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NABI looks to new and old markets as well

Hungarian bus maker NABI could look to markets at home and in Europe as well as its traditional markets in the United States, managing director Ferenc Baranyai said at a ceremony on Thursday marking the delivery of the company's 7,000th bus to the US

NABI makes buses for the US market, because there buyers can pay for the quality of the company's products, Baranyai said. But the management is prepared to make buses, bodies or even trolley-buses for buyers in Hungary or Europe, he added.

NABI makes steel bus frames and its own NABI CompoBus, made mostly of plastic, at its plant in Kaposvár. In 2008, the city of Los Angeles ordered 260 of the CompoBus models with an option to buy a further 740, of which it has already called down 200. NABI's current order stock of more than 400 buses will take until the end of 2010 to fill, Baranyai said. Orders for steel bus frames are fewer, he added.

Since Cerberus Capital Management took over indirect ownership of NABI in 2006, the company has cut costs by 25%. However, the USD/HUF exchange rate has a big effect on costs. The company generates annual revenue of around HUF 8 billion. Profits are between HUF 600 million and 900 million, though they fell sharply in 2008 with the re-start of the plant in Kaposvár.

NABI also has a plant in Anniston, Alabama. (MTI-ECONEWS)