From The Canberra Times, Friday 5 July 1985 –
By PAUL GOVER, Motoring Editor
Canberra’s commuters will be able to add a little gallic touch to their travel for the next 10 weeks, thanks to a Renualt bus under evaluation by ACTION.
The bus is a fully imported PR100.2 – Renault’s designation for its second-generation 100-seater public transport bus – supplied just as it would do service in its home country.
The only difference is that it carries prominent Mack badges, a badge engineering concession to Mack’s position in Australia.
“In Australia, Mack has a very good reputation, and we prefer to work with it,” the French Renault technican who has accompanied the bus to Australia, Mr Jean Paul Dangmann, said yesterday. “Renault owns 41 per cent of Mack, USA. But the bus is all French, fully imported.”
The bus is one of a series being evaluated for a new $12 million to $13 million tender from ACTION for 87 buses, to join the existing fleet of 400 MANs, Mercedes-Benz, Leylands and Volvos.
The new Leyland Lynx has been evaluated and ACTION does not consider it necessary to re-test the vehicles already on its fleet.
The Renault has been involved in a five-week test in Perth, which resulted in an order for 60 chassis.
“We have the bus painted in ACTION colours so it can be used on normal routes,” ACTION’s acting chief engineer, Mr Roger Payne, said. “We want to evaluate it under real conditions.”
ACTION would be inviting passenger comments on the bus, as well as its usual process of assessments from drivers and workshop staff.
Mr Payne said the bus in its current French format is only for evaluation. If the Renault were to join the ACTION fleet, it would be in chassis form with an Australian body.