Chausson - brand history

Chausson - brand history – main image

How to create a legendary motorhome brand, and a cult bus, starting from the production of radiators? For the creators of the Chausson brand, the re-industry has definitely paid off.

Today, the Chausson brand, which is part of the Trigano Group, enjoys great popularity. Perhaps her story will inspire someone to create their own line of motorhomes? ;)

From the radiator to the bus

The Chausson company was founded in 1907 in Paris by the brothers Gaston and Jules Chausson. Initially, it produced heaters, tanks and ... car bodies.

Gradually, the product range was expanded with coolers and heat exchangers. In the era of developing automotive industry, its products gained so much popularity that within 10 years it became an important element of the French automotive industry, for which it produced semi-finished products. World War I was for Chausson a period of cooperation with the aviation industry, for which coolers were created. The successful cooperation was immortalized by adding stork wings to the trademark.


At that time, Chausson's headquarters had already moved to Asnières near Paris. The expanding factory also acquired the neighboring Chenard & Walcker car maker from Gennevilliers, Budd, and eventually decided to settle there. Seeking opportunities in the automotive industry, the son of the founder, Pierre Chausson, undertook mechanical and transport studies. The new direction in which he pushed the company resulted in a van designed in the 1930s.

During World War II, the company did not close the factory - what's more, it started producing buses for good. In July 1942 the first of them was created - Chausson AP-01, called by malicious (because of the characteristic front) "pig's snout" (literally: Chausson-nez-de-cochon). Other models followed. After World War II, most French schoolchildren rode Chausson buses.

The production of buses was going so well that distribution to other countries of the world, including Poland, began. In Warsaw, in the years 1947-1969, they were the only public transport buses. Chausson even became the hero of the song "Red Bus".


However, the following years saw a slow decline of the bus company. The company was still a supplier of tinsmiths for French cars, especially to its shareholders - Peugeot and Renault, but the sales of its own vehicles went down worse and worse.

The last model was the Chausson SC-4B, where the "S" stood for Saviem - the company taking over Chausson. Saviem then became part of Renault Vehicules Industriels (Renault commercial vehicles) and in 1977 the brand disappeared.

The birth of motorhomes

Mark Chausson was not going to give up, however. If she could make buses, she could also vans. In 1980, the manufacturer launched the Odyssee 4000 model, which was presented at the Paris Motor Show. It was just a step away from the van to the motorhome.

Observing the market and seeing the growing number of caravanners on the roads, analysts came to the conclusion that the brand has another opportunity that is worth taking advantage of.


In 1984, the company launched the first camper vans - Acapulco models 44 and 56. Chausson's debut immediately caused a sensation as it was the first manufacturer to produce camper vans with a white body, which turned out to be a success. Motorhomes were recognizable on the roads by the color alone before anyone could see the brand's logo.


In 1990, the company already knew that the production of motorhomes was "this is it". However, she needed an investor. The interested party turned out to be the tycoon - Trigano Group - by acquiring 49% of shares in the newly established Chausson company - Camping-Cars. Four years later, Trigano took over the brand completely. At that time, the company laid the foundations for its philosophy, which is still valid today: " a good product at the right price" . The brand focuses on promoting utility over excess and finding the right balance between equipment and price.

Quality with numerous awards available to everyone

In line with its policy, Chausson produces motorhomes available to a wide audience. In 1995, the company introduced the Welcome series, with an alcove, with prices starting at just 177,900 French francs (the equivalent of 27,000 euros). Two years later, the semi-integrated Welcome 70 model gave rise to a new direction in the production of this type of car. For many years, this model has been a bestseller among motorhomes. To date, more than 3,000 of these vehicles are on the road.


As the brand was to be adapted to the diverse needs and portfolios of customers, in 1998 the company decided to launch the Allegro model, with a double-layer roof and original design. Precisely because of its appearance, in 2002 the model received an award from the Observatoire du Design .

In 2000, Chausson launched the Welcome 60 , a family compact motorhome less than 6 meters long, with a bunk bed at the rear and a fold-down bed at the front of the vehicle. The quality of Chausson products was appreciated in 2002, when the manufacturer received ISO 9001 certification .

In 2005, the Flash line appeared. This is a return to models with an alcove and basic equipment of great quality. The success was incredible. The first series sold out in just two weeks. To this day, this line is a definite bestseller of the brand and is very eagerly chosen by customers.

Four years later, the Welcome Sweet model with an electrically operated bed, large bathroom and kitchen appeared and won the European Design Award.


2011 is the continuation of the production of spacious motorhomes. The new Flash 10 model on the Ford chassis was dedicated to couples who want to enjoy home comfort beyond their own four walls. The six-meter vehicle has a large dining and seating area, and the kitchen is equipped with a spacious refrigerator. There is also a place for a large bathroom and a fold-down bed for two. The car was liked so much that it was chosen the best compact camper in England.

