Winnebago, Skyline Stocks Reach New 52-Week Highs

November 30, 2001 by · Leave a Comment 

Investors apparently were happy with Winnebago’s order volume during the RV industry’s National Trade Show, because the motorhome manufacturer’s stock soared $3.74, or 12.5%, Friday (Nov. 30) to close at a new 52-week high of $33.70. The trade show in Louisville ended Thursday (Nov. 29). Winnebago did not issue any statements Friday to explain the sharp stock price increase. Meanwhile, manufactured home and towable RV builder Skyline also saw its stock climb $2 a share, or 7%, Friday to close... Read more

Spartan Extends Roadside Assistance to Motorhome Owners

November 30, 2001 by · Leave a Comment 

The owners of model year 2002 diesel pushers built on Spartan chassis now have free, 24-hour roadside assistance available to them, according to Spartan Motors Inc. of Charlotte, Mich. The program is called Roadside Companion and it is the result of a partnership between Spartan and Coach Net, the largest automotive roadside assistance and technical support company in North America. “Many new motorhome owners opt not to purchase a roadside assistance package when they buy their new coaches, assuming... Read more

RVIA Show Attendance Down 10%

November 30, 2001 by · Leave a Comment 

Total attendance and dealer attendance at this year’s RV industry National Trade Show was down about 10% during the first two days of the three-day event, which ended Thursday (Nov. 29). On Tuesday (Nov. 27), total attendance was 9,240 people, which was 10% below the 10,283 figure for the first day of the show in 2000, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), owners of the event. Dealer attendance on Tuesday was down 11% to 3,599 people, compared with 4,041 during the first... Read more

Four Slide-Out Units Debut at Louisville

November 29, 2001 by · Leave a Comment 

If three slide-out rooms are good, then aren’t four better? The answer, apparently, is “Yes,” according to the manufacturers who introduced units equipped with four slide-outs during the RV industry’s National Trade Show, which ended in Louisville today (Nov. 29). While three slide-out units have been on the market for only a few months, at least three manufacturers introduced units with four slide-outs at Louisville. Gulf Stream Coach Inc., Nappanee, Ind., and Travel Supreme Inc., Wakarusa,... Read more

Fleetwood/BofA Launch Buy Down Program

November 29, 2001 by · Leave a Comment 

It appears the auto industry’s 0% interest rate retail loan programs may be migrating to the RV industry. During the RV industry’s National Trade Show in Louisville this week, Fleetwood Enterprises Inc., in conjunction with Bank of America (BofA), unveiled a “Winter Buy Down” program in an effort to boost dealer traffic and the retail market. Under the program, Fleetwood and the participating dealer can buy down a qualified retail customer’s loan in amounts up to $6,000 to lower the customer’s... Read more

Jayco Signs Preferred Lender Agreement

November 28, 2001 by · Leave a Comment 

Jayco Inc. has signed a preferred lender agreement with Firstar and U.S. Bank, two lenders that are in the process of merging. The goal of the national program is to make RV ownership available to more customers, particularly those who do not qualify for traditional financing. Jayco’s agreement is with the Firstar Recreation Finance Division and some of the highlights of the retail program include: special pricing; seasonal dealer programs; a dedicated credit staff; priority service for Jayco dealers;... Read more

DeWolf Sees Recovery Beginning Soon

November 28, 2001 by · Leave a Comment 

The economic consultant to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) believes a wholesale market recovery could begin as early as the first quarter of 2002. John DeWolf believes shipments of motorhomes and towable RVs from factories to dealers hit bottom during September. Now, he believes 258,700 motorhomes and towables will be shipped this year, a 13.8% decline when compared with 2000, but better than his earlier forecasts. During 2002, DeWolf believes total shipments will rise to around... Read more

