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


Allison Transmission (NYSE: ALSN) is a leading designer and manufacturer of vehicle propulsion solutions for commercial and defense vehicles, the largest global manufacturer of medium- and heavy-duty fully automatic transmissions, and a leader in electrified propulsion systems that Improve the Way the World Works. Allison products are used in a wide variety of applications, including on-highway trucks (distribution, refuse, construction, fire and emergency), buses (school, transit and coach), motorhomes, off-highway vehicles and equipment (energy, mining and construction applications) and defense vehicles (tactical wheeled and tracked). Founded in 1915, the company is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. With a presence in more than 150 countries, Allison has regional headquarters in the Netherlands, China and Brazil, manufacturing facilities in the USA, Hungary and India, as well as global engineering resources, including electrification engineering centers in Indianapolis, Indiana, Auburn Hills, Michigan and London in the United Kingdom. Allison also has more than 1,400 independent distributor and dealer locations worldwide. For more information, visit