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First Medium-Sized City Bus Equipped with Allison Automatic Transmission Delivered to Japan’s Hankyu Bus

Hankyu bus

 TOKYO, March, 2021 - Allison Transmission Japan, the Japanese subsidiary of Allison Transmission, the world's largest manufacturer of automatic transmissions for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, announced today that the first medium-sized city bus equipped with the Allison T280 automatic transmission—the Hino Rainbow— has been delivered to the Takarazuka office of Hankyu Bus Co., Ltd. 

The Allison Transmission T series, which is fitted to many large city buses in the Japanese market, was selected by Isuzu Motors and Hino Motors in August 2020 for their medium-sized city buses. The Allison T280 6-speed fully automatic transmission, which is optimized for this size of vehicle, delivers smooth and powerful acceleration when the bus is moving thanks to torque multiplication provided by the torque converter, even with smaller engines. This brings benefits on flat roads as well as on hills. 

When driving on hilly roads using the semi-automatic transmission fitted as standard to Isuzu and Hino vehicles since 2016, bus drivers tended to manually select a fixed gear to avoid the deceleration caused by the disengagement of gears when shifting occured, which caused worse fuel consumption and noise. However, Allison fully automatic transmissions feature planetary gears using Continuous Power Technology™ that transmits torque to the wheels even during gear shifts. The routes operated by the Hankyu Bus Takarazuka office traverse not only hilly residential areas, but also urban areas with many starts and stops, so the use of vehicles with automatic transmissions offer distinct advantages. In addition, the buses are equipped with the same shift selector as the company’s larger vehicles, so drivers accustomed to operating larger models can operate the medium-sized buses without any difficulty. 

“We highly rate the Allison automatic transmission used in our larger city buses for its drivability and ease of maintenance,” said Fumiaki Takikawa, Vehicle Section Manager, Sales Planning Department, Automotive Division, Hankyu Bus Co., Ltd. “We have awaited the delivery of medium-sized city buses with Allison transmissions, as these help reduce driver fatigue and improve safety. We look forward to their further evolution in the future." 

The prognostic function, one of the features of Allison's automatic transmissions, monitors the condition of the transmission itself, as well as the transmission fluid and filter, displaying status indicators and replacement times on the shift selector, thus helping to reduce unexpected failures and vehicle downtime. 

Allison Transmission is a market leader for large city bus automatic transmissions in Japan. Allison will continue to provide improved products and after-sales service to support the smooth operation of the city buses that are such an important means of public transportation in this region. 

Mar 08, 2021

About Allison Transmission

Allison Transmission (NYSE: ALSN) is the world’s largest manufacturer of fully automatic transmissions for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles and is a leader in electric hybrid-propulsion systems for city buses. Allison transmissions are used in a variety of applications including refuse, construction, fire, distribution, bus, motorhomes, defense and energy. Founded in 1915, the company is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA and employs approximately 2,900 people worldwide. With a market presence in more than 80 countries, Allison has regional headquarters in the Netherlands, China and Brazil with manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Hungary and India. Allison also has approximately 1,400 independent distributor and dealer locations worldwide. For more information, visit