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Company > Blue Bird Corp: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Blue Bird Corp: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Published: Jun 30, 2023

Inside This Article


    Blue Bird Corp, a leading American manufacturer of school buses, has been dominating the industry for decades. In this blog article, we will delve into Blue Bird's business model, conducting a comprehensive SWOT analysis to evaluate their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Additionally, we will explore the competitive landscape, identifying the key players and potential threats that Blue Bird might face in the year 2023. Join us as we analyze the current state of Blue Bird Corp and gain insights into their future prospects.

    What You Will Learn:

    • Who owns Blue Bird Corp and the significance of their ownership in the company.
    • The mission statement of Blue Bird Corp and how it guides their actions and decisions.
    • How Blue Bird Corp generates revenue and the different sources of income for the company.
    • An explanation of Blue Bird Corp's business model canvas and how it helps them create value and sustain their competitive advantage.
    • The main competitors of Blue Bird Corp and their impact on the company's market position.
    • A detailed SWOT analysis of Blue Bird Corp, highlighting its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the industry.

    Who owns Blue Bird Corp?

    Ownership structure of Blue Bird Corp

    Blue Bird Corp, a leading manufacturer of school buses and electric buses, has an ownership structure that involves various stakeholders. Understanding the ownership of the company can provide insights into its direction, decision-making processes, and potential future developments.

    Major shareholders and institutional ownership

    As of the latest available data, the ownership of Blue Bird Corp is primarily held by institutional investors. These investors include mutual funds, pension funds, and other financial institutions. They often hold large stakes in the company and play a significant role in shaping its governance and strategic decisions.

    The Hennessy family

    Blue Bird Corp's history is closely tied to the Hennessy family, who have been involved with the company for decades. The Hennessy family, led by the current CEO Phil Horlock, has a substantial ownership stake in the company. Their influence and deep understanding of the business have played a crucial role in shaping Blue Bird Corp's growth and success.

    Public shareholders

    In addition to institutional investors and the Hennessy family, Blue Bird Corp also has a significant number of public shareholders. These are individual investors who have purchased shares of the company through stock exchanges. Public shareholders include both retail investors and other entities who hold smaller ownership stakes in the company.

    Employee ownership and stock options

    Employee ownership is another aspect of Blue Bird Corp's ownership structure. The company may offer stock options or other forms of equity compensation to its employees, allowing them to become partial owners of the company. This practice aligns the interests of the employees with the company's performance and fosters a sense of ownership and dedication among the workforce.

    Potential future changes in ownership

    Like any publicly-traded company, Blue Bird Corp's ownership structure is subject to change over time. Shareholders may increase or decrease their stakes, and new investors may enter the picture. Additionally, mergers, acquisitions, or other strategic moves can also impact the ownership landscape of the company.

    Understanding the ownership structure of Blue Bird Corp provides valuable insights into the key players and stakeholders driving the company's trajectory. It showcases the blend of institutional investors, the Hennessy family, public shareholders, and employee ownership that contribute to the success and growth of Blue Bird Corp.

    What is the mission statement of Blue Bird Corp?

    Blue Bird Corp's Mission Statement: Providing Safe and Reliable Transportation Solutions for a Sustainable Future

    Blue Bird Corp, a leading manufacturer of school buses and alternative fuel vehicles, has a clear and compelling mission statement that guides its operations and strategic decisions. The company's mission is to provide safe and reliable transportation solutions for a sustainable future.

    Safety is at the core of Blue Bird Corp's mission. As a prominent provider of school buses, the company recognizes the importance of ensuring the well-being of students during their daily commute. Blue Bird Corp is committed to manufacturing buses that meet and exceed the highest safety standards. Through continuous innovation and the integration of advanced safety technologies, the company strives to protect the lives of passengers and enhance the overall safety of transportation.

    In addition to safety, Blue Bird Corp's mission emphasizes the importance of reliability. The company aims to build vehicles that are durable, efficient, and capable of withstanding the rigors of daily use. By producing dependable transportation solutions, Blue Bird Corp seeks to instill confidence in its customers, enabling them to execute their operations smoothly and efficiently.

