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Jean-Paul Coutard Unveiled First Prototype Coach Made In Haiti

Haiti's Hidden Treasures

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Jean-Paul Coutard who had dreamt about building a 54-seats coach 7 years ago as his contribution to modernize Haiti's transportation system, presented to the media and the public on August 22, 2013, the first prototype bus made in Haiti. With the lack of transit buses capable of providing decent and comfortable transportation service to the public, Jean-Paul Coutard overcame the challenge to build from scratch a fantastic autocar that should make all Haitians proud.

The 54-seats coach named behind the talented Haitian manufacturer Jean-Paul Coutard

This 30-year old trailblazer and talented Haitian manufacturer, native of Saint-Louis-du-Nord was raised in a family that owned buses dedicated to the transportation business in Port-de-Paix. At an early age, he familiarized himself with the bus system, then joined the Diesel Institute of Haiti to study mechanical truck, to later study at the School of Automobile in Montreal for 5 years.

 

Supported by his entire family, his wife and particularly his father Lionel Coutard, a long-time bus owner and driver within Port-de-paix and Port-au-Prince, Jean-Paul Coutard started his project in a safe place with local metallic materials and other customized parts ordered from Canada. He also had the help of 20 other young guys who believed in his project that finally became reality after 2 years of construction.

 

Baptized "La Fierté Haïtienne" (Haitian Pride) and named behind his genius innovation Coutard Motors, this first prototype coach ever made before in Haiti, is equipped with metallic body, laminated glass, four emergency exits, sanitary facilities, 57 reclining seats with their own light and air conditioning to ensure relaxation, security, and comfort for every traveler, modern electronic devices, sound system, televisions for passengers, rear-view cameras, control system for tire pressure, 10-speed engines, chassis accommodating the potholes. The most important part of his greatest achievement is the fact that the engine is located behind the driver. Jean-Paul Coutard said, most of the time coach engines are placed either under the driver's seat or at the rear of the bus.

 

Jean-Paul Coutard's childhood dream didn't become a reality without major difficulties. The cost of his beautifully designed bus was about $160,000 US dollars, sum he has acquired from his day-to-day saving along with his entire family and dad within the past 7 years because no financial institutions wanted to credit him. As he said, "The cost is so high because it is a prototype. Custom parts we ordered, were purchased abroad piece by piece." He added that if he had to produce a greater number of bus, the cost would be definitely lower and the time-frame for the making of one bus would be probably a month.

 

The Ministry of Commerce in Haiti assured the young manufacturer Jean-Paul Coutard that they will support him anyway they can as they want to create a partnership with the company to develop the Coutard Motors Industry in the country. They will also allow him and his team to visit Venezuela and Cuba which has developed this kind of automotive manufacturing in their country in order to broaden their skills.

 

Jean-Paul Coutard and his team tested the prototype bus Coutard Motors driven by his brother Patrick Coutard in the evening of August 24, 2013 around 5:30 PM on his way to Port-de-Paix from the capital Port-au-Prince, and made it in more than 6 hours because of the bad condition of the road Gonaives - Port-de-Paix. He was surprised to see the number of people who waited for his arrival in his native city right after midnight.

 

After his decision to arrange a few paid trips with a group of people to satisfy their curiosity, the manufacturer plans to make the bus available to the Haitian government because he has an agreement with them to tour the country in order to encourage young people to pursue their dream. He also wishes to build similar coaches in the future with the right financial support. "This achievement is not only a pride for myself, but also for all Haitians," added Coutard.

 

Last updated 09/01/13

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