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All Fleetwood Class A diesel pusher motorhomes will be powered by Caterpillar C-series engines by the end of the 2005 model year, spokesmen for Riverside, Calif.-based Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. confirmed.
And although other Fleetwood diesel products are to remain on both Freightliner and Spartan chassis for now, Fleetwood’s highline diesel-powered brands, including the Providence, Excursion, Revolution and the three American Coach lines – Heritage, Eagle and Tradition – are to be assembled as of Aug. 1 exclusively on Cat-powered chassis manufactured by Spartan Motors Inc., Charlotte, Mich.
This strategy is designed to streamline service issues for Fleetwood motorhome owners in the years ahead. “We went through negotiations with Freightliner (Freightliner Custom Chassis LLC) and Spartan and determined we wanted to do a single source for our high-end diesel pushers,’” a Fleetwood spokesman said. “We are still in negotiations with Workhorse (Workhorse Custom Chassis LLC), Freightliner and Spartan for the Bounder, Expedition and Discovery brands.”
In a letter to Fleetwood dealers, President and CEO Edward B. Caudill said that most diesel pusher motorhomes in Fleetwood’s lineup were to be equipped with Caterpillar power plants by the end of May. “Fleetwood will complete the transition (to Caterpillar engines) with American Coach by the end of the ’05 model year,” Caudill wrote.
Peoria, Ill.-based Caterpillar’s four C-series diesel engines provide 325 hp to 625 hp. Previously, Fleetwood equipped many of its motorhomes with engines manufactured by Cummins Inc., Columbus, Ind.
“The change (to Caterpillar engines) is a corporate strategic initiative to align ourselves with world-class organizations when it really makes a difference,” said Luc Van Herle, Fleetwood director of RV product planning, noting that last year Fleetwood began exclusive use of DuPont paint products and Goodyear tires. “We want to start working on the performance of motorhomes in alignment with a supplier like Caterpillar.”
Caudill told Fleetwood dealers they will have the opportunity to become certified Caterpillar service centers and that, initially, service will be provided at 360 Caterpillar distributors throughout the country.
“The transition aligns Fleetwood with a company that long has set the standard for building the world’s best diesel engines,” Caudill wrote.