    However, Blue Bird Corp's mission extends beyond safety and reliability. The company is also deeply committed to sustainability. Recognizing the environmental impact of traditional internal combustion engines, Blue Bird Corp has taken a proactive approach to developing alternative fuel vehicles. By embracing technologies such as propane, compressed natural gas (CNG), and electric powertrains, the company aims to reduce emissions and contribute to a greener future. This commitment to sustainability aligns with the growing global focus on reducing carbon footprints and transitioning to cleaner energy sources.

    In summary, Blue Bird Corp's mission statement encompasses its dedication to safety, reliability, and sustainability. By providing safe and reliable transportation solutions for a sustainable future, the company aims to improve the lives of passengers, support the efficiency of its customers' operations, and contribute to a cleaner and greener world.

    How does Blue Bird Corp make money?

    School bus sales

    One of the primary sources of revenue for Blue Bird Corp is through the sales of school buses. As the leading manufacturer of school buses in North America, Blue Bird Corp designs, engineers, and manufactures a wide range of school buses to meet the specific requirements and regulations of different school districts. These buses are then sold to school districts, contractors, and other transportation companies. Blue Bird Corp's strong reputation for quality, safety, and innovation has helped them establish long-term relationships with customers, ensuring a steady stream of sales and revenue.

    Aftermarket parts and services

    In addition to school bus sales, Blue Bird Corp generates revenue through the sale of aftermarket parts and services. This includes supplying replacement parts for their own buses as well as other brands. With an extensive network of authorized dealers and service centers, Blue Bird Corp offers maintenance and repair services to keep their buses in top condition. This not only helps to extend the lifespan of the buses but also creates an ongoing revenue stream as customers rely on Blue Bird Corp for their aftermarket needs.

    Alternative fueled buses

    As sustainability becomes a growing concern, Blue Bird Corp has capitalized on the market demand for alternative fueled buses. The company offers a range of environmentally friendly options, including compressed natural gas (CNG), propane, and electric buses. These buses are not only more eco-friendly but also provide cost savings in terms of fuel expenses and maintenance. By catering to the increasing demand for greener transportation solutions, Blue Bird Corp has been able to tap into a niche market and generate additional revenue.

    Financing and leasing options

    Blue Bird Corp also offers financing and leasing options to their customers. This allows school districts and contractors to acquire the buses they need without the burden of a large upfront investment. By providing flexible financing solutions, Blue Bird Corp can attract a wider customer base and increase their sales volume. The revenue generated from financing and leasing options comes from interest payments and lease fees, providing a steady and predictable income stream for the company.

    International sales

    While Blue Bird Corp primarily operates in North America, they also have a presence in international markets. The company exports their school buses to countries around the world, generating revenue from international sales. Blue Bird Corp's reputation for manufacturing high-quality and safe buses has helped them establish a global presence and enter new markets. By diversifying their customer base geographically, Blue Bird Corp reduces the risk of relying solely on the North American market and opens up opportunities for growth and increased revenue.

    Blue Bird Corp Business Model Canvas Explained

    Introduction to the Business Model Canvas

    The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management tool that helps organizations outline and understand their business models in a concise and visual manner. It provides a framework for analyzing and identifying key components of a company's operations, value proposition, customer segments, revenue streams, and more.

    In this blog post, we will delve into the Blue Bird Corp Business Model Canvas and explore how this renowned American bus manufacturing company creates value and sustains its competitive advantage in the transportation industry.

    Key Partnerships

    Blue Bird Corp understands the significance of strategic partnerships in driving its business model. The company collaborates with various entities to enhance its operations and deliver high-quality products and services. Key partners include suppliers, dealerships, and technology providers.

    Suppliers play a crucial role in the Blue Bird Corp business model as they provide the necessary components and raw materials for manufacturing buses. Maintaining strong relationships with reliable suppliers ensures the company can consistently produce vehicles that meet safety standards and customer expectations.

    Dealerships are another essential partner for Blue Bird Corp. These partners help distribute the company's buses to customers and provide after-sales services. By partnering with dealerships, Blue Bird Corp can expand its market reach and ensure its products are accessible to customers across different regions.

