Volkswagen Update: February 2019
More states have finalized their VW funding plans. Currently, 39 states have published funding opportunities representing $2.3 billion — with $132.7 million of that exclusively allocated for school bus replacement. Unfortunately, most of the current funding is going toward diesel. We need your help! Our highest applicant success rates have been when we work together to create a strategy for your state.
As of February 2019:
39 states have final plans:
Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana , New Jersey, North Carolina, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Eight states have draft plans:
Alabama, Alaska, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota and Vermont.
Five states are still developing their plans and are accepting comments:
Florida, Hawaii, Mississippi, Puerto Rico and West Virginia.
Please contact Chelsea Jenkins at Chelsea.Jenkins@roush.com to discuss how best to approach and plan for the next phase of VW settlement (and other funding) opportunities in your state.
Visit www.roushcleantech.com/volkswagen-settlement for more information.
VW Funding: Dealer Helps with Application Process
Michigan’s Holland Bus Sales is doing everything it can to help school districts secure Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust funding. The dealer hosted a meeting at ROUSH CleanTech with its sales team to discuss the ins and outs of funding and is educating school districts about obtaining funding.
The dealership spent almost three hours walking through the program itself, how to apply and what a district needs to do to be competitive. They also discussed customer targets for these funds.
Michigan has a long application period. Applications aren’t due until October, so Holland plans to continue spreading the message about the funds to Michigan school districts and encouraging funding to go toward propane buses.
On February 22, Holland Bus Sales will host an event with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the group administering the funds. They have invited Michigan school district representatives to attend to learn about propane school buses and how to apply for the EMT funds.
If you would like our help in communicating with your school districts about Volkswagen funds in your state, please reach out to your ROUSH CleanTech sales representative.
Dealer Spotlight: Nebraska / Central Equipment, Inc.
Dealer: Nebraska/Central Equipment, Inc.
Interviewee: Tyler Cox
Title: Sales Manager
Recently, Nebraska/Central Equipment secured two new propane customers in a state where about 80 buses are sold each year. Between the two deals, Tyler Cox, sales manager at Nebraska Central, sold 14 propane buses. That’s almost 20 percent of the entire share.
The first new propane customer is Bellevue Public Schools. Representatives from the district visited ROUSH CleanTech last year. Tyler organized the trip specifically for Bellevue Public Schools to consider alternatives to diesel. And, it worked. The district’s transportation director said that its RFP couldn’t be changed from diesel, but had a change of heart after the tour. He revised the RFP and ordered propane.
Bellevue Public Schools bought 10 propane buses, which was the district’s first-ever Blue Bird purchase.
The second new propane customer is Arapahoe Public Schools. Looking to replace its entire fleet, the district was initially persuaded by IC Bus’s low bid. Undaunted, Tyler attended a school board meeting to discuss the district’s issues with their buses. The district’s diesel buses had DEF issues and frequent turbo replacements.
This allowed Tyler to address the emissions and the cost savings associated with propane school buses. The district replaced all six of its diesel buses with four Blue Bird Vision Propane school buses and two Micro Bird gasoline buses. The district made a 100 percent switch, and leased all of the buses from Tyler with a 5-year lease to own agreement.
Congratulation to Tyler Cox and the Nebraska/Central Equipment team for winning this business!
Strong Salesmanship Leads to Conquest
A few years ago, Jeff Pschirer, VP school bus sales at Blue Bird Bus Sales of Pittsburgh Inc., learned that a local contractor was interested in getting into the big bus business. At the time, this company only ran vans and smaller type “A” equipment. They were interested in larger options because they had picked up a school district that needed 20 buses. Jeff worked to make the sale, but the contractor was loyal to another brand and decided to purchase their propane option.
The contractor did agree to buy three gasoline buses from Blue Bird Bus Sales of Pittsburgh Inc. in that same order. The new account manager, Michael Poppa, maintained a relationship with this contractor, stopping in monthly to check in with questions: Did they need anything? Could he help them with parts?
At the same time, Michael was cultivating a relationship with a local college that needed a contractor. He immediately thought of his customer. He connected the college with the contractor to run the colleges buses. He allowed the contractor to borrow a propane demo.
Fast forward to today, and their relationship has only grown stronger. The support from the competitive product had been sketchy, which allowed Michael to provide a comprehensive breakdown of the Blue Bird system versus the competition. He shared marketing case studies. This led the contractor to place an order of 14 Vision Propane buses, 3 Vision gas buses and 6 Micro-Bird type “A” buses from Blue Bird Bus Sales of Pittsburgh Inc. just last month. When you have the complete package, a knowledgeable and eager sales team, unparalleled service support and a parts team that always goes the extra mile and you are able to show your customer all of this, it definitely makes the decision an easy one.
According to Michael, “Good old-fashioned salesmanship got us the deal.”
Congratulations Jeff, Michael and the team at Blue Bird Bus Sales of Pittsburgh Inc. on this huge conquest!
Each year, HDT editors spend a lot of time going to press conferences and combing through news releases on the latest new products for trucking. At the end of the year, they embark on a process to identify the very best of the past year’s introductions for the Top 20 Products. HDT editors then consulted with the HDT Editorial Advisory Board, made up of executives and managers representing fleets of a variety of sizes and types, to arrive at the final 20.
More diesel buses are making their way out of Fulton County Schools now that the district has been awarded $1.9 million from a United States Environmental Protection Agency grant. The funds will be used to replace 85 diesel-powered buses with propane buses “With the EPA grant and additional incentives, we’ll eclipse our five-year goal of 300 propane buses for our fleet when we open school next August,” Sam Ham, executive director of FCS transportation department said. The district plans to replace the 300 diesel-powered buses over the span of five years.
As you may have seen, on February 1, Jack Roush was inducted into the 2019 NASCAR Hall of Fame. In addition to having the winningest race team of all time, Jack is also a hard-working, dedicated, innovative engineer who is always curious — still at 76 years old. And, this “never give up” attitude led to his company, Roush Enterprises, that includes many divisions, such as ROUSH CleanTech.
If there has been a secret to Roush’s success — from working at Ford’s assembly plants in Dearborn and Wayne to winning five NASCAR owner championships to building his Livonia-based global business that employs 6,000 people with revenues that approach $500 million — it’s a simple secret. Don’t give up. Just keep going.