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  • Last update : 26/02/2024
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and presentation

First of all, it's important to note the difference between a coach and a bus. Thebus is used to transport passengers within a city or between neighboring suburbs, while the coach allows passengers to travel from one city to another. In France, coach travel can be segmented into several offerings: urban and on-demand transport, school transport, freely organized coach transport and tourist/occasional transport.

In France, coach travel has become more democratized in recent years, particularly since the Macron law in 2015 liberalized the market for coaches in freely organized service, offering the French a multitude of national and international destinations available from Hexagone with prices often more attractive than that of train or plane.

The global coach and bus manufacturing market is dynamic, with an estimated CAGR of 6% to 2027. If the number of buses and coaches manufactured grows, this suggests a growing demand for coach and bus transport.

The French coach market is also enjoying positive momentum, with sales rising by 17. 2% between 2022 and 2023.

1.2 The global bus and coach market

Our study will focus primarily on the coach market, although no figures are available for the global coach market, although bus and coach sales figures are available.

The Business Research Company estimates the size of the market at $**,***.* million in ****. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of *% to ...

1.3 The French market

According to Insee, the French coach market is divided into two activities: scheduled passenger road transport and other passenger road transport. Both markets showed overall growth over the periods analyzed, despite a drop in sales during the global pandemic.

Sales growth in scheduled passenger road transport France, ****-****, in thousands of ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Demand typology

Coach customers are mainly made up of * segments:

Individuals Schoolchildren Tourists (***) Works councils/associations.

French people's opinion of the coach France, ****, %, %, %, %, %, %, %, %, %, %, %, % Source: ****

The majority of French people(***) have a rather good opinion of the coach, suggesting an overall positive perception of this mode of transport. In addition, **% of respondents expressed a ...

2.2 School bus transport

School transport is designed to meet the need for pupils to travel between home and school. Consequently, the transport offer must be adaptable to the specific needs of each region, which are known by the educational establishments and the decentralized services of the national education authority.

In France, nearly **,*** coaches are ...

2.3 French people who want to travel

The changing expectations of the French, reflecting a growing desire to travel and explore new horizons, opens up encouraging prospects for the coach market. This appetite for travel offers a unique opportunity for coach operators to meet growing demand by offering flexible, affordable and convenient solutions for both local and international ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Value chain

Source: ****

Coach manufacturers sell their coaches to various market players: urban transport, on-demand transport and school bus operators (***) and SLO coach companies such as Flixbus. These players then sell a service to passengers, transporting them from point a to point b.

3.2 Number of coach companies and number of employees

Number of establishments registered under the activity "****A Transports routiers réguliers de voyageurs" and under the activity "****B autres transports routiers de voyageurs" France, ****-****, number of establishments Source: ****

Combining the two activities, the total number of establishments registered in these specific road passenger transport sectors fell from **** in **** to ...

3.3 A market affected by a shortage of drivers

In January ****, there was a shortage of between *,*** and *,*** bus drivers in France[***].

The shortage of bus drivers can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, other industries sometimes offer more attractive working conditions or career opportunities. In addition, being a bus driver can be a demanding job, with irregular hours, time ...

3.4 No French coach or bus production, but assembly plants in France

Coachbuilding in France has declined considerably. Many French coachbuilders have closed down or stopped producing buses and coaches (***), and most minibuses, minicars and coaches are now imported. These vehicles for the French market are often assembled in countries such as Turkey, Germany, Poland and Spain, before being imported into France.

However, ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 The coach fleet in France

Evolution of the coach fleet France, ****-****, in units Source: ****

Between **** and ****, the graph shows a generally stable number of coaches over this period, with minor fluctuations and an overall positive trend. Indeed, between **** and ****, the number of coaches in France increased by *.**%. The peak in coach numbers was reached in ...

4.2 Market organization

The coach travel market is organized around several offers, so the coach fleet would be divided into * offers:

4.3 Freely organized coach services

Since the adoption of the Macron law in ****, regular long-distance transport of more than *** kilometers by coach has been liberalized in France. This service is referred to by the acronym " SLO ", for " Services de transport Librement Organisés ".

This mode of transport enables public road passenger transport companies to offer inter-city ...

4.4 The coach: a "green" alternative to other means of transport

The rise of environmental concerns has led to a re-evaluation of transport choices, highlighting the growing importance of sustainable mobility solutions. In this context, coaches are emerging as a particularly attractive alternative, offering a favorable ecological balance compared to other modes of transport. Indeed, coaches offer a number of significant environmental ...

5 Regulations

5.1 Liberalization of the long-distance coach market with the Macron law

On August *, ****, the "Macron law" opened up the possibility for all companies to operate regular intercity coach services. These services can be freely marketed or discontinued if all the stops they serve are more than *** kilometers apart. If a company wishes to operate a service between two stops that are less ...

