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Old 05-07-2008, 10:47 AM   #1
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From the Australian SWAGMAN web site.


Swagman Motorhomes signs strategic agreement with major Chinese company
Exciting joint venture deal with leading Chinese manufacturer, Zhongtong
Swagman Motorhomes, Australia's largest manufacturer of A-Class motorhomes, has signed a joint venture agreement with Zhongtong Bus Holding. The joint venture has taken over 12 months to finalise and plays an important part in Swagman's plans to expand internationally.

The official signing of the agreement between Swagman and Zhongtong was observed by Anna Bligh, the Premier of Queensland, as part of her China Trade mission.

Swagman see the partnership with Zhongtong as a great opportunity to grow the brand internationally by establishing a low-cost base for both the emerging Chinese market and the lucrative North American market.
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Old 05-07-2008, 10:47 AM   #2
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From the Australian SWAGMAN web site.


Swagman Motorhomes signs strategic agreement with major Chinese company
Exciting joint venture deal with leading Chinese manufacturer, Zhongtong
Swagman Motorhomes, Australia's largest manufacturer of A-Class motorhomes, has signed a joint venture agreement with Zhongtong Bus Holding. The joint venture has taken over 12 months to finalise and plays an important part in Swagman's plans to expand internationally.

The official signing of the agreement between Swagman and Zhongtong was observed by Anna Bligh, the Premier of Queensland, as part of her China Trade mission.

Swagman see the partnership with Zhongtong as a great opportunity to grow the brand internationally by establishing a low-cost base for both the emerging Chinese market and the lucrative North American market.
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Old 05-07-2008, 11:34 AM   #3
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At least we're still considered a lucrative market.
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Old 05-07-2008, 12:19 PM   #4
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And it comes with an Allison 3000 6 speed auto transmission and an International MAXXFORCE 9.3 liter 6 Cylinder Diesel Engine (41' model) rated at 300 Hp.

How about that 3 Year Bumper to Bumper Warranty and the 5 Year Structural warranty on the body? Should be a trend setter.
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Old 05-08-2008, 11:28 AM   #5
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With all the other stuff from China that breaks, fades or poisons us, I'm not about to invest in a motorhome that part of it is made there.
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Old 05-08-2008, 01:14 PM   #6
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WOW
with swagman and zhongtong - will they call their MH swagman thong??


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Old 05-08-2008, 02:13 PM   #7
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Did anyone else go to the Swagman web site and look at these beauties? I was impressed. A one piece body. 3yr. bumper to bumper warranty. Maybe the Aussies hsould come to N.A. and teach us how to build a MH !!!


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Old 05-08-2008, 04:23 PM   #8
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Did you notice that a used 2005 31 footer was $420,000?

Best,
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Old 05-08-2008, 04:34 PM   #9
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Australia-based Swagman Motorhomes is rapidly moving forward with its plans to produce Chinese-built Class A's for the overseas and North American markets.

The company is displaying its first fully Chinese-built Class A, a 28-foot rear-engine diesel pusher, at the May 16-18 "RV China 2008" international recreational vehicle show in Shanghai. It plans to begin regular production of Class A's for the Chinese and, subsequently, Australian markets in August and hopes to begin exporting units out of China to the U.S in the first quarter of 2009.

"It depends on how the U.S. economy is going. We want to be there as the economy starts to turn up," said Swagman CEO Neil Ingram, noting that the company is looking to partner with a U.S. manufacturer that offers a national dealer network to sell the coaches.

Chinese exports to the U.S. will include 25-, 28- and 31-foot Class A's, all rear-engine diesel pushers. He anticipates pricing the units in the $120,000-$150,000 range, providing a more fuel-efficient alternative to gasoline engine models in that price range.

Diesel-powered units have been fast-growing segments in both the Class A and Class C markets in the U.S. They accounted for 52% of Class A retail sales in 2007, compared to 50.5% the prior year, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., Grand Rapids, Mich.

"Our units will be somewhat unique," Ingram said, noting that in the U.S. most Class A's under 33 feet are front-engine and predominantly gas-powered.

