EarthCruiser Closing Doors

fotojoh

New member
I'm saddened to hear that EC is closing shop. One snippet from their annoucement email:

"Despite EarthCruiser's many successes, changing market dynamics and economic challenges have made it increasingly difficult to sustain operations going forward. The decision to close the business was not taken lightly, but after careful consideration and in-depth strategic analysis the company has made the decision to wind down operations in its current form."

Beyond that note, does anyone have any insight on what went wrong?
 

Czechsix

Watching you from a ridge
Yep, the owner's list has been blowing up with that news.

Too bad, they're pretty good rigs. Not without issues, but then...same with everything.
 

mog

Kodiak Buckaroo
 

myalias

New member
Beyond that note, does anyone have any insight on what went wrong?
I have zero inside information, but as someone who has wanted an EXP since I saw it a long time ago, I think they lost focus. When interests rates were absurdly low, many people could finance an expensive vehicle. The price of the vehicle rose to fill what people could spend, with orders backed up. The price more than doubled in the last ten years. Then interest rates returned to normal and the market evaporated.

They also had to spend a lot of money on technology because they got screwed by Mitsubishi Fuso taking their 4x4 truck off the market. This definitely drove the price up. They did try to sell their suspension and drive line work as Core, but it seems sales didn't materialize.

They branched out into very expensive fiberglass shells for pickups, which cost more than kitted out camper from other companies.

The EXP is still the best designed expedition vehicle I've seen. I've yet to come across a better layout (even if the bed's a bit short for me). I still want one. I could live in one. But I can't swing US$600k. If they had kept the price under $300k they'd probably still be selling them. There is definitely a market for an RV that won't fall apart on gravel roads.
 

Czechsix

Watching you from a ridge
One factor was Mitsu taking the 4x4 FUSO off the market, but another part of that equation was that early iterations of the drivetrain were absolute crap and very high maintenance, along with poor reliability. It sucks for EC since the forward control medium duty 4x4 chassis availability in the USA is basically nil, so they had to hitch their horse to whatever they could, but I think they should have gotten out of that platform much earlier. One of the main reasons I sold our FX was due to the non-existent maintenance and support availability in the area we eventually moved to. I, quite literally, received laughter from the regional FUSO rep when I asked if that chassis would be suitable for our new area.

But that's the way business goes, and I still think their basic house layup quality and design remain the best in the business. At least for North America.

Hopefully someone takes the reins and at the least continues with the build quality of the coach. Having been involved in composite fabrication for a while, it's labor intensive and an art form, but completely do-able on a small business basis. Just don't overextend yourself.

Anyway...still saddens me. I hope all the employees have good landings at other jobs. EC has some very capable techs, and I enjoyed working with them when designing my FX.
 

Ozarker

Well-known member
April 25th is the last day, they might clean up the shop and sell stuff, I have no idea.

This pretty well describes the market for high dollar "overlanding" campers, my bet is that it gets worse.

If I were inclined to have half a million plus in any camper, it would be custom built, it's not rocket science.
 

jk6661

Observer
I wonder if Total Composites, et al., contributed. You can get a 8x14 box from TC and have Bear Adventure Vehicles or someone kit it out to the max (if you can't do it yourself) for a LOT less than $600K, including the chassis. Maybe it wouldn't be quite as good, but it would be close.
 

ReluctantTraveler

Well-known member
I think y'all are spot on with the price-point comments. They're just totally unattainable for a lot of folks now (my understanding is that they, along with most of the players in that market) have nearly doubled in price over the last few years.
 

ReluctantTraveler

Well-known member
Back in 2018 I was quoted $255k for a base FX without any options. Today 6 years later they start at $595k. So yeah at that price points with the current interest rates and the new competition, although it's one of the best rig on the market (IMO) they are just not approachable.
WOW that was not that long ago. What a sharp increase in price!
 

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