A Speedway-based recreational vehicle startup is partnering with an IndyCar manufacturer on cutting-edge technology. Dallara LLC is providing engineering expertise for what Global Caravan Technologies Inc. is calling the first carbon fiber RV in the world. Chief Executive Officer Charles Hoefer tells Inside INdiana Business the collaboration was launched during a visit with Dallara leadership at this year's Indianapolis 500. The CR-1 Carbon is set to be unveiled in December and will be followed by several other product launches.
Hoefer says the current facility is capable of production, but if the company meets its goals, it would search for a larger operation, but keep research and development in Speedway.
He says he would prefer to expand within the state.
Director of Business Development and Sales Bob Wiegand adds the company is targeting “the new RVer,” someone who has yet to enter the market because a product like this does not yet exist.
The vehicles are expected to retail from around $160,000 to more than $500,000.
Global Caravan Technologies' leadership team includes Hoefer, whose father co-founded Dutchmen RV and Four Winds RV, and President Harrison Ding, who recently served in a management role with International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM).
Source: Inside INdiana Business
September 20, 2013
SPEEDWAY, Ind. – A futuristic green super-luxury RV will soon be on display to the public, as today RV innovator Global Caravan Technologies (GCT) has announced that collaborations are underway to introduce the world's first carbon fiber RV, called 'CR-1 Carbon'. GCT's collaborations include the advice and expertise of IndyCar manufacturer Dallara.
Designed with an aerospace and supercar-inspired monocoque structure and connected vehicle technology, GCT's CR-1 Carbon is part of a series of upcoming product launches that will feature travel trailers and fifth wheels, then motorhomes and specialty vehicles. The CR-1 Carbon will be unveiled mid-December from Dallara's IndyCar Factory showroom in Speedway, Indiana during the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show, held in Indianapolis.
GCT product ranges include CR travel trailers and CR5 fifth wheels, in Luxury, Limited, Carbon and Custom models featuring industry-first floor plans and options. CR/CR5 pricing is expected to start from around $160,000MSRP to over $500,000MSRP for custom models. Fuel economy in tow will improve by as much as 100 percent, and much of the product is recyclable.
Interiors of the CR/CR5 ranges are new for their price points, and will feature large spaces with luxurious appointments. Designed with long-term and luxury camping in mind, amenities such as full height closets, tall ceilings, large walk-through master baths, oversize showers, washer and dryer, spacious kitchens, luxury flooring and private jet-inspired paneling are available.
Patent-pending exterior designs will reveal distinct body lines and new features for an RV. Unique CR/CR5 amenities include DryCamp, which is a completely off-grid power system, as well as MyControl, an iPad power management system which wirelessly controls an entire RV.
GCT has strategically engaged firms from the automotive, aerospace, and motorsports fields, including Dallara, the world's largest producers of racing cars. Headquartered in Italy and the USA, Dallara provides consultancies to advanced automotive and aerospace industries. GCT is integrating Dallara's storied history of racing and composite expertise into RV manufacturing.
Dallara USA CEO Stefano DePonti views Dallara's engagement with GCT as an evolution of Dallara consultancies. “For Dallara, helping GCT to design RVs applies our strengths in composites, testing, and vehicle dynamics, learned from decades of experience in racing car competition,” DePonti said. “It is fitting that Dallara is lending our advice and expertise to such a transformative project.”
The CR-1 Carbon's design includes collaborations with international designers, as well as Cinimod Innovation, a firm managed by Keith Nagara, Director of Lawrence Technological University's Transportation Design Program. Danny White, Director of Purdue Motorsports, is consulting to help GCT transform RV manufacturing, improving safety and standards.
GCT's board and management team includes seven veteran executives from IT, automotive, RV, and finance industries with extensive business experience throughout Europe, Asia, and North America, and are led by CEO Charles Hoefer, Jr. and President Husheng (Harrison) Ding.
Hoefer's family legacy in RV and manufactured housing industries includes multiple #1 selling brands and an appetite for innovation. Hoefer's father benchmarked the standards for today's RV manufacturing, and co-founded Dutchmen RV and Four Winds RV.
Ding's Fortune 500 management experience includes Cisco and high level positions with IBM. At IBM, Ding led a team of 400 global supply chain professionals, managing an annual $10 billion spend worldwide. Ding was awarded China's “Green IT Leader of the Year” in 2011.
GCT's manufacturing system allows for efficient production of stock and custom models, as well as for a diverse product mix. Says Hoefer, “GCT specializes in consumer-driven solutions. Our products meet specific needs, such as remote camping, tailgating, full-timing, high security, and connectivity. We know consumer interests vary, and we can build one-of-a-kind and specific-use products with automotive-level testing and validation.”
Ding's focus on global partnerships eliminates seasonal downturns that are common to the RV industry. “GCT's biggest competitive advantage is a global strategy leveraging partnerships across industries. Our product strategy is tailored for market acceptance in North America, Europe, and Australia, and also capitalizes on the high growth opportunity in China, where RV sales may approach the US in the coming decade,” Ding said.
GCT plans to make several more announcements in the upcoming weeks and months. To follow the CR-1 Carbon unveiling, visit www.gctrv.com/unveil.
ABOUT GLOBAL CARAVAN TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
Global Caravan Technologies, Inc. (GCT) is a luxury RV and specialty vehicle innovator, committed to exceeding expectations of consumers in luxury markets worldwide, by focusing on design, innovation, and sustainability. GCT has established a facility next to the Dallara IndyCar Factory in Speedway, Indiana to affirm its commitment to continuous innovation. For more information, visit www.gctrv.com/unveil, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT DALLARA USA
Dallara is a world-leader in the design and manufacture of racing cars. In July 2012, Dallara gave the strongest possible indication of its commitment to the US market by opening the Dallara IndyCar Factory in Speedway, Indiana. The center is a fully functioning R&D facility and a consultancy partner to the US automotive, aerospace, and motorsports industries. For more information, visit www.indycarfactory.com, or www.dallara.it.
Source: Global Caravan Technologies Inc.