    Additionally, Blue Bird Corp collaborates with technology providers to leverage advancements in the transportation industry. These partnerships enable the integration of innovative features and technologies into their buses, such as alternative fuel options, electric drivetrains, and advanced safety systems. By staying at the forefront of technological advancements, Blue Bird Corp can differentiate its offerings and stay competitive in the market.

    Key Activities

    Blue Bird Corp's key activities revolve around designing, manufacturing, and selling buses. The company has established a robust manufacturing process that ensures the production of high-quality vehicles that meet industry standards and customer requirements.

    Designing buses involves extensive research and development efforts to incorporate the latest technologies and safety features. Blue Bird Corp focuses on continuous innovation to improve the efficiency, performance, and sustainability of its buses. This emphasis on design allows the company to meet evolving customer demands and stay ahead of competitors.

    Manufacturing processes at Blue Bird Corp involve the utilization of state-of-the-art facilities and efficient production lines. The company's manufacturing expertise ensures that each bus is built to the highest standards of quality and safety. Blue Bird Corp emphasizes sustainability in its manufacturing practices, aiming to minimize waste and environmental impact throughout the production process.

    Sales and marketing activities play a vital role in Blue Bird Corp's business model. The company employs a network of dealerships to reach customers globally. Effective marketing strategies and campaigns are implemented to create brand awareness, generate leads, and promote the unique value proposition of Blue Bird Corp buses.

    Key Resources

    To execute its business model successfully, Blue Bird Corp relies on various key resources. These resources encompass both tangible and intangible assets that are essential for the company's operations and value creation.

    One of the most critical resources for Blue Bird Corp is its manufacturing facilities. These facilities house the necessary equipment and machinery to produce high-quality buses efficiently. The company continually invests in its manufacturing infrastructure to ensure it remains technologically advanced and capable of meeting customer demands.

    Another key resource for Blue Bird Corp is its workforce. The company employs a team of skilled engineers, designers, and manufacturing professionals who contribute to the development and production of its buses. The expertise and dedication of these individuals are instrumental in maintaining the company's reputation for excellence.

    Intellectual property, including patents and trademarks, is also a valuable resource for Blue Bird Corp. The company's innovations and designs are protected by intellectual property rights, providing a competitive advantage and ensuring that its products remain distinct in the market.


    By analyzing the Blue Bird Corp Business Model Canvas, it becomes evident that the company's strategic partnerships, key activities, and key resources are essential components of its success in the transportation industry. Through collaborations, innovative manufacturing processes, and the utilization of key resources, Blue Bird Corp continues to deliver safe, reliable, and sustainable buses to customers worldwide.

    Which companies are the competitors of Blue Bird Corp?

    Competitors of Blue Bird Corp

    Blue Bird Corp, a leading manufacturer of school buses, faces competition from various companies in the industry. Some of its main competitors include:

    1. Thomas Built Buses: A subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America, Thomas Built Buses is a prominent player in the school bus manufacturing market. Known for their innovative designs and advanced safety features, Thomas Built Buses offers tough competition to Blue Bird Corp.

    2. IC Bus: A division of Navistar International Corporation, IC Bus is another significant competitor of Blue Bird Corp. IC Bus focuses on manufacturing school and commercial buses, offering a range of models designed for efficiency, safety, and comfort.

    3. Collins Bus Corporation: Collins Bus Corporation, a subsidiary of REV Group, specializes in manufacturing Type A school buses. With a strong emphasis on safety and durability, Collins Bus Corporation competes directly with Blue Bird Corp in the market for smaller school bus models.

    4. Lion Electric Co.: Although primarily known for their electric commercial vehicles, Lion Electric Co. has recently entered the school bus manufacturing sector. With their eco-friendly approach and emphasis on sustainability, Lion Electric Co. poses a unique challenge to Blue Bird Corp in terms of electric school bus offerings.

