Bus-conversion industry veteran Tom Nestell has founded a new company called Legacy Coach that currently is working on its first unit, according to The Register-Guard of Eugene, Ore.
Nestell founded bus-converter Marathon Coach Inc., Coburg, Ore., in 1983, but he sold the firm to retired drug company executive Robert Schoellhorn in 1994.
Nestell, 60, continued to work at Marathon for two more years before entering what turned out to be temporary retirement. He re-entered the bus-conversion business 18 months ago to work at National RV Holdings subdiary Country Coach in Junction City, Ore.
Nestell left Country Coach this past summer, the Register-Guard reports.
Legacy Coach, located in a 16,000-square-foot leased plant in Coburg, a suburb of Eugene, Ore., will convert 40- and 45-foot bus shells – supplied by Prevost Car Inc. of Saint-Claire, Quebec, Canada – into luxury motorcoaches retailing for more than $1 million each.
Legacy Coach’s first 30 employees are expected to complete the company’s first unit by August. Then, Nestell wants to produce one unit per month before bumping up the output rate to two per month, the newspaper reports.
“We’re taking orders now,” Nestell added.
Nestell intends to gain an advantage over his competitors by producing luxury coaches faster as a result of giving retail buyers a choice of eight floorplans, instead of designing each unit from scratch, according to the Register-Guard.
Legacy Coach units also will be lower priced than competing units, at about $1.2 million each, he told the newspaper.
Legacy Coach units will be sold through independent dealers around the U.S. and Canada, Nestell said.
The demand for bus conversions is on the upswing, so there is room in the marketplace for a new producer, according to Carol Taylor Clay, spokeswoman for National RV Holdings. “I don’t think the market is saturated,” Taylor Clay said. “We (Country Coach) have doubled our production (of bus conversions) over last year.”