VDL Bus & Coach

Designing an Enduring Legacy
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  • Case Designing the future of a new, forward-thinking mobility brand
  • Client VDL Bus & Coach
  • Industry Public Transport Buses & Coaches

As a successful family-run conglomerate, VDL has an ambitious legacy that stretches into a variety of industries. In 1993, they began a decade-long portfolio expansion project where they acquired and consolidated five different bus companies. In 2008, VDL approached MODYN —  a leader in mobility design — to help them enter this market for the first time as a cohesive, innovative and market-challenging bus brand.

Key Insights

MODYN not only designed VDL Bus & Coach’s corporate brand identity and design DNA, but helped them become industry innovators quickly. Over the course of our 10+ year strategic partnership, we have developed both public transport buses as well as luxury coaches, along the way designing innovative solutions and helping VDL capture market leadership in the electric bus segment. Our partnership with VDL has resulted in a strong, recognizable brand character that we continue to push — in terms of design and technology — into the future.

Our Work
Futura FMD2 and FHD2 Coaches

This was the bus that first defined the VDL brand, features like the large, aerodynamically shaped windscreen, proud logo and signature headlights giving the bus a clear new identity. The FHD2 also translated brand values directly into tangible features, like the lightweight body that wasn’t sunk over the wheels, making it look as quick and agile as it rode. This bus went on to win Coach of the Year 2012.

Citea SLF, SLE and LLE

Introduced at the same time as the Futura, these public transport buses were updated with the new VDL design language we had just created. Because the SLF, SLE and LLE were already in production or on the road, we came up with proactive design solutions that allowed VDL to leverage their current investment and extend product life. The Citea-range went on to grab the international title, ‘Bus of the Year 2011.’

Citea SLFA-e

As cities began turning away from the expensive infrastructure of trams, they started turning towards the efficiency of electric busses. MODYN helped VDL capture its market share by designing their first electric bus. The Citea SLFA-e has an efficient character that is reminiscent of the old ‘people-movers’ with features like a streamlined front and covered wheels. The similar graphic treatment of front and rear also mirrors the symmetry of trams, pushing the ‘rapid bus transit’ concept forward and winning a Red Dot Design Award.

Futura FDD2 Double Decker Coach

The FDD2 was a trendsetter, integrating a luxurious, beautiful interior design into a commercial double-decker coach. Wood grain, light ceilings, mellow light and soft rounded edges created an ambiance and atmosphere that is still unmatched by any other brand to date. The way we approached the project was unprecedented as well, working in a physical full-size mock-up, right from the start. This gave VDL stakeholders a tangible, accurate feel for the space and design before any prototypes were made.

Bus of the Year - VDL Citea
Coach of the Year - VDL Futura
Red Dot Award - VDL Citea SLFA Electric
What our client has to say
“MODYN has a lot of technical knowledge which they use to back up the ideas they have. It’s not only the design and creating a certain shape, but also being involved in engineering and actively developing it from a sketch into an appreciated level of engineering.”
“So, they not only come up with a strong idea or identity, but they know how to give direction on what kind of materials or caliber of manufacturing techniques you should accept as a company.”
Bram Veendrick, Product Designer / Design Manager at VDL ETS
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