Charlotte bus maker sees green in hybrids

Inside a 100,000-square-foot plant in southwest Charlotte, the production line rumbles with power tools and clanging steel. More than 50 workers assemble the frames and inside seating for green, blue and black buses that run off battery-powered motors.

DesignLine International buses generate less noise and pollution than normal diesel-powered buses. The quiet, environmentally friendly ride has landed the Charlotte company more than two years' worth of contracts, including recent public transit orders from Baltimore and New York.

The company's revenue has more than doubled since CEO Brad Glosson and his father brought company headquarters here from New Zealand in 2006.

In Charlotte, never considered a vehicle manufacturing center, DesignLine is finding success. It is one of a growing number of local companies looking to make money in the recession by tapping into the public's and politicians' desires for more environmentally friendly practices.

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