    5. Starcraft Bus: Starcraft Bus, a subsidiary of Forest River, Inc., manufactures a wide range of buses, including school buses. Known for their quality craftsmanship and customization options, Starcraft Bus competes with Blue Bird Corp by offering versatile and customized solutions to meet specific customer needs.

    These are just a few examples of the competitors in the school bus manufacturing market that pose challenges to Blue Bird Corp. As the industry continues to evolve and new technologies emerge, competition is expected to intensify, driving innovation and ultimately benefiting customers with improved products and services.

    Blue Bird Corp SWOT Analysis


    • Strong brand reputation: Blue Bird Corp is known for its reliable and high-quality school buses, making it a trusted brand among schools and parents.
    • Market leader: The company holds a significant market share in the school bus manufacturing industry, giving it a competitive advantage over its competitors.
    • Extensive distribution network: Blue Bird Corp has a wide network of dealerships and service centers, allowing it to reach customers efficiently and provide timely support.
    • Diverse product portfolio: The company offers a range of models and configurations to cater to different customer needs, providing flexibility and customization options.
    • Cutting-edge technology: Blue Bird Corp has been at the forefront of innovation in the industry, incorporating advanced features such as alternative fuel options and safety enhancements into its buses.


    • Dependence on the education sector: As a manufacturer of school buses, Blue Bird Corp heavily relies on the education sector for its sales. Any decline in school enrollment or education budget cuts can have a negative impact on the company's revenue.
    • Vulnerability to economic cycles: The demand for school buses is influenced by economic conditions. During economic downturns, schools may delay or reduce their bus purchases, leading to a decrease in Blue Bird Corp's sales.
    • Limited international presence: While Blue Bird Corp has a strong presence in the United States, its international operations are relatively limited. This lack of global reach may hinder the company's growth potential.


    • Growing demand for electric buses: With the increasing focus on sustainability and environmental concerns, there is a growing demand for electric buses. Blue Bird Corp can capitalize on this trend by expanding its electric bus offerings and promoting their benefits.
    • Expansion into new markets: Blue Bird Corp can explore untapped markets, both domestically and internationally, to diversify its customer base and reduce its dependence on the education sector.
    • Partnerships with technology companies: Collaborating with technology companies can help Blue Bird Corp incorporate advanced features such as autonomous driving technology and connectivity solutions into its buses, enhancing its product offering and staying competitive in the market.


    • Intense competition: The school bus manufacturing industry is highly competitive, with several well-established players and new entrants vying for market share. Blue Bird Corp faces the risk of losing customers to competitors who offer similar products at competitive prices.
    • Regulatory changes: Changes in safety and emission regulations can increase manufacturing costs and require Blue Bird Corp to make significant modifications to its buses, potentially impacting its profitability.
    • Economic uncertainty: Unpredictable economic conditions, such as recessions or budget cuts, can reduce school districts' ability to invest in new buses, affecting the demand for Blue Bird Corp's products.

    Key Takeaways

    • Blue Bird Corp is a publicly traded company, meaning it is owned by shareholders who hold its stock.
    • The mission statement of Blue Bird Corp is to "connect and protect people by building school buses that are safe, efficient, and reliable."
    • Blue Bird Corp primarily makes money by manufacturing and selling school buses, as well as providing related aftermarket parts and services.
    • The Business Model Canvas of Blue Bird Corp encompasses key aspects such as customer segments, value proposition, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key activities, key resources, key partnerships, and cost structure.
    • Some of the competitors of Blue Bird Corp in the school bus manufacturing industry include Thomas Built Buses, IC Bus, and Collins Bus Corporation.
    • In terms of SWOT analysis, Blue Bird Corp's strengths include its strong brand reputation and market share, whereas its weaknesses may include dependence on government contracts. Opportunities for Blue Bird Corp may involve expanding into new markets or introducing innovative technologies, while threats could be increased competition or changes in government regulations.


    In conclusion, Blue Bird Corp is a leading company in the school bus manufacturing industry. While it is a publicly traded company, the largest shareholder is American Securities LLC. The mission statement of Blue Bird Corp is to provide safe and reliable transportation solutions for school-aged children.

    Blue Bird Corp generates revenue primarily through the sale of school buses, parts, and services. Their business model canvas highlights key activities such as manufacturing, marketing, sales, and after-sales service. By focusing on innovation, quality, and customer satisfaction, Blue Bird Corp has been able to establish a strong position in the market.

    In terms of competition, Blue Bird Corp faces competition from other school bus manufacturers such as Thomas Built Buses, IC Bus, and Collins Bus Corporation. These companies also offer similar products and services, making the market highly competitive.

    A SWOT analysis of Blue Bird Corp reveals its strengths in terms of brand reputation, extensive distribution network, and strong customer relationships. However, it also faces challenges such as increasing regulations, fluctuating fuel prices, and potential economic downturns. By leveraging their strengths and addressing these challenges, Blue Bird Corp can continue to thrive in the industry.

    Overall, Blue Bird Corp is a well-established company with a clear mission, a sustainable business model, and a competitive position in the market. With its focus on safety, quality, and customer satisfaction, Blue Bird Corp is poised for continued success in the school bus manufacturing industry.


    What is a SWOT analysis for brand recognition?

    A SWOT analysis for brand recognition would involve assessing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to the brand's visibility and reputation in the market. Here is how it can be done:


    1. Strong brand identity and reputation.
    2. Consistent brand messaging across various channels.
    3. Positive customer perception and loyalty.
    4. Effective marketing strategies to promote brand recognition.
    5. Unique selling proposition that differentiates the brand from competitors.


    1. Limited brand awareness among target audience.
    2. Inconsistent branding across different touchpoints.
    3. Lack of a comprehensive brand recognition strategy.
    4. Negative customer feedback or reviews affecting reputation.
    5. Insufficient resources allocated for brand promotion.


    1. Utilizing social media platforms and digital marketing to increase brand visibility.
    2. Collaborating with influencers or brand ambassadors to enhance recognition.
    3. Expanding into new markets or target audiences.
    4. Participating in industry events or sponsoring relevant activities to increase exposure.
    5. Leveraging partnerships with other brands for co-marketing opportunities.


    1. Intense competition from established brands.
    2. Negative publicity or crisis that can damage brand reputation.
    3. Rapidly changing consumer preferences and market trends.
    4. Counterfeit or imitation products affecting brand credibility.
    5. Lack of control over online conversations or reviews impacting brand perception.

    By conducting a thorough SWOT analysis, a brand can identify its strengths to leverage, weaknesses to improve, opportunities to exploit, and threats to mitigate in order to enhance its brand recognition.

    What will be your SWOT analysis for the company?


    1. Strong brand recognition: The company has established itself as a leader in its industry, with a well-known and trusted brand.
    2. Wide product range: The company offers a diverse range of products, catering to various customer needs and preferences.
    3. Robust distribution network: The company has a well-established distribution network, allowing it to reach customers in various geographical locations efficiently.
    4. Strong financial position: The company has a solid financial foundation, with healthy profitability, liquidity, and low debt levels.
    5. Experienced management team: The company is led by a team of experienced and skilled professionals who have a deep understanding of the industry and its dynamics.


    1. Dependence on a single market segment: The company relies heavily on a specific market segment for its revenue, making it vulnerable to changes in that segment's demand or economic conditions.
    2. Limited online presence: The company's online presence and e-commerce capabilities are relatively limited compared to its competitors, potentially limiting its reach and growth opportunities.
    3. Lack of innovation: The company has not been at the forefront of innovation in recent years, potentially impacting its ability to stay ahead of competitors and meet evolving customer expectations.
    4. High production costs: The company's production costs are relatively high, affecting its overall profitability and ability to compete on pricing.


    1. Expansion into new markets: The company can explore opportunities to expand its presence in new geographic markets, tapping into untapped customer segments.
    2. Increasing demand for environmentally friendly products: There is a growing trend towards environmentally friendly products, which presents an opportunity for the company to develop and market such products.
    3. E-commerce growth: The rapid growth of e-commerce presents an opportunity for the company to enhance its online presence and reach a broader customer base.
    4. Strategic partnerships: The company can consider strategic partnerships with complementary businesses or industry influencers to expand its reach and customer base.
    5. Product diversification: The company can explore opportunities to diversify its product portfolio, offering new and innovative products that cater to evolving customer needs.


