Mistral Group is the UK’s leading bus and coach provider
Mistral Group’s Chief Executive, Simon Fawcett, began his career in the bus and coach industry as a successful operator in the 1980’s and early 90’s. He then diversified into the supply side of the industry, establishing Cheshire Bus and Coach, which later became Mistral in 1998.
With a customer base spread across the whole of the United Kingdom, Mistral Group is now known as the UK’s leading provider of public service buses for sale and rental.
Mistral Group: A brief history
Cheshire Bus & Coach Ltd (CBC) founded as a side business to Starline Travel, a Knutsford based bus operator owned by Simon Fawcett.
CBC rebranded and launched as Mistral Group plc to recognise its growing nationwide fleet. The business also moved to selling as well as renting vehicles, representing Plaxton for their Beaver and Pointer bus ranges.
The updated Disability Discrimination Act formalised the requirement for all new single deck buses to be low floor i.e. supplied with stepless entry to the main saloon, giving rise to a large increase in demand for new buses. Mistral starts to supply the low floor Optare Solo range alongside the existing Dennis Dart / Plaxton Pointer.
The Global Financial Crisis sees many mainstream banks scale back their lending activity leaving a gap in the market for a specialist funder to the PCV sector. Mistral Asset Finance is born and begins offering hire purchase finance agreements to the market.
Wrightbus approaches Mistral to work as the launch partner for its new range of single deck, integral buses, StreetLite. The range signifies Wrightbus’ move into whole vehicle manufacturing.
Alexander Dennis look to consolidate their position as the leading supplier to the large operating groups and TfL by re-entering the SME retail market. Mistral partners with them to provide the Enviro 200, which rapidly becomes the bus of choice for the small and medium-size operators.
Looking to diversify and grow further, Mistral introduces the Volvo Plaxton Panther and Leopard ranges to its rental offering with instant success. The flexibility of rental in the coach sector proves popular and the fleet expands rapidly.
The industry is rocked by the Covid-19 pandemic, with operators requiring considerable levels of support to assist them. Mistral, with the support of its underlying funders, responds to the challenge and gives unprecedented levels of payment holidays and flexibility to its customer base.
The COP-26 Climate Summit in Glasgow acts as a touchstone for the move towards battery electric vehicles, with levels of funding for the switch to EV outside of London beginning at pace.
Trusted by bus and coach operators nationwide
We work with public transport operators and private travel companies to supply new and used buses and coaches with a suitable finance option. Take a look at just some of the bus and coach operators we currently work with.
Putting our customers FIRST is intrinsic to everything we do at Mistral Group
Flexibility is at the heart of our business culture, and offering choice to our customers in all areas of our business is key to retaining their interest. Our long-standing partnerships with leading vehicle manufacturers and finance providers in the industry allow us to offer quality products on a variety of different financial packages.
Mistral is proud to be an independent company that builds strong relationships with both customers and suppliers. Our independence guarantees that we can offer our customers the best option for their business.
Delivering on our promises is at the core of everything Mistral does. We aim to provide outstanding customer service and exceed your expectations.
In a fast-moving industry where contract lead times are short and speed of response is everything, we are committed to supporting our customers efficiently. We aim to have a reasonable number of vehicles in stock at all times to allow a rapid turnaround from order to delivery.
The strength of Mistral is in its people. We aim to have the best people who are trained and empowered to go the extra mile to support our customers and deliver outstanding service.