Thor Industries Inc.’s Airstream subsidiary and Fleetwood Enterprises Inc.’s RV Group are working with auto design studios to develop break-through interior and/or exterior designs for RVs, according to the Detroit News.
Airstream has a joint venture with DaimlerChrysler AG and is working with Nissan Motor Co.’s design studio in California, the newspaper reported.
A prototype of the Nissan-designed Airstream Base Camp, a 15-foot trailer with an integrated tent, was shown during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last month after being introduced during the National RV Trade Show in Louisville in early December.
The Base Camp will be light enough to be towed by the typical passenger vehicle and Airstream President and CEO Richard “Dicky” Riegel said the company’s goal is for it to retail at around $16,500.
Airstream also plans to bring the new Westfalia Sprinter Class B motorhome to market in April, according to the News. The Westfalia uses DaimlerChrysler’s Sprinter van chassis, which is marketed in North America as both a Dodge and a Freightliner product, with the interior equipment installation being done by Airstream.
Fleetwood was not ready to disclose any details except to say that it was “working with the West Coast design studio of a European luxury carmaker on styling future products,” according to the newspaper.
“There’s a very strong design ethic that’s permeating many industries,” Scott Grafft, Fleetwood’s senior vice president for strategic planning and market development, told The News. “Design can create better linkage between what you make and what consumers want.”