Spartan Motors Inc. of Charlotte, Mich., introduced the Summit chassis with a rear-mounted diesel engine, an entry-level platform with three variants. The Summit, which ranges in gross vehicle weight from 19,000 to 24,500 pounds, is designed to compete at the low end of the rear-mounted diesel chassis market. The new Summit line also will compete with larger gasoline-engined chassis, which are used on some Class A motor homes. The Summit 'is really designed to get people to stretch above a front engine gas chassis,' said Spartan President John Sztykiel.
Freightliner Specialty Vehicles Corp. of Portland, Ore., introduced the Sport-Chassis, a recreational tow vehicle based on the Freightliner Business Class truck. The SportChassis, with a towing capacity of more than 28,000 pounds, is designed for owners of boats, RVs, horse trailers and the like. Freightliner said the SportChassis will go into production in the first quarter of next year and will retail for $80,000 and up, depending on option packages.
SUPER DUTY TOWER
Scherer Truck Equipment Inc. of Louisville introduced a tow vehicle based on a dual-rear-wheel Ford Super Duty pickup. The Super Duty Tower features a plastic composite pickup box with integral storage bins, air suspension, and a choice of three hitches. The truck can tow trailer weights from 6,100 to 18,800 pounds, Scherer said. The dealer price for the truck conversion package is $19,500.
At a dealer meeting, Fleet-wood Enterprises Inc. of Riverside, Calif., unveiled its new Fleetwood Dealer Net-work, an Internet-based electronic network designed to improve communications and parts ordering. The RV maker is trying to improve its warranty parts process through an initiative called 'Right Parts First Time.' ARI Network Services Inc. is developing the network for Fleetwood.
Winnebago Industries Inc. of Forest City, Iowa, announced a marketing tie with Cabela's Inc., an outfitter of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear. Cabela's will display Winnebago motor homes at its Sportsman's Quest sporting events and in its catalogs. Cabela's operates retail outlets and ships 80 million mail-order catalogs annually. Winnebago also said its backlog of unfilled orders for all types of motor homes reached 2,700 units, the highest level in its history.