The company was incorporated in 1933 as Fort Garry Motor Body and Paint Works Limited, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada by Harry Zoltok. In 1948, Greyhound Lines of Canada, at that time MCI’s major customer, became a majority shareholder when it purchased 65% of the company. MCI was purchased outright by Greyhound Lines in 1958. In 1963 a new plant was opened in Pembina, North Dakota to increase capacity as MCI began to expand into the U.S. market, while Greyhound widened its operations and switched increasingly from GMC to its own in-house products. In 1974 another plant was opened in Roswell, New Mexico under the title Transportation Manufacturing Corporation (TMC).
In December 1986, Greyhound was split, with Greyhound Lines being sold to an investor group, and Greyhound Lines of Canada, MCI and TMC remaining part of The Greyhound Corporation, which was renamed Dial, Inc. in 1991.
In 1987, Greyhound Corporation bought the transit bus manufacturing operations of General Motors Diesel Division (GMC), which was based in Canada. (GM phased out intercity and transit bus construction at the large GMC Coach and Truck plant in Pontiac, Michigan, shifting medium duty school bus chassis production to Janesville, Wisconsin.)
MCI also took over production of GM’s RTS model, transferring production to TMC. MCI also purchased the GM bus assembly plant in Saint-Eustache, Quebec, which then produced GM’s Canadian transit bus model, the Classic. TMC ceased production of the older MCI vehicles in 1990 to concentrate on manufacturing the RTS, and on the “A-Model” intercity coaches.
In 1993 MCI became an independent corporation, Motor Coach Industries International Inc.
In 1994, MCI stocks were purchased by Mexican DINA S.A., who had a long history of bus building and developed their HTQ proprietary technology (valued in a total of 70 million dollars) that culminated with the creation of the Viaggio Confort Bus Line. Over the course of the next years MCI reproduced its Viaggio 1000 DOT for sale to the U.S and Canada. In late 1999/2000 the G4100, G4500 and F3500 models were released to the U.S. and Canadian markets. Production of the G4500 later moved to Winnipeg, after the G4100 had been discontinued. Poor reliability of the G4500 resulted in very low sales after Greyhound Lines filed a lawsuit against MCI over the various issues involving the bus. Greyhound took delivery of very few Winnipeg-built G4500s; these were later retired and sold. Related to a major contract cancellation by Western Star, DINA S.A. sold a great portion of its previously acquired MCI shares to Joseph Littlejohn & Levy.
In 1994 TMC, including production rights for the RTS, was sold to NovaBus. In 1997 MCI purchased the rights from the bankrupt Flxible to produce the Flxible Metro and all related parts for same. After a period of product demand, increased competition and lay-offs in the early 2000s, production at MCI plants in Winnipeg and Pembina increased in 2006, and 130 employees were added.
During the late 1990s and early 2000s, MCI consolidated its operations, the Winnipeg site was expanded and modernized as well as DINA S.A. purchased North American Symix and opened an assembly plant in Buenos Aires Argentina and the DIMEX and DINAIR companies. A new coach finishing and paint facility and customer delivery centre were constructed on the site. At the same time, a seven-year contract was attained with the IAMAW union local. This agreement contained cost improvements and production operations flexibility to improve the productivity and competitiveness of the manufacturing and assembly operations.
The buses, especially the older MC-8 and workhorse MC-9 models of the 1980s became the standard for interstate travel for many bus companies. Those particular buses featured metal frames and roof supports, metal panels on the sides and were extremely durable and reliable. Many of the buses, having survived millions of miles of commercial use, have been given a second career serving churches or other organizations, while the MCI/TMC coaches are very popular “conversion shells”, used for motorhomes.
Currently, the “J” and “D” models are the leading coaches in the North American intercity coach market.
2008 emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy/ownership by KPS Capital Partners, LP
Motor Coach Industries Inc. announced on September 15, 2008, the company had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as part of a restructuring the company said would “help shed hundreds of millions of dollars of debt”.
On April 17, 2009, Motor Coach Industries Inc. emerged from its voluntary Chapter 11 reorganization. MCII and its subsidiaries became wholly owned by KPS Capital Partners, LP. KPS Capital Partners, LP is the Manager of the KPS Special Situations Funds, a family of private equity limited partnerships with over $2.6 billion of committed capital focused on constructive investing in restructurings, turnarounds, and other special situations.
2015 acquisition by New Flyer Industries, Inc.
On November 10, 2015, it was announced that Canadian bus manufacturer New Flyer Industries has an agreement to acquire Motor Coach Industries, Inc. for CAD $604 million or USD $459 million, and closed in December 2015.
Partnership with Daimler AG
On April 25, 2012, MCI announced a minority stake with Daimler AG to produce Setra buses for the North American market as Daimler reconfigured its bus operations in North America and exited the commercial bus market there. The takeover would make MCI the exclusive North American distributor of the Setra S407 and S417 German-manufactured premium motor coaches.
Under the proposed agreement, through a transition period of several months following the execution of definitive agreements and the closing of the transaction, MCI would evaluate operations related to Setra in North America, and, where appropriate, integrate such operations with existing MCI facilities which will permit MCI and Daimler Buses to realize significant operating synergies. This planned partnership will allow Daimler Buses to better serve its customers through a broader service network, while strengthening Setra’s presence in North America. All Setra motor coaches are German-engineered products produced in Neu Ulm, Germany. This fact remains unchanged.
- Motor Coach Industries, Ltd. – Canadian manufacturing facility, located in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
- Motor Coach Industries, Inc. – U.S. manufacturing facility, located in Pembina, North Dakota.
- MCI Sales and Service, Inc. – U.S. new and pre-owned coach sales division.
- MCI Service Parts – aftermarket parts sales division of the company, based in Des Plaines, Illinois, with its distribution center located in Louisville, Kentucky, with close access to the international UPS distribution center.
- MCI Financial Services – coach financing division, based in Dallas, Texas.
After the original numbered Courier and MC models, MCI adopted letters for the different series of coaches. Two different schemes have been used: