PMC

Circa 1875

A Lawton Established

1960

JA Lawton Merges with Freighter & becomes Freighter-Lawton

1963

Rebranded Freighter Industries

1965

Freighter enter into a bus body assembly arrangement with Hino for supply of Buses to the Australian Bus Market

1975

Freighter Industries is sold to Leyland Corporation Australia & is rebranded PMCSA (Leyland currently own Denning)

1983

Leyland Australia Ceases to exist and is taken over by JRA Limited

1988

JRA Limited purchases Austral (Australian Manufacturing Group, Denning's Biggest Competitor)

1991

Following the closure of the Sydney plant (Press Metal Corporation), PMCSA is renamed PMC Australia

1996

Leyland Australia & all subsidiaries, PMC, Austral Denning etc within JRA Limited, are sold to Clifford Corporation

1998

Clifford Corporation collapses

1999

PMC is sold to the consortium of CCMC (Custom Coaches Manufacturing Company), Bosnjak Group, & John Hewson

Commonwealth Engineering

1921

Smith & Waddington is founded. (Commencing in the Sydney suburb of Camperdown building bodies for motorcars and buses)

1939

Reformed after the great depression, Smith & Waddington is renamed Waddingtons Body Works and moves to Granville

1946

After taking control of the business during world war 2, to produce war effort materials, in 1946 the Government purchases a controlling stake of the buses and changes the name to Commonwealth Engineering

1949

Second Factory established in Rocklea Queensland

1952

A plant is established in Bassendean, Western Australia

1954

Another plant purchased in Dandenong, Victoria

1957

The Government sells its shares to COMENG

1971

Commonwealth Engineering (COMENG) sell body building designs and jigs to Smithfield 1954 Bus & Coach Work

1982

COMENG sells shares to Australian National Industries

Smithfield Bus & Coach Works

1971

Smithfield Bus & Coach Works founded, after brother Bob & John Bosnjak purchase bus body building designs & jigs from Commonwealth Engineering (COMENG)

1982

Smithfield Bus & Coach is sold to Custom Coaches Manufacturing Company

Custom Bus Group

1911

Stanley Hillsdon starts manufacturing bycicle

1935

Stanley Hillsdon Founded Cycle Components Manufacturing Company (CCMC) in Guildford, Sydney, NSW

1946

Company awarded contract to manufacture reversible seats for Sydney Tram System

1955

CCMC successfully tendered to supply bodies for 125 single deck Leyland Royal Tiger, Worldmaster buses NSW Department of Government Transport

1957

First of 124 Bus Bodies on Leyland Worldmaster Chassis for NSW Department of Government Transport

Jack Violet (Hillsdons nephew by marriage), is employed as Operations Manager for the Bus Division

1962

CCMC Stanley Hillsdon passes control of the company to Jack Violet. During this time the company is renamed Custom Coaches Manufacturing Company

1967

CCMC enter into an agreement with Melbourne bodybuilder, WA Newnham & Sons, for CCMC to supply frames and other components

CCMC enter into agreements to supply components to Brisbane bodybuilder Watt Brothers

1972

CCMC enter into agreements to supply components to Perth based Transport Equipment builder Howard Porter (Image courtesy of Ian N. Lynas)

1981

CCMC (Custom Coaches manufacturing Company) Purchases Smithfield Bus & Coach Works from the Bosnjak family

1988

CCMC purchases WA Newnham & Sons with the business renamed Newnham Custom

1989

Consortium of CCMC, Bosnjak Group & John Hewson purchase PMC Australia after the collapse of Clifford Corporation

1995

New plant opened at Arundel on the Gold Coast

2000

Australian Bus Manufacturing in Adelaide is purchased

2001

Newnham Custom closes with production transferred to Adelaide

Custom Care Established

2002

Mark Burgess (Great-nephew of Hillsdon by marriage) became CEO of the company

2004

Australian Bus Manufacturing is rebranded as Custom Coaches

2005

Brothers Mark & Paul Burgess, with long-term business partner, Chris Absalom, complete the purchase of the business from Jack Violet & remains as Custom Coaches

2010

Sydney plant moved to new premises in Villawood

2012

Custom Coaches is purchased by British bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis

2014

May 2014 - Custom Coaches is placed into administration
August 2014 - The business is purchased back by Mark Burgess & Allegro. The company is renamed Custom Bus
September 2014 - The Royal Park, South Australia plant closes

2018

February 2018 - Custom Bus is again placed in administration
March 2018 - Custom Bus is purchased by the Dunn Group & Rebranded Custom Bus Group Pty Ltd

Denning Manufacturing

1950

Alan B Denning establishes his panel beating company

1956

Alan B Denning commences building buses, founding A.B Denning & Co

1968

Denning sells to Leyland Corporation Australia

1988

JRA Limited purchases Denning's biggest competitor Austral (Australian Manufacturing)

1990

JRA Limited closes the Denning plant in Acacia Ridge & moves production to the Austral Facility in Geebung

1992

Denning Plant in Acacia Ridge closes and operations are moved to the Austral factory. The business is then rebranded Austral Denning

1994

Alan B Denning Co is established

1996

JRA including all assets (Leyland, Austral Denning etc.) are sold to Clifford Corporation & rebranded Austral Pacific

1998

Clifford Corporation collapse

1996

Alan B Denning Co is placed in administration

AB Denning plant is purchased by Denning Manufacturing

2019

October 2019 - Denning purchased by the Dunn Group