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Fleetwood’s Loss Narrows

February 28, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

RV and manufactured home builder Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. reports it lost $17.3 million during the three months ended Jan. 27, despite a profit earned by its Motorhome Division. The Riverside, Calif.-based company’s loss during the November-through-January period, the third quarter of its fiscal year 2002, compares with a loss of $205 million incurred a year earlier. The loss during the third quarter of Fleetwood’s fiscal year 2001 included a $163.2 million non-cash charge to account for goodwill... Read more

Towable RV and Mobe Retailing Losses Still Plague Fleetwood

February 28, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

Losses from manufactured home retailing and from travel trailer and fifth-wheel assembly continued to plague Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. during its third fiscal quarter, which ended Jan. 27. The Riverside, Calif.-based company reported today (Feb. 28) that its manufactured home retailing operations lost $9.6 million and its RV operations lost $9.2 million during the November-through-January period, the third quarter of its fiscal year 2002. Fleetwood’s motorhome division earned a $5.6 million operating... Read more

Fleetwood Motorhome Unit Volume Up

February 28, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

The number of motorhomes that Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. sold to its dealers during the three months ended Jan. 27 increased 13.5% to 1,987 units, the company reported today (Feb. 28). Meanwhile, Fleetwood also reported that the number of travel trailers and fifth-wheels purchased by its dealers declined 11% during the November-through-January period to 5,268 units and its folding camper sales were down 6% to 4,225 units during the period. The increase during Fleetwood’s third fiscal quarter represents... Read more

Liberty Coach Celebrates Florida Grand Opening

February 28, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

Liberty Coach Inc., North Chicago, Ill., had a grand opening celebration earlier this month at its new sales and service facility in Stuart, Fla. Liberty, which sells its custom-built units directly to retail buyers, converts about 36 Prevost XL-II and H3-45 bus shells into luxury motorhomes each year. It will continue manufacturing all of its units north of Chicago but the Konigseder family-owned firm decided to open a sales and service facility in Florida to better serve its customers. The facility... Read more

Schalter To Become Spartan President

February 27, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

Diesel pusher chassis, fire truck and emergency vehicle manufacturer Spartan Motors Inc. announced that Richard Schalter, currently its CFO, will become president of its Spartan Motor Chassis subsidiary effective Monday (March 4). Schalter will retain his CFO responsibilities while the Charlotte, Mich.-based company conducts a nationwide search for his successor. Schalter also will continue as executive vice president of the parent company. As chassis subsidiary president, Schalter, 48, will replace... Read more

Automakers May Accept Higher CAFE

February 27, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

The auto manufacturers are optimistic they will defeat a Senate bill to raise the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standard to 35 miles per gallon (mpg), but some are willing to accept a smaller CAFE increase, according to the Automotive News. A DaimlerChrysler executive said if the CAFE standard is raised to 35 mpg, then it would be impossible to build “minivans, sport-utilities and pickup trucks (all RV potential tow vehicles) like we know them.” However, the same executive, Robert Liberatore,... Read more

Greenspan Sees Modest Recovery

February 27, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told Congress today (Feb. 27) that the U.S. economy is emerging from recession, although he cautioned that the recovery will be modest, according to Reuters. “The typical dynamics of the business cycle have re-emerged and are prompting a firming in economic activity,” Greenspan told the House Committee on Financial Services. “An array of influences unique to this business cycle, however, seems likely to moderate the speed of the anticipated recovery.” A... Read more

Thor Stock Reaches $50 a Share

February 27, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

Five RV industry-related companies saw their stock prices reach new 52-week highs today (Feb. 27), possibly because Fed. Chairman Alan Greenspan also told Congress today that the economic recession is almost over. Among the five firms was Thor Industries Inc., the retail market share leader in towable RVs, which saw its stock price climb briefly above $50 a share. Thor stock reached as high as $50.26, a new 52-week high, in New York Stock Exchange trading today, before closing at $50.00, up 57 cents... Read more

Travel Trailer/Fifth-wheel Sales Soar in December

February 26, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

Last year ended on a high note as retail sales of travel trailers and fifth-wheels soared more than 20% in December, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm. The dramatic rise in sales of the larger towables gives more weight to the argument that the RV industry has started on the upward trend of its cycle. Specifically, both travel trailer and fifth-wheel sales increased 23.3% last December, when compared with December 2000, according to Statistical Surveys. There... Read more

Is Cheap Gas Responsible for Rising RV Sales?

February 26, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

For years, RV industry executives generally believed it was not the price of fuel that determined RV sales, but the availability of fuel. But now, Doron Levin, the columnist for Bloomberg.com who follows the auto industry, takes the point of view that, yes, fuel prices have a profound impact on RV sales. In a piece on Bloomberg.com titled “Recreational Vehicle Sales May Rise With Cheap Gas,” Levin wrote, “Though low interest rates and a rise in disposable income seem to favor the industry,... Read more

Motorhome Becomes Mobile Barbershop

February 26, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

A Silicon Valley, Calif., barber faced with moving his shop to make room for a redevelopment project decided instead to operate his shop from a 32-foot Winnebago Class A motorhome, according to the San Jose Mercury News. The barber, 63-year-old James Wilmore, had his rig modified to include three barber chairs and a mini red-and-white barber’s pole. It also has the name of his shop, Contour, painted on the outside. The front of the motorhome serves as the waiting room where customers can watch... Read more

When Will RV Company Stock Prices Peak?

February 26, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

When will RV company stock prices peak? While investors may be asking themselves that question, some keep pushing certain RV stock prices higher. For the second consecutive day today (Feb. 26), the prices of Winnebago, Thor and Coast Distribution stocks reached new 52-week highs. Coachmen Industries Inc. stock also established a new 52-week high of $18.10 a share Monday (Feb. 25), and it closed at $17.80 today. Winnebago stock has gained the most this week. It climbed $2.52 a share Monday and another... Read more

Jayco Re-commits to “Traditional Values”

February 25, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

Life never seems to change all that much around the Amish-Mennonite communities of Northern Indiana. Lately, however, there has been an unusual wave of management changes at Jayco Inc., a major U.S. RV manufacturer located in the small Elkhart County community of Middlebury. Jayco’s management shakeup all started in early January with a surprise announcement that the closely held company, led by the founding Bontrager family, was “restructuring” its executive management team and that then-President... Read more

Rec. USA Faces Nasdaq De-listing

February 25, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

Recreation USA, the RV and boat dealership chain officially known as Holiday RV Superstores Inc., is facing de-listing from the Nasdaq National Market, according to Casey Gunnell, president and CFO of the dealership group. Holiday RV, which has the ticker symbol RVEE, could be de-listed on May 15 unless the market value of its publicly held shares climbs above $15 million and its stock price climbs above $3.00 a share. Holiday RV might appeal its de-listing or apply for transfer to the Nasdaq SmallCap... Read more

Starcraft/Daimler Partner to Service Van Conversions

February 25, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

Starcraft Corp. has partnered with auto maker DaimlerChrysler in forming a subsidiary called Conversion Warranty Inc. to service van conversion owners, regardless of chassis type or brand name. “With the decline of the van conversions, it is leaving many consumers and (auto) dealers without someone to handle their (replacement) parts and service needs,” said Sherry Roberts, vice president of Goshen, Ind.-based Starcraft. Starcraft was a major van conversion producer during the early 1990s but... Read more

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