Rec. USA Now a “Roll-Out” Firm

November 27, 2001 by · Leave a Comment 

Recreation USA, the RV dealership chain officially known as Holiday RV Superstores Inc., now is a “roll-out,” not a “roll-up” firm, according to Marcus Lemonis, the company’s new chairman. What that means is Recreation USA plans to grow by building new dealerships from scratch, instead of buying existing dealerships, Lemonis told the Miami Herald newspaper. Lemonis’ plan is to open new dealerships in Las Vegas and Myrtle Beach, S.C., before next March 31 and to open one new dealership... Read more

Slide-out Supplier Looks to Expand Auto Business

November 27, 2001 by · Leave a Comment 

Actuant Corp., manufacturer of Power Gear and Dewald brand slide-out systems, is looking to expand its auto industry supplier business while the RV industry is in a cyclical downturn, according to the Milwaukee Sentinel newspaper. Already, Actuant’s Applied Power division supplies the devices for operating convertible tops on Volkswagen Beetles, Cadillac Evoqs and some other cars. Recently, Actuant, based in Milwaukee, submitted bids to supply convertible top operating systems for seven auto lines,... Read more

Spartan to Intro Low-Cost, Big-Block Chassis

November 26, 2001 by · Leave a Comment 

Spartan Motors Inc. will introduce on Tuesday (Nov. 27) what it describes as “the first low-cost, big-block, big performance diesel pusher chassis to hit the market.” The new chassis, called the NVS, will be introduced during the RV industry’s National Trade show in Louisville, which opens Tuesday. The NVS will be at Spartan’s display, Booth 5219. The NVS features a Cummins 300-horsepower (hp) engine and Allison MH3000 six-speed transmission capable to producing 860 foot/lbs. of torque. It... Read more

Terrorism Impact on Towable Retail Marginal

November 26, 2001 by · Leave a Comment 

The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks apparently had only a marginal impact on retail sales of towable RVs during September, according to data gathered by Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm. Although retail sales of travel trailers, fifth-wheels, folding campers and park models all were down in September, retail sales for all categories have been down so far this year, when compared with 2000. The declines in September were larger than they were during the entire third quarter... Read more

RV Campground Operators See Busy Winter Ahead

November 21, 2001 by · Leave a Comment 

While most segments of the travel and tourism industry are struggling, many RV campground operators in Sun Belt states say they will have plenty of business this winter. In Texas, RV campground reservations are up from 15% to 200%, according to Brian Schaeffer, executive director of the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO). One example is Crooked Tree RV Park in Brownsville, where September revenue was up 200% because snowbirds arrived earlier. “Our first big month is usually December,”... Read more

Many Dealers Optimistic About 2002

November 21, 2001 by · Leave a Comment 

Several dealers who were interviewed recently said the resilience that the RV retail market has shown this fall makes them optimistic about 2002. Campers Barn of Kingston in Kingston, N.Y., estimates its sales will be up 15% in 2002 in terms of unit volume, said Jim Bracco, vice president and general manager. “I feel strongly that it will be a strong year next year,” Bracco said. “We’ll increase our floorplan and hire more sales people and service technicians.” Kingston is 100 miles north... Read more

Forest River to Appeal Federal Jury Verdict

November 21, 2001 by · Leave a Comment 

Forest River Inc. President Pete Liegl said the company will appeal the $320,000 judgment against the firm in a sexual harassment case, according to the Goshen News of Goshen, Ind. A U.S. District Court jury in South Bend, Ind., on Friday (Nov. 16) ordered Forest River, based in Goshen, to pay $320,000 in compensatory and punitive damages to former employee Dawn Beard. Beard, of LaGrange County, Ind., worked in the final finish department of a Forest River plant in Goshen. She claimed a male foreman... Read more

Terrorist Attacks Impacted September Motorhome Retail

November 20, 2001 by · Leave a Comment 

Motorhome dealers “lost one week of sales” immediately following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, but the impact of the shocking events was not long-lasting, according to Tom Walworth, President of Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm. After adjusting for the fact four states did not get their September motorhome sales figures compiled in time, Statistical Surveys’ data shows Class A motorhome retail sales were down 17.7% and Class C sales were down 11.3%... Read more

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