Client: Alexander Dennis
Account Manager: Ryan O’Donnell
Project Manager: Marc Van Nieuwenhuizen
Venue: Farnborough Airport
ALEXANDER DENNIS – 125 YEARS OF HISTORY
Alexander Dennis is a transport company based in the UK with roots formed in Guildford. A neighbouring Surrey town to Farnborough. It was here, that brothers John and Raymond Dennis established themselves, making bicycles. Three years later and sensing the advent of self-powered transport, they launched their motorised tricycle in 1895, which was displayed at our event. By 1901 they started producing cars, adopting the family name as the brand.
The business spread to Scotland when Walter Alexander opened a cycle shop in Falkirk, Central Scotland. This soon followed the Dennis’ trend venturing into the car industry, then eventually delving into bus services in 1913 after Alexander purchased an open top Charabanc bus to introduce a local bus service to the area.
Concurrently, in the south, having both experience exponential growth, Dennis focused business on commercial vehicles after his pioneering use of the worm drive axel in motor vehicles. From this, he then produced several products including a van for the Harrods department store, quickly followed by the first buses for local operators and double deckers for London. Fire engines were offered from 1908 onwards, establishing what was to become another mainstay of the company’s activity for nearly a century. By 1913, car production stopped completely to focus on commercial vehicles.
To satisfy demand for its rapidly growing bus services, Alexander begins to build its own buses at its workshops in Falkirk. Although some of these single deck buses and coaches are sold to other companies, the bulk of the production is for fleets in the Scottish Motor Traction group, which becomes Alexander’s owner in 1929, operating throughout Scotland.
Further coping with exceeding demand, alexander brought it In Frederick William Plaxton’s joinery workshop in Scarborough after they diversified into manufacturing bodywork for cars just before the First World War. This was appropriate as Plaxton built its first open charabanc in 1918 on a Ford Model T chassis. Within a decade the shift is made to fully enclosed coaches, aligning closely with Alexander’s manufacturing needs.
From 1926, Dennis was producing busses with their own chassis and bodywork which spread its market share worldwide selling vehicles in Russia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.
In 2004 all the respective companies previously mentioned, which produced the 20th century buses, began trading under one unifying name. Alexander Dennis.
FARNBOROUGH AIRPORT – HOME OF BRITISH AVIATION
Explore the unique aviation history of Farnborough, the sole airfield in the UK. In 1908, Samuel Franklin Cody made history with the first powered flight on British soil, covering 1,400 feet in just 27 seconds. Farnborough is renowned for its pioneering wind tunnels that advanced aviation design through aerodynamics.
Originally owned by the Ministry of Defence from 1908 to 1991, the airfield played vital roles in two world wars and the Cold War. It opened to the public in 1948 for the Farnborough International Airshow, later becoming a biennial event in 1962. The 2018 edition attracted 80,000 visitors and featured 1,500 exhibitors from 48 countries.
In 1997, TAG Aviation took over the airfield, transforming it into a fully compliant CAA airport and a thriving business hub. Further enhancements in 2007 emphasized luxury and business ventures, including the repurposing of a hangar into the current business and conference space, and hosting notable events like the Alexander Dennis bus launch. Experience Farnborough’s rich aviation legacy and modern offerings at this dynamic airfield.
The launch event marked a significant milestone in sustainable transportation as Alexander Dennis unveiled its latest innovation, a cutting-edge zero-emission bus, proudly presented in collaboration with Perception Live. The grand reveal took place at the prestigious Farnborough Business and Conference Centre, a symbolic choice for the launch.
The selection of Farnborough as the launch site is not merely coincidental; it holds historical significance tied to the original ventures of the Dennis brothers in Guildford. This locality serves as a poignant nod to the company’s roots, reflecting its journey from the past to the forefront of modern, eco-friendly transportation solutions.
Trident House, the company’s new hub in the South of England, is adding to the significance of the location. This state-of-the-art facility is a pivotal base for Alexander Dennis, providing cutting-edge resources and infrastructure to support its test and development teams. Trident House embodies the company’s commitment to advancing technology and innovation, fostering an environment conducive to pushing the boundaries of sustainable transportation.
The launch event not only marks the debut of an advanced zero-emission bus but also symbolizes the ongoing dedication of Alexander Dennis to revolutionize the public transportation landscape. As the world strives towards a greener and more sustainable future, this new addition to their lineup reinforces Alexander Dennis’ position as a leader in the field, driving positive change and shaping the future of urban mobility.
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