Inter Traction Electrics Ltd., a subsidiary of ITK Holding Zrt., presented its own-developed and designed standard-floor long-distance bus, the Mercedes-Benz REFORM 600 IC, at a ceremony in the Nagyerdei Stadium in Debrecen on 28 September 2021. The newest model of the REFORM bus family, consisting of 14 models, was manufactured in Debrecen based on Hungarian design plans, which makes this model a genuine Hungarian product on the domestic and international market.
The vehicle is 13,160 millimetres long, 2,550 millimetres wide and 3,456 millimetres high and is powered by a 260 kW Euro VI engine with 1,400 Nm of torque. The chassis is technically designed to incorporate the vehicle safety and driving stability systems familiar on Mercedes-Benz buses (e.g. lane departure warning, emergency brake assist, tyre pressure monitoring), as well as remote on-board diagnostic and control devices developed by the ITK Group, which provide operating and functional data for remote monitoring of the vehicle and real-time map information on the bus position.
The passenger compartment has 55 seats, but this can be increased by 4 seats to 59. Passenger comfort is enhanced by a number of comfort features. These include a touch-switch LED reading lamp at the seats, a smartphone holder, on-board Wi-Fi, USB charging socket, wireless charger and a wireless landing button that is handy even when the vehicle is not in motion. Thanks to its full LED illumination, the interior lighting of the bus is an aesthetic curiosity, with a number of unique, hidden solutions that make the interior and passenger compartment lighting stand out.
As part of the event, the two windshields produced for the new bus model were ceremonially signed by the invited guests, including Tamás Schanda, Deputy Minister of Innovation and Technology, László Dr Papp, Mayor of the DMJV, Zoltán Prof Dr Szilvássy, Rector of the University of Debrecen, Zsolt Tirpák, Chancellor of the Debrecen Vocational Training Centre, Dóra Uray, President of Omnibus Hungária Kft. Managing Director of Omra Hungária, our Olympians, Dr Sándor Wladár, President of the Hungarian Swimming Federation and Tamás Darnyi, and György Kossa, CEO of ITK Holding Zrt.
ITK Group provides HUF 100 million in support
At the presentation of the long-distance bus, György Kossa announced that the Group will provide HUF 100 million in support to the Foundation for the University of Debrecen, the University of Debrecen and the Debrecen Vocational Training Centre. Within this framework, two Mercedes-Benz self-propelled chassis and a Mercedes-Benz passenger car will be donated to the institutions. The use of these assets will contribute to the improvement of the quality and functioning of the training and vocational education at the University and the Vocational Training Centre.
The Chairman and CEO of ITK Holding Zrt. emphasized that investing in the future has been a top priority in the Group’s long-term strategy for years. That is why they take an active role in the training of technical specialists in Hungary, including those studying in the Debrecen region. So far, a total of around 200 people have participated in their training programmes, completed their apprenticeships or worked as apprentices at the Group in the framework of dual training, and a further 500 people have taken part in their training programmes outside the school system. Their scholarship programme supports 10 university students and helps another 15 future engineers in their studies.
In his speech, Tamás Schanda, Deputy Minister of Innovation and Technology of Hungary, stressed that Hungary has now created an environment that encourages innovation, supports work, builds on expertise and values successful developments. The work-based economy is built on families, businesses and the skills of Hungarian workers. Entrepreneurial, creative, creative and hard-working people are the backbone of the Hungarian economy. That is why we must always focus on the Hungarian interest, Hungarian competitiveness and domestic added value. The vehicles developed and produced by Inter Traction Electrics Ltd. contain significant domestic added value, so the long-distance bus we are presenting can be considered a real Hungarian success.
“Today’s bus show is a moment in industrial history for the city and the country. We are particularly pleased that Debrecen can also be home to the resurgent domestic bus industry. Our city could soon become a major centre of European vehicle production, and we will do our utmost to ensure that local businesses succeed and contribute to the country’s performance,” said Dr. László Papp, Mayor of Debrecen.
“One of the major innovative steps of the Foundation University is that we have created a unified system of education and science in cooperation with companies, government and local educational institutions, in which the corporate community accepts the University of Debrecen as a central player. Our research is receiving positive feedback, which also confirms that we are combining academic work with industrial work culture in the right way. The combination of this influences the competitiveness of the university, to which partners such as ITK Holding Zrt. contribute significantly.” – said Prof. Dr. Zoltán Szilvássy, Rector of the University of Debrecen.
In his speech, Zsolt Tirpák, Chancellor of the Debrecen Vocational Training Centre, pointed out that there are three pillars to training highly skilled professionals. On the one hand, it is essential to show students a vision of the future during their vocational training, and on the other hand, it is also important that their trainers are well prepared and have up-to-date knowledge. But it is also essential that young people learn their skills in an innovative institutional environment. The Vocational Training Centre, in partnership with ITK Holding Zrt, is providing these requirements for the future automotive workforce.
“Just two weeks ago, the National Swimming Programme was launched in Hungary as a pilot project to teach kindergarten, first and second grade children to swim. ITK Holding Zrt. is an important partner in this project, helping to get children from educational institutions to swimming pools. During the test period, 16 buses will transport 3,200 children from 83 participating schools in Debrecen, Tokaj, Móro and Budafok, but we hope to soon launch the programme throughout the country”, said Dr. Sándor Wladár, Olympic champion Hungarian swimmer and President of the Hungarian Swimming Federation.