Supreme Enters Industry with Tow Coach
Silver Crown, a new division of Supreme Corp., began production of a line of diesel-powered luxury motor tow coaches July 10 at a new White Pigeon, Mich., plant. The first Silver Crown coach was expected to roll off the assembly line in late August, according to General Manager Chris Miller.
The luxury coaches are built on Class 8 type Freightliner chassis and feature three slideouts and all the amenities of a Class A motorhome, Miller said. Silver Crown is building the first units on a “semi-spec basis with some customization still available,” according to Miller, with an MSRP of about $300,000. Silver Crown also will build matching 28- to 48-foot trailers.
On Feb. 28, Supreme, a manufacturer of commercial truck bodies based in Goshen, Ind., moved into the RV industry for the first time with the purchase of Pony Xpress Inc. of Benton, Ind., for approximately $1.6 million. Pony Xpress was a manufacturer of highly specialized luxury “toterhome” products principally for the race car industry. Supreme subsequently announced plans to move the two-year-old operation to a 50,000-square-foot complex in White Pigeon formerly owned by Centurion Vehicles.
Miller hopes to build 20 luxury coaches this first year and 50 to 75 the second year and projected sales to reach $6 million the first year and $15 million in the second. “Those are good growth numbers,” he said
“Our customers are fairly well to do from a financial standpoint, people who own their own business or are in management,” he added. “Their lifestyle keys into our type of product. They just don’t go out on the weekend and sit in the campground; they do some other activity that requires a power sport machine. They are people who like to play with ‘toys.’ Our product allows them to have all the amenities in a motorhome and gives them the ability to pull the trailer that has all the toys in it.”
The Pony Xpress name will be retained on all toterhomes, motorhomes and the garage-model motorhome built in the Michigan plant. Pony Xpress builds on the Kodiak 5500 Class C chassis.
Also, within a year, plans call for Silver Crown to incorporate the production of emergency command centers into its production line. Entering the high-end of command centers was part of Supreme’s intention when it acquired Pony Xpress, Miller said, “as well as growing the product of Pony Xpress and developing products for the home security, mobile command center, which is something Supreme is involved in. This allows them to go to the higher end of that.”
These high-end command facilities could include multiple computer stations, LCD TV sets and emergency transmitting equipment.
Supreme already is building some smaller-scale command facilities, he said.
“There is an enormous amount of offerings in that (small-scale) area but they are somewhat similar. This gives Supreme the ability to grow more into the high end of those markets,” Miller said.
Silver Crown has about 20 employees. Within the year, Miller hopes to raise employment to around 30, he said. Supreme has manufacturing and distribution facilities throughout the U.S. and about 2,300 employees. Silver Crown is Supreme’s first manufacturing operation in Michigan.