2012 brought another revolution. At the pre-premiere show in Paris-Le Bourget, Chausson presented the integrated Exaltis I-778 model. A year later, it became the basis for a separate line with three available car models. In addition, the manufacturer decided to introduce the Welcome 69 model with a new interior layout.

In this semi-integrated motorhome measuring almost seven meters (with a suspended bed), a French-style bed has been combined with a comfortable independent shower without interfering with the space of the lounge corner and kitchenette. This model quickly became a betseller, which encouraged Chausson to introduce a similar system to the limited Titanium series. 2012 was also the presentation of the innovative Sweet motorhome with a "panoramic" layout - an opening side wall.


The company did not complain about the lack of work also in 2013. In the summer it launched The Best Of series, bringing together the best systems to date, mounted on a Ford chassis at an affordable price. The success was so great that Chausson had to abandon previously accepted orders and focus solely on the production of the new series, which was sold out after only a few weeks!

One make - two chassis

In 2014, the company was the first to introduce motorhomes built on the chassis of two different manufacturers: Fiat and Ford. In December, the Flash 610 was named the UK Motorhome of the Year . It was mainly due to the innovative concept of a large living room that was quickly transformed into a bedroom by means of an electrically lowered bed. In addition, with a length of less than 6.7 m, this model housed a bathroom the full width of a motorhome with a separate shower cubicle and a wardrobe with a huge cubic capacity. An interesting solution was used in the garage - an additional wide hatch on the rear wall which makes it easy to unload accessories.

one-make-two-chassis snap

The year 2015 brought further innovations, this time in the construction of the body. The revolutionary IRP system provided excellent thermal and acoustic insulation as well as adequate protection against adverse weather conditions, such as water, hail or snow. Thanks to the "sandwich" method of producing the sheathing (based on XPS insulation and GRP polyester coating), wind, rain, frost and heat do not affect the comfort of the holidaymakers. The technology also translates into a tightness guarantee of up to 7 years! Chausson motorhomes have the third degree of thermal insulation according to EN164101 , tested in special chambers by Truma in Munich. All models are equipped with diesel fueled heaters. This solution is perfect for winter trips (no more problems with replacing gas cylinders!) And allows for safe use while driving.

In 2016, the company focused on space by starting the concept of Maxi Salon. This vision was realized in two models of semi-integrated motorhomes: 611 and 630 . The first is a real house on wheels. It has four doors (two for the cab, two for the cabin), a huge U-shaped lounge and two double electric raised beds. Model 630 offers a maximum space of less than 7 m. Thanks to two electrically lifted longitudinal beds, it has a spacious dining and sitting area. The innovative SmartLounge system was also used here - retractable armchairs from the side sofas. Interestingly, each of these armchairs has a backrest adjustment! No more uncomfortable traveling on sofas with a backrest angle of 90 degrees, which dominates all European brands.

Chausson wants to literally create houses on wheels when designing motorhomes. In 2017, the 640 model was created, an extension of the 630 model concept, in which, in place of the longitudinal beds, an electrically lowered double bed with a width of 160 cm was used. This model, following in the footsteps of its brother (630), also became a bestseller in many European countries, and in 2019 it won the European Innovation Award .


In the spring of 2018, the company introduced the Titanium series - campers built on the Ford Transit chassis, with an automatic transmission and 170KM engine as standard, as well as rich vehicle and residential equipment. It is i.a. body in titanium color, extensive entrance doors with central locking, climate lighting and design package, limited furniture decor and upholstery color. The driver will also appreciate the heated windscreen, the twilight sensor and automatic wipers. Interestingly, the Titanium series has been the most frequently chosen version by Polish customers since its inception.

Titanium is not the only novelty in 2018. Bearing in mind more and more willing families traveling, the semi-integrated model 634 appeared on the market. Thanks to very thoughtful solutions at 6.4 meters, 5 places for driving and sleeping were created. The model 634 uses DuoBed electric bunk beds for the first time and the clever EasyBox shelf system. The rear space of the building is a real paradise for kids. A small table with sofas and the aforementioned boxes are the perfect place for our kids to play. Chausson 634 is considered a model for a compact motorhome for families with children for a reason.


Modern production, extensive technical facilities ...

Chausson motorhomes with alcove and semi-integrated structures are designed and manufactured by the Trigano VDL concern in Tournon sur Rhône (Ardèche, France) in the middle of the vineyards of the Rhône valley. About 8,000 motorhomes are produced annually in one of the largest plants in Europe (almost 33 football fields!).


The design and production of vans takes place in a specially designated plant in Italy. Chausson is present in more than 15 European countries and relies on an extensive dealer network. Chausson is a brand that is not afraid of new challenges and reacts immediately to the needs of its customers. The multitude of lines and the variety of models make them popular and liked among caravanning enthusiasts. Good quality at a good price and innovative solutions remain the determinants of the brand's activities to this day. In Poland, the distributor of the brand is TRANSA - M from Pszczyna.

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A lawyer who loves traveling. Always with a book on the go. I collect memories of the color, taste and smell of every place I visit.

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