Chinese Launching U.S. Motorhome Line?
In what could amount to a major breaking news story for the U.S. RV industry, China’s Yutong Bus Co. Ltd. has invited RV industry suppliers to a ”special meeting” next Tuesday (Aug. 3) in Elkhart to discuss the ”planned introduction of a new series of Class A motorhomes.”
The invitation was e-mailed to suppliers by Bill Horvath, a veteran of the U.S. RV arena who is listed as product manager of Yutong’s motorhome division, part of a major bus manufacturer based in Zhengzhou, China.
The invitation notes that there will be an introduction of the company, including a descriptive outline of the company’s products, a presentation on issues related to the international supply chain (payment, packaging, documentation, freight costs, timeline, etc.) and the importance of U.S. suppliers.
Private meetings will be scheduled for the remainder of the week, according to the invitation.
While there was no description of the new line in the invitation, a four-page spec sheet termed the ”original wish list” was included. It noted that the unnamed fiberglass-and-aluminum motorhome will have 28- to 30-foot floorplans on 22,000-pound GVWR chassis equipped with 250/280-hp Cummins or Navistar diesel engines.
Amenities will include solid-surface countertops, leather sofas and swivel rockers.
Interestingly, retail customers apparently will be offered $500 Wal-Mart gift cards and a $1,000 discount on airfare to China for factory visits.
Efforts to reach Horvath were not successful. No MSRP was stated in the invitation.
The Yutong website (www.yutong.com) describes the company as a large-scale industrial group mainly specializing in buses but also involved in construction machinery, automotive parts and components and real estate that is one of China’s top 500 enterprises.
The company’s 3.6 million-square-foot Chinese factory has a daily capacity of more than 170 unit buses, which makes Yutong ”the most technically advanced manufacturer of large and medium-sized buses around the world (becoming) China’s largest professional bus manufacturer with sales volume ranked second worldwide next to that of Mercedes-Benz,” according to the website.