Monaco & International form joint venture for motorhome chassis

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Gary RV_Wizard

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Press release...

Monaco Coach Corporation Signs Definitive Agreement with International Truck and Engine Corporation for Chassis Manufacturing Joint Venture

COBURG, Ore., Jan. 25, 2007 -- Monaco Coach Corporation , one of the nation's leading manufacturers of recreational vehicles, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to form a joint venture with International Truck and Engine Corporation to manufacture rear engine diesel chassis.

Under the joint venture agreement, Monaco Coach Corporation and International will own 49 percent and 51 percent, respectively, of the newly formed company called Custom Chassis Products, LLC. Initial plans call for the joint venture to manufacture more than 5,000 diesel chassis in the first year.

"The opportunity to team up our best-in-class chassis with the resources of International Truck and Engine will allow Monaco Coach to fine tune what we are already building and grow our business with additional one-of-a-kind chassis designs," said Kay Toolson, Chairman and CEO of Monaco Coach Corporation.

Tom Cellitti, Vice President and General Manager of Medium Vehicle Center for International Truck and Engine, stated, "This exciting development further strengthens International's commitment and capabilities within the RV market. The acquisition of Workhorse in late 2005, coupled with this announcement, positions the company as a true full line supplier of chassis to the RV market."

The transaction, which will be subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in February, and will be immediately accretive to Monaco Coach Corporation. The joint venture will begin production in February, and Monaco Coach Corporation will lease its 210,000 square foot Roadmaster chassis plant, located in Elkhart, Ind. to the joint venture.

About International Truck and Engine Corporation
International Truck and Engine Corporation produces IC brand school buses, school bus chassis, mid-range diesel engines, International brand medium and heavy trucks, and severe service vehicles. International also provides parts and service sold under the International(R) brand. International is a subsidiary of Navistar International Corporation . For additional information call Roy Wiley 630-753-2627.

About Monaco Coach Corporation
Dedicated to quality and service, Monaco Coach Corporation is one of the nation's leading manufacturers of motorized and towable recreational vehicles. Headquartered in Coburg, Oregon, with substantial manufacturing facilities in Indiana, Monaco Coach employs approximately 6,000 people. The Company offers entry-level priced towable RVs up to custom made luxury recreational vehicle models under the Monaco, Holiday Rambler, Safari, Beaver, McKenzie, R-Vision and Dodge brand names. Monaco Coach maintains RV service centers in Harrisburg, Ore., Elkhart, Ind., and Wildwood, Fla.

Ranked as the number one manufacturer of diesel powered motorhomes, Monaco Coach is a leader in innovative RVs designed to meet the needs of a broad range of customers with varied interests. Monaco Coach Corporation trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "MNC," and the Company is included in the S&P Small-Cap 600 stock index. For additional information about Monaco Coach Corporation, please visit Monaco Online.com or [www.trail-lite.com]Trail Lite.com[/url].

The statements above regarding Monaco Coach Corporation's expectations with regard to the joint venture, including the anticipated closing and commencement of production, production expectations, and the immediate accretive nature of the transaction to Monaco Coach Corporation, are forward- looking statements subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from these statements, including failure of the joint venture to achieve anticipated production volumes and/or cost savings and failure of the parties to satisfy one or more closing conditions and to close the transaction.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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This effectively merges Monaco's Roadmaster Chassis production with International's engine and chassis business. International also bought Workhorse Custom Chassis in late 2005, so International is now positioned as a major force in the RV chassis business, both gas and diesel. I would guess we will also see Roadmaster-like chassis under other brands of motorhomes and maybe some International/Navistar diesel engines in Monaco coaches in the future.
 

Ned

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Should make it easier to find service too, having a chassis made by a chassis company and not a motor home company.
 

Jeff

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I wonder how they came up with Custom Chassis Produsts LLC as such an original name? Nothing like Freightliner Custom Chassis LLC  ;D
 

Tom

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Terry A. Brewer said:
Want to bet that the new chassis will come with IFS.

