Workhorse Custom Chassis will begin regular production of its R Series diesel pusher motorhome chassis during June to better coincide with motorhome manufacturers’ introduction of their 2004 models, according to Tony Monda, director of marketing.
Prototype building will begin during May, Monda added.
Earlier, Workhorse officials said diesel pusher chassis production would begin in Hagerstown, Ind., in late February or early March.
However, Monda said it will take a little more time to convert a former Dana Corp. auto axle assembly operation in Hagerstown, in East Central Indiana, into a motorhome chassis assembly plant.
The war-related slowdown in the motorhome sector was not the reason for the delay, according to Monda. “Our outlook (for the motorhome sector) is very positive.”
Currently, Workhorse, a unit of Highland Park, Ill.-based Grand Vehicle Works Holdings LLC, and Ford Motor Co. are the only suppliers of gasoline engine Class A motorhome chassis.
Gas engine chassis account for around 60% of the Class A motorhome market, so entry into the diesel segment will allow Workhorse to compete in the entire Class A market, Monda said.
In the diesel segment, Workhorse will compete against Spartan Motors Inc. and the Freightliner Custom Chassis subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler Corp.
The Workhorse R Series chassis will come with a standard 350-horsepower (hp) Cummins engine, with 400-hp and 330-hp Cummins engines available as options. In all cases, the engine will be matched with an Allison 3000 six-speed automatic transmission.
Workhorse also collaborated with ArvinMeritor to design the SmartChassis that includes two air springs positioned slightly ahead of the front axle, which provides a smoother ride, enhanced sway control and more durability and reliability due to fewer moving parts.
R Series chassis test drives will be offered during the Great North American RV Rally in Louisville June 16-19.