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School Bus Manufacturing in North America

Publication Date: Nov 2019

Size, Shares, Segmentation, Competitors, Channels, Trends, and Outlook on the Production and Shipments of School Buses in North America
2019 Analysis & 2020 – 2024 Outlook


Yellow School Buses & White MFSA Buses


The scope of this project is to provide a quantification and analysis of the business of manufacturing yellow school buses and white MFSA (multi-function school activity) buses for the North American market.

  • Type A school buses are built on cutaway chassis and have a seating capacity of 16 to 36.
  • Type C school buses are the most common large school buses, with seating capacity ranging from 36 to 78 passengers. These buses use medium-duty cowl truck chassis, with the engine in front of the windshield, and the entrance door behind the front wheels. These are similar to cab-on-chassis commercial/transit buses and are also referred to as “conventional” school buses.
  • Type D school buses are transit-style buses, with seating capacity ranging from 54 to 90 passengers. These vehicles are mounted on medium-duty truck chassis with front or rear engines and with the entrance door located ahead of the front wheels. These are similar in appearance to transit buses but are built to the same safety standards as other school bus configurations.
  • Multi-Function School Activity Buses (MFSAB) buses are mainly cutaway buses based on Type A school bus designs, though a few are also based on the Type C design. These buses do not run on fixed school routes but are used to transport children for non-school activities. These buses are also used by child-care centers. MFSAB meets the same Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) as school buses but differ from them in that these are painted in colors other than yellow and are not required to have traffic control devices such as flashing lights and stop arms.


2019 shipments are estimated at a $2.86 billion value in the United States and Canada.


Demand for buses is primarily driven by replacement needs of ageing fleets and to support fleet growth arising from population and ridership growth.


The school bus industry continues to address the pent-up replacement demand arising from below-average purchases between 2009 and 2015.


While gasoline has been the main fuel for Type A buses, until recently the larger Type C and Type D buses were primarily diesel-powered, with a small percentage fueled by propane and CNG. Phased out in the early 2000s in favor of diesel buses, gasoline-powered Type C buses have made a comeback with leading players offering these in the last few years.


There has been a substantial increase in the manufacture of school buses powered by “cleaner and greener” technologies in the last few years. This has been driven both by newer and more stringent EPA regulations, as well as growing efforts to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Manufacturers fabricate school buses powered by propane, CNG and battery-electric.


This is one of the three sections comprising Bus Industry in North America 2019. Other sections available separately are Shuttle Buses and Intracity Buses in North America and Motorcoach/Intercity Bus Industry in North America.




Product Types


Market Size Estimates – Units & Dollars 2019



Market Size Estimates: By School Bus Type



Market Size Estimates: By Chassis Type



Market Size Estimates: By School Bus & Chassis Type



Market Size Estimates: By Fuel Type



Market Size Estimates: Historical – 2014 – 2018


Market Shares: Competitive Analysis in Units & Dollars



Manufacturers by Type



Manufacturers’ Product Mix: By Type



Market Shares: All



Market Shares: By Type



Market Shares: By School Bus Type



Market Shares: By Chassis Type


Market Analysis



Alternative Fuel Technology


5.1.1 Propane & Compressed Natural Gas


5.1.2 Battery-Electric School Buses


5.1.3 Manufacturers’ Product Mix: By Fuel Type


5.1.4 Market Shares: By Fuel Type



Average Price



Distribution Channels


Market Dynamics & Demand Factors


Outlook 2020 – 2024


Production by Region


Key Manufacturer Data



Key Manufacturer Data: Alphabetical Order



Key Manufacturer Data: Rank Order – Units


Manufacturer Profiles (8 companies profiled)

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