Be sure you don't bet the ranch Terry; There's no reason to change a proven design. When a friend visited the Country Coach factory not so long ago, he reported that they were beginning to build coaches without IFS  :eek:  Maybe CC finally came to their senses  ???  Other manufacturers might take longer to figure it out.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Want to bet that the new chassis will come with IFS.

Having test driven some Roadmaster chassis rigs, I see no reason to lament the lack of an IFS. It performs quite well, in my estimation.  Personally, I think the Roadmaster H-frame suspension is an independent suspension - just not the traditional design of such.
 

Ron

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When we were shopping it was the IFS that made the difference.  We drove several coaches with and without IFS in the final run all the non-IFS coaches were illiminated.  We did notice a difference and are glad we made the choice we did.
 

chrpennings

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Hi,

Please let us not start that war again I.F.S versus non I.F.S
Most of us haven't yet figured out what is better a Blond or Brunette :D

chris
 

JerArdra

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I have found that there are so many other features in a MH that are more important, TO ME, than IFS or non-IFS which front suspension is available is way down the list of deal breakers.

JerryF
 

Terry A. Brewer

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Tom

Just checked the Country Coach website & even their lowest priced coach the Tribute offered Independent Front Suspension with an enviable 57 degrees wheel cut.....Your friend must not know what IFS suspensions look like.<G>

As you know I don't have IFS & it rides fine....But I will bet Betty's house that Monaco changes to IFS sooner or later & this would be the perfect opportunity.
 

ArdraF

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Having test driven some Roadmaster chassis rigs, I see no reason to lament the lack of an IFS. It performs quite well, in my estimation.

Gary, this is true.  Both the Roadmaster chassis Windsor and Executive have been extremely satisfactory.  I don't think we've ever been in a situation with either one in which we wished we had IFS.  We've been in a lot of tight turns, but the important thing was the length of the coach, not the turning radius.  I'd rather concentrate on a floorplan we both like and other features.

ArdraF
 

JerArdra

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I noticed in the press release that Monaco is leasing it's Roadmaster Chassis plant in Indiana to International.  This may mean that International may also build Roadmaster Chassis or that Roadmaster Chassis will only be built in Oregon for the "highline" (spelled x-pen-sive) coaches.  Who knows, maybe Monaco sells so many coaches that use a rail chassis that they need International to built ALL their rail chassis.

If so this could lead to all highline Roadmaster Chassis diesel coaches being built in Oregon and all rail coaches to be built in Indiana.  It would save a lot of money, not having to ship raw chassis.

As Terry said, if Monaco was ever going to go with IFS this is the perfect time to do it because of the 49% purchase of International.

The bottom line is that it will be interesting to see the future changes at Monaco.

I went to the Monaco web site and, for the record, Monaco says the Roadmaster Chasis has a 50 degree wheel cut.

JerryF
 

Ray D

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I was hoping someone else would ask this.

"The acquisition of Workhorse in late 2005, "

I have  a Damon Challenger with the Chevy Workhorse. Are we talking about the same Workhorse? If so, will this affect my chassis service, anywhere, either way, in the future? Any Speculation?  ???

Ray D
 

JerArdra

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RayD,

In the past whenever Monaco bought some other company they honored ALL existing warranties without question. 

Now, on the other hand, this may not apply to folks that live in Boise but I'm sure that wouldn't affect you, would it?  :)  :)  :)

JerryF
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Are we talking about the same Workhorse?

International bought Workhorse Custom Chassis (yes, your Workhorse) in late 2005 and WCC continues to operate as before, as a wholly owned subsidiary of International.  Your warranty and service are unaffected in any way, Ray.

By the way, it is not and never was a Chevy Workhorse.  Just a Workhorse, which happens to use a GMC engine in the gas-powered models. [But it is true that Workhorse bought Chevrolet's RV chassis tooling and business from them when they first started out.]
 

caltex

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Terry, as we toured the country coach factory last summer, they had a Tribute up on a rack doing some work on the undercarriage.  This particular unit had a solid front axle.  When I inquired as to why they would use a solid axle, the answer was that they started that way to keep the cost low, but had changed their mind and were going to IFS on all production units.  I know that there was at least one Tribute made with a solid front axle.
 
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