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RVDA Sees Progress Towards Franchise Agreements

September 28, 2001 by · Leave a Comment 

The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) president and former chairman believe significant progress was made during the past year in selling the concept of franchise agreements solidifying the relationship between RV dealers and manufacturers. RVDA President Mike Molino and Ernie Friesen, owner of All Seasons RV in Yuba City, Calif., expressed their views on Tuesday (Sept. 25), the final day of this year’s RVDA-sponsored Convention/Expo in Las Vegas. Tuesday also was the last day of Friesen’s... Read more

Go RVing Phase 3 Ad Campaign Approved

September 28, 2001 by · Leave a Comment 

The Go RVing Coalition unanimously recommended on Tuesday (Sept. 25) that the industry go ahead with a Phase 3 advertising campaign even though the amount of money available apparently will be lower. Phase 3 would cover 2003 through 2005 and the coalition decided on Tuesday to continue billing RV manufacturers $44 for each RV that they build to provide the primary source of funding for the campaign. The $44 per unit fee has been in place since 1999, but RV production now is more than 20% lower than... Read more

Mertes, Lee Resign from National RV

September 27, 2001 by · Leave a Comment 

RV industry veterans Wayne Mertes and Bob Lee have resigned from their executive positions at National RV Holdings Inc., although they will continue as consultants to the company. The resignations of Lee, the president and COO of National RV Holdings, and Mertes, CEO of the National RV subsidiary, were among several management changes announced today (Sept. 27) at the Perris, Calif.-based company. The other changes include the following: The company’s largest shareholder, Gary N. Siegler, resigned... Read more

Thor Gets Big Bus Order

September 27, 2001 by · Leave a Comment 

RV manufacturer Thor Industries Inc. has received a large order for its new M1000 series of mid-sized European-styled buses, according to the Jackson Center, Ohio-based company. Thor got an order for 60 of its M1000 units from ABC Bus Companies Inc., a distributor of highway motorcoaches. The order from ABC is worth more than $6 million, according to Thor. The 60 units will be produced at Thor’s General Coach plant in Imlay City, Mich. Thor also recently introduced a 35-foot, low-floor, heavy-duty... Read more

Bombardier Capital to Exit RV Retail Lending

September 27, 2001 by · Leave a Comment 

Bombardier Capital will leave the RV retail finance sector effective at the end of the business day on Nov. 26, but it will continue to provide inventory financing to RV dealers, the company announced. Bombardier Capital, the finance subsidiary of Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier Inc., will exit all consumer products and manufactured home financing because the slowdown in the U.S. economy. “We’ve made a careful analysis of our presence in the recreational products and manufactured... Read more

Good Sam Club: Support California Motorhome Length Bill

September 26, 2001 by · Leave a Comment 

Susan Bray, executive director/vice president of the Good Sam Club, released this letter to members of the RV consumer organization to mobilize support for a bill that would legalize the use of motorhomes longer than 40 feet in California. The million-member Good Sam Club is a subsidiary of Affinity Group Inc., which publishes RVB. As you may be aware from the articles published in Highways, California residents were recently restricted from driving any motorhome longer than 40 feet in our state.... Read more

Timberland Triples Capacity of Peru Manufacturing Plant

September 26, 2001 by · Leave a Comment 

Towable trailer manufacturer Timberland RV Co. Inc., Peru, Ind., is tripling the size of its Peru manufacturing capacity, a move its president expects to soon put Timberland in the top 10 manufacturers in retail sales. “Right now we are in the top 15 in the nation, so this volume will allow us to get into the top 10,” said Timberland President Mark Gerber. “The new plant will give us manufacturing capacity of between 4,500 and 5,000 trailers a year.” Gerber, a former Fleetwood Enterprises... Read more

Forest River to Expand Manufacturing Facilities

September 25, 2001 by · 2 Comments 

Forest River Inc., Goshen, Ind., broke ground in September for a new plant in Topeka, Ind., that will allow the company to aggressively market its entry-level Cherokee-brand towabless. The 100,000-square-foot plant is expected to begin production by the first of next year, according to Doug Gaeddert, general manager of Forest River’s Cedar Creek and Cherokee divisions. It is the second factory of similar size on 80 acres that Forest River owns in Topeka. The sister factory, opened two years ago,... Read more

