NEWS IN FOCUS
Demand Fuels Workhorse Return to RV Sector
”We are producing pilots right now and will be in full production in 2016,” Workhorse COO Caimin Flannery told RVBUSINESS.com.
Assets of Workhorse, whose lineage traces back to Chevrolet, were acquired in 2013 from Navistar International Corp. by AMP Trucks Inc., a manufacturer of electric-powered commercial vans and parent to Workhorse.
Workhorse, once a major supplier of gasoline-powered chassis to the RV industry, left the market in 2012. Currently, Ford Motor Co. is the only manufacturer supplying gas-powered chassis to the RV industry, according to Statistical Surveys Inc.
Initially, Workhorse Group will build W-16 and W-22 chassis with 16,000-pound and 22,500-pound GVWRs, respectively, with 6.0-liter and 8.8-liter engines produced by Power Solutions International (PSI), a manufacturer of powerplants used primarily in off-road vehicles.
Flannery said that AMP was urged by a number of RV manufacturers to go back into production with Workhorse chassis.
”The economic environment has caused a number of companies to approach us,” Flannery said. ”The relationships that the Workhorse team has had with the RV industry is being reinforced by marketing conditions.”
Workhorse Group’s president is Stoney Steenekamp, who formerly was president of Workhorse Custom Chassis LLC (WCC), and Vice President of Operations Bill Rutherford is a former WCC executive. Alan Farash, formerly WCC’s vice president of marketing, will be a special marketing adviser for Workhorse.
While Workhorse has no plans to offer an electric engine to the RV industry, ”One thing Workhorse now has is a lot of technological capabilities coming from its parent (AMP Trucks),” Flannery said.
”The great thing about this is that this is a restart. It’s not a new entry. We are confident that we will be able to gain the market position that Workhorse had previously.”
Flannery said the company will employ ”several hundred” workers, including many who formerly worked for WCC. ”They are very eager to come back to Workhorse,” Flannery said.