General Motors Corp. has turned to Class A chassis-maker Workhorse Custom Chassis LLC, Highland Park, Ill., to market a new 14,050-pound GVWR Chevy/Workhorse Class C cutaway chassis that should rival Ford’s own big cutaway.
“The combination of GM’s quality manufacturing and leading-edge power trains along with Workhorse’s RV focused sales and marketing service and day-to-day commitment to the RV industry provides a product and service enhancing match that will be second to none,” said Ross D. Hendrix, marketing director for General Motors commercial vans.
“We have significantly raised the bar about what you should expect from a chassis manufacturer,” said Eric R. Schwartz, Workhorse business development specialist.
During a press conference at the Louisville trade show, Hendrix and Schwartz promised the new Class C chassis will provide a more car-like ride with beefed-up suspension, higher-capacity heavy-duty rear axles and ride-enhancing rear stabilizer systems. Production of the chassis is set to launch in February at GM’s Wentzville (Mo.) Assembly Center.
Equipped with a 6.1 liter, 330-hp Chevy Vortex V-8 gasoline engine, the Chevy/Workhorse chassis should get 10.4 miles-per-gallon at highway speeds, Schwartz said.
Hendrix said Chevy will continue to manufacture and market Chevy cutaway chassis with 9,300- and 12,300-pound GVWRs, and will offer a diesel option for the new 14,050 chassis in 2006, which presumably will increase gas mileage.
Service for the Chevy/Workhorse chassis will be provided by any Chevrolet dealer and many of Workhorse’s more than 550 service centers nationwide. In addition, each chassis will be furnished with a list of Chevy and Workhorse dealers that focus on RVs.
“Workhorse’s role will be to manage all the relationships with RV dealers and RV owners,” Schwartz said. Those include marketing, sales training, advertising, ride-and-drive demos and service and support, he added.
“We believe the Chevy/Workhorse chassis will bring many first-time motorhome buyers and renters into the RV market,” Schwartz affirmed.
Hendrix said the developmental changes in Workhorse’s W-series chassis since Workhorse purchased Chevy’s P-30 chassis from General Motors in 1999 convinced GM to establish the partnership, rather than go it alone with the new chassis.
“We could have done this like we did our lighter chassis,” Hendrix told RV Business. “But in today’s environment that was not the way to go. RV chassis are Workhorse’s business, and they are excellent marketers.”