Prevost is marking the 90th anniversary of its founding in 1924.
From Eugène Prevost’s first wooden-frame bus body to today’s iconic Prevost X3-45 and H3-45 models, Prevost has been known for its unwavering commitment to quality, innovation, and attention to detail.
Gaétan Bolduc, Prevost president and CEO, said, “We are extremely proud to celebrate this milestone in Prevost’s history, and to reflect on how far we have come across the decades. That said, we have always been – and will always be – a forward looking organization. The people of Prevost are passionate about our legacy of leadership, and about the remarkable number of Prevost industry ‘firsts’ over the years in such areas as safety, environmental care, and comfort. Above all, we say thank you to our customers for making this first 90 years possible, and for being our inspiration to always reach higher in providing ‘no-compromises’ seated coach and conversion coach products and services.”
Eugène Prevost, whose wooden furniture business in his hometown of Sainte-Claire, Quebec was well respected by 1924, entered the motorcoach business quite unexpectedly that year. A fellow Sainte-Claire entrepreneur who operated a small bus fleet needed a wooden coach body to sit atop a truck chassis he had purchased. He commissioned Prevost to build it, on the hunch that Prevost could translate his wood-working talent into this new realm. The wooden and aluminum bus body Prevost produced was so well crafted that the customer immediately asked for another. For a number of years that followed, Prevost continued to build furniture, but it became increasingly clear that buses were his future.
After World War II, “Les Ateliers Prevost” was formed as a dedicated bus producer separate from the Prevost furniture business. The Prevost range of motorcoaches expanded through the 1950s, and helped the company survive that decade’s massive shake-out in the industry. In 1957, Eugène Prevost passed the baton of ownership to two Canadian businessmen, who invested in new products and technologies, and charted a course for Prevost growth that would continue for decades to come.
The 1960s brought a new generation of ownership and, significantly, the beginning of Prevost’s expansion into the world of motorhome conversion coaches. This new market for Prevost would develop dramatically during the 1970s, with 35- and 40-foot versions of the milestone “LeMirage” becoming the shells of choice for the growing ranks of discerning high-end motorhome customers. The LeMirage model spawned a series of highly successful Prevost coaches to follow, including the line that continues today as the renowned X3-45.
In becoming part of the Volvo Group in 1995, Prevost gained access to technological support and resources that have helped enable the company maintain its leadership position in such areas as powertrain efficiency and emissions, dynamic safety, and on-board telematics.
By 2011, when the 15,000th Prevost vehicle – a flagship H3-45 model – rolled out of the state-of-the-art Sainte-Claire plant, the company that Eugène Prevost had started in that rural village would have been all but unrecognizable to its founder. But those core values of quality, innovation, and attention to detail that were there at the beginning remain very much at the heart of today’s Prevost.
Consistent with a Prevost culture that is decidedly unaccustomed to resting on its laurels, the theme of the 90th anniversary will be “Moving Forward Since 1924”.
Throughout the 90th Anniversary year of 2014, the website will feature a series of “Prevost Partner Profiles” to salute long-standing Prevost customers in both the seated coach and conversion coach sectors.