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Coach builders

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2,142 salaried workers, 60% within 3 leading companies
18 businesses with over 20 employees
Higher added value than the national average
Greater specialisation too: isothermal articulated lorries, refrigerated lorries, horse transport vehicles, leisure trailers.



As in other French regions, Normandy's industrial coach building sector, on a national and/or international scale, has suffered from the effects of the economic crisis (-35% for the total French market), although to a lesser extent than elsewhere. Indeed, Chéreau, the Normandy-based market leader for refrigerated transport vehicles went into voluntary liquidation in 2009, before being bought over by an executive committee supported by the Regional Council. Two other companies, Lecapitaine and Carrier, have more or less bypassed the crisis, the former developing its range and the latter increasing its coach sales whilst investing in sustainable development (a prototype coach equipped with solar panels is due to be launched in the summer of 2010). The region's coach building skills are illustrated, in particular, through made-to-measure manufacturing and/or smaller series adapted to suit client demand, contrary to their competitors – essentially German – who have opted for increasing standardisation.

EMPLOYMENT
- 2,142 salaried employees, an important sector for the region (Manche in particular).
- of the 39 businesses, 18 have over 20 employees (7% of national associated businesses) representing 8% of employment
and 9% of turnover for the sector throughout France.
- 14 businesses have less than 10 employees and concentrate on local clientele.
- A major share in export production.

MARKET LEADERS
3 leading companies representing 64% of the sector's turnover and 67% of employment:
- CHÉREAU Holding SAS in Ducey and Val-Saint-Père (workforce: 600) trailers and articulated vehicles
- LECAPITAINE in Saint-Lô (workforce: 368): manufacturer of refrigerated vehicle bodies, subsidiary of Petit Forestier, a refrigerated vehicle hire group. The plant has added the manufacture of powered axle refrigeration units (for which it boasts specific know-how), and the equipment of large vans, highly popular in the British market.
- CARRIER Carrosserie (Fast Concept Car group) in Alençon (workforce: 260) : The company is part of the Vendée-based Fast Concept Car group since 2000. Environmental protection is one of its key priorities. A coach prototype, the roof of which is entirely decked with solar panels will be launched in 2010 . These panels will render vehicles totally autonomous in terms of heating, air-conditioning and lighting. Four coach models are manufactured on the Alençon-based company's production lines: the Scoler, used for school transport; the Starter, for mixed school and regular public transport use; the Syter, exclusively used for intercity use and the Jumbo, specially designed for school outings

SPECIALISED SMALL TO MEDIUM-SIZED COMPANIES
- MAISONNEUVE in Cérences (workforce: 160) : stainless steel and aluminium tank trucks, beer barrels and mobile water treatment plants.
- Groupe GIFA (formerly COLLET) in Argentan (workforce: 43) : coach-builder – manufacturer specialising in ambulances and funerary vehicles
- Vans THÉAULT in Avranches (workforce: 87) : specialised in horse transport vehicles and winner of the INPI innovation trophy in 2008; Vans BARBOT in Lisieux (workforce: 40) : manufacture of trailers and horseboxes; and Vans CHARDRON in Percy (workforce: 20) : horseboxes and, over recent months, diversification towards luxury horsebox-camper vehicles on heavy-goods chassis (3 of France's 4 manufacturers)





  • Camion semi-remorque
  • TFE Vire
  • Van et remorque
  • Transport de chevaux
  • 50 Saint-Lô - Lecapitaine