Gerben Steenstra started his family’s carriage building business in Oldemarkt, Netherlands, back in 1866. The business was passed on over the subsequent generations Until Daniel Steenstra was forced to close shop due to the dominance of the motor driven vehicles. Subsequently his son Rients switched to another prevalent form of transportation, and made a career for himself within the Dutch National Railroads.
Blood flows where it cannot go, and thus Rients’ sons were profoundly infuzed with the transportation bug. His oldest son Daniel Rudolf became designer at Jaguar in Coventry (UK) after a successful period as designer at Michelotti in Italy, middle son Cornelis Germ (short for Gerben) started as designer at Volvo, went to Mercedes-Benz and Mazda before setting up his own independent consultancy Foresee in Germany, Gibraltar and California, and youngest son Mario turned to the bigger sizes in transportation with the Dutch Army’s tank and truck divisions.
Rients’ grandson Sebastian has also been bitten, and is studying automotive engineering in Arnhem, Netherlands. His father Cornelis decided to step into his great great grandfathers’ (and name sakes’) footsteps and has now formed Steenstra GCM.
With the birth of his two children, Steenstra GCM founder Cornelis Steenstra each time was made very aware of the world his children were born into. With his oldest son the Chernobyl nuclear disaster had just happened, with his young daughter the tragedies on 9/11 followed soon after. Steenstra became impassioned to ensure that he would leave the world a better place for his children and their children.
Steenstra involved himself intensively in creating a long term vision for the future of transportation, realizing that people would always want to retain the freedom and individuality they had gained by the automobile. Steenstra developed a long term solution for a sustainable, safe, fast and clean infrastructure. Realizing that this was a massive undertaking, Steenstra set himself on the way to realizing his vision involving himself with several clean and green start-up companies.
In 2003 Steenstra teamed up with Larry Webster and Steenstra’s German engineering expert Hans-Peter Hemmer, and after extensive research concluded that the market for highway capable electric power sources is dominated by AC Propulsion in California. Seeing the risks of being dependent on a single supplier, Steenstra, Hemmer and Webster developed their own complete electric power-train with battery management system and inverter, and have been testing this in several running prototypes for the past 18 months.
This experience led Steenstra to set up Steenstra GCM to become a manufacturer of zero emission automobiles. Initially using tested and proven technology, Steenstra GCM will produce and sell vehicles in the very upper segment of the automotive market. Steenstra GCM remains flexible to adapt to new zero emission technologies as they become economically viable for the top automotive segments first, with the intention to expanding down market as technology becomes more affordable. Steenstra GCM targets sustained profitability through quality rather than quantity.
Passion | Performance | Perfection
America is changing and will never again be a country of low cost mass production anymore. There will always be countries with lower cost labor. America is High-Tech. It is the Global leader on many innovations, and this forms a sustainable basis for business.
Green is the new HOT keyword, and the Global Governments are willing to put large investments into this. Compared to brands that have already ventured out into the Green vehicle market Steenstra GCM is fundamentally different in that it aims its products at the very top of the market.
Green vehicles have been perceived as small, mostly quirky and unsafe, leaving a huge gap for high end prestige vehicles, vehicles that excel in quality, technology, speed and exclusivity, what Steenstra GCM calls the three P’s: Passion, Performance and Perfection.
This is THE time to introduce a fundamental change to the current automotive offerings. The economic crisis demands radical changes, but the existing companies are tied down by their current products, their heritage financial burdens, their need to prevent innovation in return for short term profitability, and their want to sustain as much of what they offer now to get as much short term return on investment as possible. This short sighted view has brought the leading Detroit Big Three to the position where they are now, and because of the massive Government “bailout”, these practices will continue until natural selection will either force them to change, or force them to close down.