From a production standpoint, Swagman will ship motorhome bodies to Zhongtong's plant from its Australian operations on the Gold Coast in Queensland. The bodies, featuring a high-strength, one-piece, carbon fiber/Kevlar construction, are designed to be lighter, structurally stronger and more rigid than individual wall construction. They are fully molded and seamless and incorporate the roof, sidewalls and rear and front headers.

The new Chinese-built Class A's will be powered by a 200-hp MaxxForce5 V-6 turbo-diesel engine produced by Navistar International Truck and Engine Corp., mated to an Allison automatic transmission. The chassis, specifically designed for motorhomes, includes a full 6-air bag suspension, traction control and ABS braking system.

As part of its joint venture deal with China, Swagman retains full control over the materials and all aspects of the build process, including inspection and quality control.

"That was a major factor in our joint venture agreement," said Ingram. "They have to be built to our standard of quality and fit and finish. We don't want the units to be any different from the ones we sell here (Australia)."

Ingram expects the Chinese-market units to sell for an average $300,000 each considerably more than those in the U.S. "In China, we can ask for more money because of the demand. In the U.S., we want to hit specific price points," Ingram said.

The exchange rate of the Chinese Yuan to the dollar (6.98 Yuan = $1 dollar, at the end of April) still gives manufacturers there a tremendous cost advantage. As Ingram noted, "It's an effective cost base to export to anywhere in the world."

As far as breaking into the U.S. market, Ingram said the company has received "quite a few inquiries" from U.S. motorhome manufacturers and dealers interested in handling its products, but hasn't made any decisions yet.

"We're still in the process of developing a strategy that we're comfortable with from a sales and aftermarket point of view. There are a lot of things to consider and people to sift through," said Ingram. But he appears to favor distributing his products in some type of partnership arrangement through an existing U.S. motorhome manufacturer.

"I've had some inquiries with from existing motorhome manufacturers with substantial dealerships across America, and that's one of our options," said Ingram. "Going in with a partner can be a major advantage. We could align our brand with their brand, which would be beneficial from a (customer) acceptance point of view. And you have the leverage of that company to distribute that product."

Ingram said the U.S. motorhome manufacturer would benefit from having three new products to increase its sales and market share, without having to invest in R&D and tooling. The units themselves could carry the brands of both the American builder and Swagman.

A partner could also help Swagman in making any modifications and meeting all U.S. market requirements. "The distributor would have a big input into any product," Ingram added.

Swagman has been adept at creating such partnerships to grow its RV operations. It struck a $100 million joint venture deal with Zhongtong Bus Holding in China to produce the units. Zhongtong, one of China's largest and most technically advanced bus manufacturers, produces over 10,000 buses a year.

The motorhomes will be sourced at its plant, located halfway between Shanghai and Beijing. First-year production is targeted at 200 motorhomes. China will get the bulk of that first year's production and Australia the balance.

Swagman has also teamed with Australian-based Motorhome World to set up its own dealership network through mainland Australian capital cities and in New Zealand. It also struck a deal to distribute Airstream motorhomes and travel trailers through that dealer network.

The company has also been a long-time manufacturer of Class A's for the Australian market, built on Monaco Coach Corp., Coburg
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Old 05-08-2008, 04:54 PM   #10
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hope they remember to move the steering wheel to the other side.
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Old 05-08-2008, 05:08 PM   #11
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If the cooktop was designed around a wok I might be interested!
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Old 05-08-2008, 05:28 PM   #12
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Ah so. Every coach comes with rice cooker and the headlights are "slanted".

Amelicans gona ruv dis coach.

Only trouble is that by the time they go on sale in the U.S the price of diesel fuel will be $12 per gallon.
Solly Charly. Me no want.
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Old 05-09-2008, 05:16 PM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Did you notice that a used 2005 31 footer was $420,000? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
You Bet! Another reason I won't have one.
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Old 05-17-2008, 08:22 PM   #14
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I hope they have better QC than their school building code inspectors.
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