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Startup GCT Plans Carbon Fiber RV Unveiling

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September 20, 2013 by   Leave a Comment

(L-R) GCT CEO Charles Hoefer, Dallara USA CEO Stefano DePonti and GCT President Harrison Ding during a product meeting at the Dallara IndyCar Factory

A futuristic luxury RV utilizing green technology will soon be on display to the public, as Global Caravan Technologies (GCT) today (Sept. 20) announced that collaborations are under way to introduce the world’s first carbon fiber RV, called ‘CR-1 Carbon.’ According to a press release, GCT’s collaborations include the advice and expertise of IndyCar manufacturer Dallara.

Designed with an aerospace and supercar-inspired monocoque structure and connected vehicle technology, GCT’s CR-1 Carbon is part of a series of upcoming product launches that will feature travel trailers and fifth-wheels, followed by motorhomes and specialty vehicles.

The CR-1 Carbon will be unveiled mid-December from Dallara’s IndyCar Factory showroom in Speedway, Ind., during the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show, held in Indianapolis.

GCT product ranges include CR travel trailers and CR5 fifth-wheels in Luxury, Limited, Carbon and Custom models featuring industry-first floorplans and options. CR/CR5 pricing is expected to start from around $160,000 MSRP to over $500,000 MSRP for custom models.

Fuel economy in tow will “improve by as much as 100%,” according to GCT, and much of the product is recyclable. Interiors of the CR/CR5 ranges are new for their price points and will feature large spaces with luxury appointments. Designed with long-term and luxury camping in mind, amenities such as full-height closets, tall ceilings, large walk-through master baths, oversized showers, washer and dryer, spacious kitchens, luxury flooring and private jet-inspired paneling are available.

Patent-pending exterior designs will reveal distinct body lines and new features for an RV.

Unique CR/CR5 amenities include DryCamp, which is a completely off-grid power system, as well as MyControl, an iPad power management system which wirelessly controls an entire RV.

GCT has strategically engaged firms from the automotive, aerospace and motorsports fields, including Dallara, the world’s largest producers of racing cars. Headquartered in Italy and the USA, Dallara is a consultant to advanced automotive and aerospace industries. GCT is integrating Dallara’s history of racing and composite expertise into RV manufacturing.

“For Dallara, helping GCT to design RVs applies our strengths in composites, learned from decades of experience in racing car competition,” said Dallara USA CEO Stefano DePonti. “It is fitting that Dallara is lending our advice and expertise to such a transformative project.”

The CR-1 Carbon’s design includes collaborations with international designers, as well as Cinimod Innovation, a firm managed by Keith Nagara, director of Lawrence Technological University’s Transportation Design Program. Danny White, director of Purdue Motorsports, is consulting to help GCT transform RV manufacturing, improving safety and standards.

GCT’s board and management team includes seven veteran executives from IT, automotive, RV and finance industries with extensive business experience throughout Europe, Asia, and North America, and are led by CEO Charles Hoefer, Jr. and President Husheng (Harrison) Ding.

Hoefer’s family legacy in RV and manufactured housing industries includes multiple No.1 selling brands and an “appetite for innovation.” Hoefer’s father, Dave, co-founded Dutchmen RV and Four Winds RV.

Ding’s Fortune 500 management experience includes Cisco and high level positions with IBM. At IBM, Ding led a team of 400 global supply chain professionals, managing an annual $10 billion spend worldwide. Ding was awarded China’s “Green IT Leader of the Year” in 2011.

GCT’s manufacturing system allows for efficient production of stock and custom models, as well as for a diverse product mix. “GCT specializes in consumer-driven solutions,” Hoefer said. “Our products meet specific needs, such as remote camping, tailgating, full-timing, high security and connectivity. We know consumer interests vary, and we can build one-of-a-kind and specific use products with automotive-level testing and validation.”

Ding’s focus on global partnerships eliminates seasonal downturns that are common to the RV industry. “GCT’s biggest competitive advantage is a global strategy leveraging partnerships across industries. Our product strategy is tailored for market acceptance in North America, Europe, and Australia, and also capitalizes on the high growth opportunity in China, where RV sales may approach the US in the coming decade,” Ding said.

GCT plans to make several more announcements in the upcoming weeks and months. To follow the CR-1 Carbon unveiling, visit www.gctrv.com/unveil.

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