Texas Firm Buys Specialty Van-Maker Tuscany

Posted on April 7, 2010 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

Tuscany founder Mike Graber, who started the company with his father, will stay on as general manager of the Elkhart, Ind. manufacturing facility.

FORT WORTH, Texas — TUSCANY, the van-building subsidiary of Accubuilt Inc., has been sold to a Texas firm called DADI, LLC, owned by investors Wayne Davis and DAVID DISIERE.

TUSCANY makes specialty vehicles, including luxury vans, personal use mobility vans, hotel shuttle vans, and specialty trucks. The company will continue operations in Elkhart, Indiana with headquarters and product development located in Fort Worth, Texas.

The move marks the re-entry of Davis into the custom automobile conversion industry, where he will be joined by partner Disiere, the former CEO of a top insurance MGA (Managing General Agents) based in Dallas.

Michael Graber, who founded the company with his father nearly 20 years ago, will continue as General Manager of the Elkhart, Indiana-based company.

Graber, Davis, and Disiere could not be reached for comment or further details on the deal before LCT E-News deadlines today. LCT Magazine had heard informally of the pending deal in January, but as recently as early March, Accubuilt CEO Greg Corona said IN AN LCT E-NEWS ARTICLE about the sale of Accubuilt’s Commerical Mobility Vans division that Tuscany was still being run under the Accubuilt name.

However, on his blog, Disiere wrote on March 29: “A new partnership formed with Wayne Davis (yup! that Wayne Davis) has acquired Tuscany, the leading manufacturer of specialty vehicles, including luxury vans, personal use mobility vans, hotel shuttle vans, and specialty trucks. I couldn’t be happier. They are the industry standard. For a car lover like me this is a great business opportunity. Big things for the year 2010. Thanks.”

Commenting in a news release this week, Disiere said, "Tuscany is the standard in the custom automobile conversion industry. This is a great acquisition for DADI, LLC and fits in perfectly with our overall long-term vision."

Also commenting in the release, Davis, now the principal and CEO of Tuscany, said: "This is a great day for DADI, LLC. We couldn't be more pleased with this new opportunity because it will rapidly expand our presence in a growing market that is also underserved. TUSCANY is ranked #1 with Ford Motor Company in total volume of all personal use specialty vehicle manufactures and has earned Ford's prestigious Quality Excellence Award a record seven years. The company is also the leader in 12-14 passenger shuttle vans that serve hotel and air transportation markets.”

Tuscany’s luxury vans are configured with seven to nine passenger seating with luxury appointments such as 22" LCD's, DVD, iPod stations, and leather seating on both the Ford and GM full size van chassis. Their mobility vans are equipped with wheelchair lifts and other adaptive equipment for transporting people in wheelchairs and able-bodied passengers.

Tuscany enjoys bailment pool status with Ford Motor Company and General Motors, allowing the company to order vehicle chassis directly from the OEMs.

Tuscany is also a Ford Quality Vehicle Modifier (QVM), a designation currently bestowed by Ford Motor Company to only 11 qualified conversion companies (a.k.a. 'upfitters') in the United States.

Sources: DADI, LLC; Martin Romjue, LCT Magazine

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