May 11, 2007 We’ve written about Rhino Off-Road Industries several times now, basically because it’s a new class of off-road vehicle with the abilities of a mountain goat. For those who are similarly enamoured with the beast’s abilities, here’s some great news – the Rhino is destined for mass production. The company has shipped a fully outfitted Rhino Off-Road RTV-XT2 vehicle to its production partners in China, marking a key step in the process of mass production of the vehicle for distribution worldwide. For a rather extreme demonstration of what the Rhino is capable of in rock-crawling competition, see this video (WMV download).
The company previously announced an agreement with Hebei Sida Industry Group (HSIG) in China for production of the innovative off-road vehicle.
The agreement includes distribution rights and an initial order of 1,000 units by HSIG. HSIG is a large-scale, ISO9001 certified manufacturer that currently occupies facilities exceeding one million square feet in China. The company produces container trucks, refrigerated trucks, dump trucks, RV’s and many other automotive type products for the domestic Chinese market. With manufacturing facilities throughout the country, and hundreds of employees, HSIG has the financial and human resources available to support the growth and demand of ROI.
“This is critical milestone for our company and the Rhino Off-Road RTV,” stated Howard Pearl, CEO & President of Rhino Outdoor International, parent company of Rhino Off-Road Industries. “Volume production is essential for us to bring this product to market and maintain the competitive price point for our customers and distribution network.”
The fully outfitted vehicle departed aboard a container ship from Los Angeles yesterday with arrival anticipated at the manufacturing facility within two weeks. The vehicle will serve as both a template for design and engineering review at the factory, and as a demo unit for display in trade and consumer events in China.
HSIG has a 100,000 square foot facility, which is large enough to produce 5000 RTVs per year. The first phase will include two product lines housed in 30,000 square feet with annual production of up to 1000 RTVs. In order to meet production demand, the facility will feature in-house tube-bending, laser cutting and a large powder-coating facility. Additionally an on-site off-road testing area will be built. Engineers from Rhino are scheduled to be on-site at the facility to manage the set-up of the production lines, train engineering and production staff and program manufacturing equipment.
"With these manufacturing capabilities and personnel the company will grow", continued Mr. Pearl. "The RTV has proven its self now it is essential that the company responds quickly to customer demand by growing our manufacturing capacity, an important move that gets us out of the lab and onto distribution, sales and the cash flow we're looking for. We've said it before China provides us with an excellent manufacturing climate, labor, land, raw materials and parts suppliers. We have chosen a facility in a city that has large steel and aluminum production plants, and in a building that has direct access to the railway. These two key elements ensure an ample supply of raw materials, and the infrastructure to move the finished goods around the country and to port for shipping."