    1. Intense competition: The industry is highly competitive, with numerous established players and new entrants. This poses a threat to the company's market share and profitability.
    2. Economic downturns: Economic downturns can negatively impact consumer spending and demand for the company's products.
    3. Changing consumer preferences: Shifts in consumer preferences and trends can impact the demand for the company's products if it fails to adapt and meet changing customer expectations.
    4. Regulatory changes: Changes in regulations related to the industry, such as environmental regulations or trade policies, can create challenges and additional costs for the company.
    5. Supply chain disruptions: Any disruptions in the company's supply chain, such as raw material shortages or transportation issues, can impact its ability to meet customer demand and affect its profitability.

    What is a SWOT analysis of a public organization?

    A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of an organization. When applied to a public organization, it helps identify internal and external factors that may influence its performance and effectiveness. Here is a breakdown of a SWOT analysis for a public organization:


    1. Funding: Public organizations often have access to government funding, grants, and tax revenues, providing a stable financial base.
    2. Public trust: Being a public entity, these organizations often enjoy a higher level of public trust and credibility compared to private organizations.
    3. Resources: Public organizations may have access to a wide range of resources, including infrastructure, personnel, and data, which can be utilized for their objectives.
    4. Legal authority: Public organizations possess legal authority, enabling them to enforce regulations, policies, and laws.


    1. Bureaucracy: Public organizations can be hindered by bureaucratic processes, resulting in slower decision-making and increased red tape.
    2. Lack of flexibility: Due to regulations and public scrutiny, public organizations may face challenges in quickly adapting to changing circumstances.
    3. Political influence: Public organizations can be influenced by political agendas and may face challenges in maintaining impartiality and independence.
    4. Limited autonomy: Public organizations often have limited autonomy due to accountability to government bodies, which may restrict their decision-making abilities.


    1. Collaborations: Public organizations can leverage partnerships with other public or private entities to efficiently achieve their objectives.
    2. Technological advancements: The adoption of new technologies can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of public organizations in delivering services.
    3. Public demand: Public organizations can seize opportunities arising from public demands for new services or solutions to address emerging issues.
    4. Policy changes: Changes in government policies or regulations may create opportunities for public organizations to expand their roles or services.


    1. Budget cuts: Public organizations may face threats from budget reductions, leading to inadequate resources and limitations in fulfilling their mandates.
    2. Public perception: Negative public perception or reputational damage can undermine the credibility and support for public organizations.
    3. Change in government: A change in government may result in policy shifts, altering the priorities or funding allocations for public organizations.
    4. Competing interests: Public organizations may face competition from other organizations or sectors in delivering services or addressing societal needs.

    It is important to note that the specific strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats may vary for each public organization depending on its nature, goals, and external environment.

    How can I identify my SWOT analysis?

    To identify your SWOT analysis, you can follow these steps:

    1. Identify your strengths: Make a list of the internal factors that give you an advantage over others. These could be skills, knowledge, resources, or any other positive attributes that set you apart.

    2. Determine your weaknesses: Identify the internal factors that put you at a disadvantage compared to others. These could be areas where you lack skills, resources, or any other factors that hinder your progress.

    3. Explore your opportunities: Look for external factors or conditions that are favorable to your goals. These could include market trends, new technologies, partnerships, or any other factors that can support your growth.

    4. Evaluate potential threats: Identify external factors or conditions that could negatively impact your goals. These could include competition, changing regulations, economic factors, or any other challenges that you might face.

    5. Analyze and prioritize: Review your lists of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Analyze how each element interacts with others and prioritize them based on their impact and importance.

    6. Develop strategies: Based on the insights from your SWOT analysis, develop strategies to leverage your strengths, address your weaknesses, seize opportunities, and mitigate threats. These strategies should align with your goals and help you achieve them.

    Remember that a SWOT analysis is a dynamic process, and it should be regularly reviewed and updated to reflect changes in your internal and external environment.

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