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Coachwork International was a bus manufacturer in Palmerston North, New Zealand. Founded in 1926 as New Zealand Motor Bodies, in 1983 it merged with Hawke Coachwork to form Coachwork International. It ceased trading in 1993.

Coachwork International
New Zealand Motor Bodies
Founded26 May 1926
Defunct5 July 1995
Number of locations
Area served
Asia Pacific
ProductsBus & coach bodies
ParentMoller Corporation


New Zealand Motor BodiesEdit

1977 Bristol REL with Carrosserie Hess bodywork built under licence by NZMB

New Zealand Motor Bodies (NZMB) was established in 1926 as Munt, Cottrell, Nielsen and Company Limited when Munt, Cottrell & Co of Wellington and Neilsen's Body Works of Dannevirke merged.[1][2]

NZMB operated from the corner of Hutt Road and Jackson Street in Petone building metal frame bus and coach bodies and other commercial bodies, hoists and other truck equipment.[1][3]

A new factory building in Keith Street Palmerston North was opened on 3 July 1977. The new plant covered 18,000 square metres.[3][4]

Coachwork InternationalEdit

In 1983 NZMB merged with competitor Hawke Coachwork to form Coachwork International. Owned by Moller Corporation and Newmans, in 1987 it held an 80% share of the New Zealand bus bodying market. Production continued at the Palmerston North plant, while Hawke's plant in Takanini was retained, specalising in building and repairing buses for city authorities.[5] Coachwork International ceased trading in 1993.[6]


In 1977 NZMB obtained manufacturing rights for the Swiss Carrosserie Hess system.[7] In the early-1980s, NZMB bodied 450 Volvo B58 and Mercedes-Benz buses for Singapore Bus Service.[8][9] In 1981 it began assembling Plaxton Supreme bodies delivered in CKD packs from England.[10]


  1. ^ a b Company Affairs Auckland Star 5 June 1926 page 11
  2. ^ New Zealand Motor Bodies Limited Pentone's First 100 Years Hutt City 1940
  3. ^ a b New Zealand Motor Bodies plant, Keith Street Manawatu Heritage
  4. ^ New bus body plant opened by major NZ builder Truck & Bus Transportation January 1978 page 114
  5. ^ CI Sizes up the Aussie Market Truck & Bus Transportation April 1987 pages 60-63
  6. ^ McCeystal, John (2007). On the Buses in New Zealand. Oriental Bay: Grantham House Publishing. p. 135. ISBN 978 1 86934 101 5.
  7. ^ Aluminium buses for New Zealand Truck & Bus Transportation January 1978 page 65
  8. ^ SBS buys bus bodies Business Times 3 July 1980 page 2
  9. ^ Contract awarded to New Zealand Motor Bodies Business Times 20 June 1981 page 5
  10. ^ NZ's first Plaxton Commercial Motor 8 August 1981

External linksEdit

  Media related to New Zealand Motor Bodies at Wikimedia Commons