Gulf Stream Coach Inc. has unveiled the new Crescendo-brand diesel pusher, which is intended to compete with high-end gasoline and entry-level diesels by retailing for about $140,000.
The Crescendo was first shown to dealers Monday (June 2), the opening day of Gulf Stream’s national dealer meeting in Nappanee, Ind.
The company anticipates representatives of 150 dealerships will attend the gathering, which will end next Monday (June 9), according to Brian Shea, president of Gulf Stream’s motorized operations.
The Crescendo is a 36-foot double slideout unit that Gulf Stream decided to build for model year 2004 to be “one more bridge from the gasoline to diesel categories,” Shea said. “It will give our dealers some ammunition against manufacturers that have overbuilt their product and now they are going to have to discount it in the field.”
The Crescendo comes equipped with a 330-horsepower 7.2-liter Caterpillar engine matched to a Cummins MH 3000 automatic transmission on a 27,910-pound gross vehicle weight-rated Freightliner raised-rail chassis.
It also features flush-floor bedroom and living room superslides, hardwood cabinets, crown molding, solid oak interior, two 27-inch TVs, soft-touch ceiling, laminated flooring, ducted air conditioning, Corian-edged countertops and a hidden ceiling surround-sound speaker system option.
“We want the Crescendo to have the eyeball appeal necessary to make a sale,” said Vice President of Sales and Marketing Claude Donati. “The Crescendo is at a key price point that gives dealers a good margin. It’s going to cause the market to think a little bit about which direction to go. We are going to be offering a big diesel selling for the same prices as our competitors’ high-end gas models.”
Shea said the Crescendo will be able to compete as an affordable diesel in part because of lean manufacturing techniques the company began employing in the late 1990s that allow costs and inventory to be tightly controlled.
“Some of our cost structure is directly relatable to efficiencies we’ve been able to generate – taking the waste out of manufacturing and training our people in these methods,” he explained. “We’ve spent millions of dollars training our people over the last five or six years. It’s driven our competitiveness.”