The RAPIDO Group story started in 1948 when Constant Rousseau, a cabinetmaker by trade, decided to found his company in Châtillon-sur-Colmont in France. He set up his first workshop in a room of a private house. At the time, Constant Rousseau specialised in carving furniture. The company grew to employ 15 people as the focus shifted to carpentry.
Constant Rousseau specialised in carving furniture
The family business grew to employ 15 people
Constant Rousseau shared his love of a job well done with his workers
In 1958, Constant Rousseau made the first folding caravan for his family to use. This creation proved decisive in shifting the company’s focus. During the 1960s, he perfected his invention which went on to win several awards (including first prize in the Lépine competition).
Returning from spending his summer holidays in Italy in 1961, he had an epiphany: inspired by how easy and rapid the caravan was to set up, he decided on the name ‘RAPIDO’.
Sketches of the first trailer tent imagined by Constant Rousseau
1960s: Constant Rousseau started building a model for his own use
In the 1960s, he perfected his invention which went on to receive several awards
Everything took off from that point, with the company growing and expanding to foreign markets. All the European countries showed great enthusiasm for this new, extraordinary product. With business booming, Constant Rousseau decided to open a new factory in Mayenne which came into being in 1975. One year later, Pierre Rousseau joined the company alongside his father.
1973: Constant Rousseau bought three hectares of land on Route de Bretagne in the new Perroins zone
Building consent was issued on 26 April 1973 for a 3,960m2 workshop. The site was operational two years later, in 1975
1983: the Randonneur was immediately lauded as an exceptional vehicle
The early 80s marked a major turning point for RAPIDO. The caravan market had started to decline. However, the motorhome market was showing strong growth. Pierre Rousseau was mindful of diversifying the company and decided to tackle the motorhome market. In 1983 the first RAPIDO motorhome was released: the Randonneur 410! But it took until the 90s for the first Rapido A-Class to emerge.
Drawing on its experience, RAPIDO began to accelerate its growth by adding to its brand portfolio. A brand creation/acquisition strategy was implemented and has today resulted in Rapido becoming one of the biggest recreational vehicle groups:
In 2014, Pierre Rousseau’s son Nicolas joined the company and took over the management of sales and marketing. Passion for this product has been kindled in a third generation.