Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation to Offer Front-Engine Diesel Chassis Option for RV Customers

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GAFFNEY, S.C.…Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC) announced today that it will produce a front-engine diesel motorhome chassis. The combination of a front-engine chassis with a diesel engine presents a unique combination of benefits for RV manufacturers and RV owners alike. This new configuration is nicknamed “FRED,” an acronym for Front Engine Diesel chassis. Prototypes are planned for the third quarter of 2005, and production will begin at the end of 2005.

“There’s no question diesel is the optimal power plant for the RV market,” said Dean Schaper, Director of Sales and Marketing for FCCC. “FRED is our way of showing gas motorhome customers they can have all the power, fuel economy and durability of a diesel engine at a price point that’s a very attractive alternative to gas.”

The new FRED chassis also features a lowered engine position compared to gas models, which will reduce or even eliminate the intrusive and cumbersome “engine hump” normally associated with front-engine RVs.

“Not only have we created a unique combination of value and performance, we’ve improved the formula by lowering the engine, which translates into real benefits for our owners—more room inside and better handling,” explained Gary Poole, RV Product Manager, Freightliner Custom Chassis. “With all this chassis offers—more torque, higher payloads, better fuel economy and the strength of Freightliner’s 400-plus service centers, FRED is going to make friends with our customers fast.”

The FRED chassis is powered by a Cummins 5.9-liter diesel engine with an Allison 5-speed transmission. The chassis will also offer a new, custom-tuned Hendrickson spring ride suspension, exclusive to Freightliner Custom Chassis. The front axle design allows a wheel cut of up to 55-degrees, for increased maneuverability.

Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation manufactures premium chassis for the motorhome, delivery walk-in van, school bus and shuttle bus markets. It is a subsidiary of Freightliner LLC, the leading heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America. Freightliner produces and markets Class 3-8 vehicles under the Freightliner, Sterling, Western Star, American LaFrance, and Thomas Built Buses and is a company of DaimlerChrysler, the world’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer.

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