair accessible bus were accompanied by new vehicle technologies delivering cleaner and quieter buses as the Volvo B9TL bus assembled by CDGE kept pace with emission changes and new safety features – all designed to improve the passenger, driver and operator experience.
As Singapore’s bus and coach industry continued to change, the values of Quality, Safety and Environmental Care remained guiding principles for Volvo Buses and CDGE, with both companies having a proud history rooted in innovation. Be it the introduction of hybrid vehicles in Singapore or the recent autonomous bus trials at NTU, Volvo has demonstrated a long-term commitment to Singapore throughout the past 40 years.
Another advanced industry leading innovation was Volvo’s recent delivery to ComfortDelGro Bus, 4 units of the premium Volvo B8R fitted with a Driver Support System, which comes with a built-in Collision Warning and Emergency Brake (CWEB) feature, as well as Lane-Keeping Assist function. The partnership of Volvo Buses and CDGE enhances the capability of both companies to meet the needs of the community and consistently deliver on the shared values together.
Far from standing still after 20 years, CDGE continues to innovate with Volvo Buses in every area of the business. One such example is the recently launched CDGE App, Singapore’s first end-to-end workshop mobile application made available in October 2020. From booking an appointment to tracking the status of the vehicle repair in real-time, receiving repair quotations and “shopping” for vehicle care related products, the App has it all.
The real-time repair status tracking feature, which is currently on pilot run at its centre in Braddell, will be extended to the rest of CDGE’s branches by the end of February 2021. The App also provides servicing records of a vehicle for up to two years, giving operators even more convenience.
“Vehicle repair is a very manual process but the communication with our customers doesn’t have to be. We felt that by leveraging on technology, we would be able to improve the customer experience, make work processes more efficient and our people more productive,” said Mr Ang Soo Hock, CEO of CDGE.
“At Volvo Buses, we fully support the launch of this customer service app by CDGE,” commented Mr. Mats Nilsson, Director of Volvo Buses Asia Pacific Region Central, “We have a locally based, specialised technical service support team committed to support CDGE and our Volvo Buses customers in Singapore for the past 20 years and for the years to come. We have the most experienced technicians supporting our bus customers since the first day we entered this market. We also have young talents in our team, bringing new ideas, advanced technologies and latest innovations to support our customers.”
The 20 successful years of association is something both organisations are very proud of and Volvo Buses looks forward to more success together with our long trusted and supportive partner, CDGE.