Third Consumer Survey Ordered

September 25, 2001 by · Leave a Comment 

The Go RVing Committee on Excellence voted Monday (Sept. 24) to conduct a third consumer sentiment survey beginning in January 2003. The survey to be conducted in 2003 will involve the owners of model year 2002 units. The purpose of the survey will be to help manufacturers build better products, for dealers to learn how to improve the sales process and for campground operators to learn how to make their customers’ stays more enjoyable. The committee voted against a proposal to survey the owners... Read more

RV Industry Can Learn From Gaming Business

September 25, 2001 by · Leave a Comment 

Jim Rogers spent 20 years in the casino business before becoming president and CEO of Kampgrounds of America (KOA), and he believes the RV business could learn a lot from the gaming industry. Specifically, Rogers was referring to more creative marketing. Rogers presented his remarks Sunday (Sept. 23) during a panel discussion on the future of the RV industry at the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) Convention/Expo in Las Vegas. “(Baby) Boomers need to get inside an RV,” Rogers said.... Read more

Nash Expands Manufacturing Presence To Virginia, Eyes Eastern Market

September 25, 2001 by · Leave a Comment 

Oregon-based Northwood Manufacturing Inc., builder of Nash and Arctic Fox towables and Arctic Fox truck campers has opened a plant in Virginia to build RVs that will be sold in the eastern part of the United States. Northwood in late July opened a 117,000-square-foot plant in Winchester, Va., that was closed earlier this year by Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. The expansion is Northwood’s first outside of La Grande, Ore., where the company has been manufacturing RVs since 1993. The new plant represents... Read more

Convenience Should Be RV Industry’s New Focus

September 24, 2001 by · Leave a Comment 

Convenience should become the RV dealer body’s new focus as it seeks to convince more Baby Boomers to become RV owners, according to Tom Faludy, president of aftermarket products supplier firm Carefree of Colorado. Faludy expressed his opinion during a panel discussion Sunday (Sept. 23) on the industry’s future. “Research bears out that, as an industry, (new product) quality is getting better, not that we’ve achieved it,” Faludy said during the panel discussion at the Recreation Vehicle... Read more

Thor Discloses Cash Reserve, To Consider “Strategic Opportunities”

September 24, 2001 by · Leave a Comment 

Thor Industries Inc. had $107.2 million in cash and short-term investments as of July 31, which puts the company “in a strong position to take advantage of future strategic opportunities,” according to Wade F.B. Thompson, chairman. Thompson made his disclosure today (Sept. 24), when Thor revealed its fourth fiscal quarter and fiscal year 2001 earnings report. During Thor’s fourth fiscal quarter, which ended July 31, the company’s earnings declined 13% to $8.4 million. Meanwhile, Thor’s... Read more

Renegade Sees Opportunity in RV Sector

September 24, 2001 by · Leave a Comment 

Renegade Custom Coaches & Trailers, a Bristol, Ind.-based firm that moved into a larger factory last July, sees growth opportunities in the RV sector. The company sold 202 motorhomes and 175 race car transporters last year primarily to people involved in auto, motorcycle, ATV and boat racing, said Chuck McKibbin, president and owner of the firm. Consequently, McKibbin believes it could sell 2,000 units a year by targeting the mainstream motorhome market. Renegade does not belong to the Recreation... Read more

CanaDream Bookings Decline “Not Material”

September 21, 2001 by · Leave a Comment 

Canadian RV rental firm CanaDream Corp., which depends largely upon European tourists, reported a small percentage of cancellations following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11. CanaDream, based in Calgary, Alberta, reports it had 847 reservations for the period from Sept. 11 through Nov. 30. As of the close of business on Sept. 13, CanaDream had received 31 cancellations, which is equivalent to 3.6% of its total reservations. “Management believes that at this time, these (cancellations) are... Read more

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