5.2 Regulations governing drivers' working hours

Regulations concerning drivers' working hours are very important to ensure their safety and that of their passengers. Below are the main guidelines concerning working hours, working time, breaks and rests, as well as specific rules governing daily driving and rest periods for drivers.

Working hours : Working hours represent the period between ...

5.3 The Mobility Orientation Act

The Loi d'orientation des mobilités, enacted on December **, **** and published in the Journal Officiel, marks a significant transformation in mobility policy. Its main objective is to make everyday transport more accessible, economically advantageous and environmentally friendly.

To meet these challenges, the law is based on * pillars:

Investing more and better ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Player segmentation

Coach transport players can be divided into * segments: Urban transport/on-demand transport/school transport, tour operators who organize tourist trips and excursions, and SLO coaches:

List of charts

  • Sales trends in the coach and bus market
  • Evolution of the coach fleet
  • Coach fleet by fuel type
  • Evolution of the coach fleet by seating capacity
  • Bus fleet by Critair label
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Latest news

Van Hool, the Belgian bus manufacturer on the brink of bankruptcy due to a family affair - 26/03/2024
  • - Carrying capacity of the all-electric bi-articulated bus presented by Van Hool: nearly 140 passengers.
  • - Number of bi-articulated buses ordered by the Ile-de-France transport authority: at least 56 units.
  • - Amount required for Van Hool's financial restructuring: 45 million euros.
  • - Number of jobs lost under Van Hool's restructuring plan: 1,100 out of a total workforce of 2,500.
  • - Number of 24-meter bi-articulated buses for the Tzen 4 line: 30.
Transdev yields to the lure of international business - 20/03/2024
  • -Total sales in 2023: up 21% to 9.33 billion euros
  • - Share of business in France in 2023: 29.3% of sales, versus 35.2% in 2022
  • - Acquisition of First Transit in the United States: adds 1.1 billion in sales
  • - Share of US business in 2023: 25%, versus 15% last year
  • - Investment in France in 2022: 135 million, rising to 250 million in 2023
  • - Net profit: stable at 20 million euros
  • - Change in network ridership after the health crisis: France virtually equivalent to pre-Covid (-2%), Germany +15%, Ile-de-France -9% compared to 2019, Netherlands -20%, Stockholm region -16%, United States -25%
Flixbus deploys to take advantage of the Olympic Games - 02/01/2024
  • Flixbus operates in 41 countries
  • Flixbus sales in 2022: €1.5 billion
  • Flixbus market share in the French long-distance coach market: 66%
  • Main competitor: BlaBlaCar Bus (34% of the market)
  • Coach load factor: nearly 75%
  • Demand growth forecast for 2024 (Olympic Games in Paris): 30% to 40%.
Transdev's plan for the Marseille-Toulon-Nice TER line - 24/11/2023

Opening up regional trains to competition

  • The new train will run on the Marseille-Toulon-Nice line from July 2025.
  • Transdev's ridership objectives: to increase annual passenger numbers on the Marseille-Toulon-Nice line from 3.4 million to 5.5 million in the medium term.
  • The region has written Alstom a cheque for 250 million to purchase sixteen Regio 2N Omneo trainsets, and will pay Transdev 50 million a year to operate the line and another 50 million to build a new rolling stock maintenance site in Nice.
  • The Caisse des Dépôts subsidiary, which will operate the route for ten years (2025-2035), will provide 15 round trips between Marseille and Nice, twice as many as today.
  • Two Regio 2N Omneo trainsets attached to each other will offer 800 seats, including 100 on folding seats, compared with 600 today.
  • transdev is beginning to build up its team, which will comprise 180 to 200 employees to operate this line.

Keolis reshuffles its staff - 30/08/2023
  • Keolis has 68,000 employees in 13 countries.
    Bernard Tabary, former head of international operations at Keolis, died accidentally in March 2023.
  • He has been replaced by Laurence Broseta.
Transport: Flixtrain aims to challenge Deutsche Bahn's monopoly - 04/08/2023
  • Number of trains operated by Flixtrain in Germany: 13
  • Flixbus company sales in 2022: 1.5 billion euros
  • Number of passengers transported in 2022: 60 million
  • Company presence: 40 countries
  • Estimated sales growth in 2023: 20%
  • Company valuation in 2021: 4 billion euros
  • Flixtrain's share of long-distance traffic in Germany: 3%
  • Expected launch of FlixBus in India: 2024
  • FlixBus planned launch in Chile: 2023
  • Flixtrain IPO: planned for early 2024

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Faure transport
Groupe Salaün
Heuliez Bus
Van Hool
Iveco Bus

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