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Caudill Feels “De-contenting” Was Fleetwood’s Problem

December 23, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

Ed Caudill, Fleetwood Enterprises Inc.’s president and CEO since August, believes the problems at the company’s RV business arose because of “de-contenting” its products to compete with other manufacturers at the lowest price points. “Somewhere around the mid-’90s the company lost its way,” Caudill said during an interview with RVBUSINESS.COM at the National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky. earlier this month. “I wasn’t there, but from what I’ve been told, there was just... Read more

Workhorse Improves Parts Operation

December 23, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

Recent improvements in the parts operation of Workhorse Custom Chassis has enhanced the profit opportunities for RV service centers while increasing customer satisfaction, according to Workhorse Parts President David Olsen. “We can quickly provide parts for both the Workhorse and older GM chassis,” Olsen explained. “We know many RV service centers previously had issues with our parts service when it was handled by a third-party provider, but we recently moved the Workhorse parts operation to... Read more

Travel Trailer/Fifth-wheel Retail Robust in Oct.

December 23, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

Retail sales of travel trailers and fifth-wheels showed robust growth in October compared with the relatively weak sales in October 2001, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm. However, retails sales of folding campers and park models were lower ithat month than they were in October 2001 in the 40 states from which Statistical Surveys was able to gather data. Statistical Surveys was unable to gather data from Alaska, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, New... Read more

Workhorse Sees Diesel Sector Growth

December 23, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

Workhorse Custom Chassis will enter the diesel motorhome chassis competition in a few months and company executives believe most of its diesel volume will result from that sector’s continued growth. In fact, President Tom Frey believes about two-thirds of Workhorse’s diesel chassis sales volume will come from that growth. The remainder will occur because the firm capture market share from its two competitors, Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp., and Spartan Motors Inc. “Our ambitions are not... Read more

Conseco Financial Files Chapter 11

December 20, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

Well, the shoe finally dropped. Conseco Financial Corp. (CFC), the company once known as Green Tree Financial Corp., has filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The bankruptcy filing by CFC and its affiliate, Conseco Finance Servicing Corp., is the third-largest in U.S. history. Only the WorldCom Inc. and Enron Corp. bankruptcies were larger, according to experts in the field. CFC once was a significant source of RV dealer inventory finance, but it left the... Read more

New ARVC Board Installed

December 20, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) elected and installed its new Board of Directors at Insites, the association’s annual convention and expo in Memphis Nov. 20-23. The new Board includes four new members: Pat Quinn (Connecticut), Norm Chipperfield (Tennessee), Scott Reisland (Alaska), and Mike Molthop (At-Large Delegate). The remaining members of the board and the executive committee whose terms expired this year were re-elected to successive terms. The ARVC board... Read more

Gorin Leads “Best Parks” Approach

December 20, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

A new marketing approach called Best Parks in America (BPA) is being spearheaded by former National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) head David Gorin and he said the response by park operators so far has been terrific. Gorin, a park consultant who was ARVC’s president, has formed a cooperative marketing group that aims to brand “premium level RV parks and campgrounds” in key U.S. markets under the Best Parks in America logo. “I think there is a need to create niches in this... Read more

Fleetwood Offers Gas Motorhome Rebates

December 20, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. is offering direct factory to consumer rebates of up to $1,000 on select model year 2002 gas Class A and Class C motorhomes, according to the company’s website, www.fleetwoodrv.com. The offer ends Jan. 26 and retail buyers must take delivery on or before that date. Fleetwood is offering $1,000 rebates on its 2002 Flair, Storm, Terra and Fiesta Class A’s and its Tioga SL and Jamboree GT Class C’s. It also is offering $750 rebates on its 2002 Tioga and Jamboree Class... Read more

Jellystone Park Volume Up 10%

December 19, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

A good year for business and an appearance by the father of the Yogi Bear Jellystone Park concept highlighted this year’s Leisure Systems Inc. (LSI) annual symposium last month at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Cincinnati. Business at LSI’s Yogi Bear Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts was up at least 10% across the board in 2002, with some parks reporting increases of more than 40% compared to 2001 figures, reports Dean Crawford, a senior vice president for the Cincinnati-based Leisure Systems, which... Read more

R-Vision Western Expansion Postponed

December 19, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

Plans by R-Vision Inc. of Warsaw, Ind., to add a manufacturing plant in Chico, Calif., have been “postponed indefinitely,” Chico city and Butte County, Calif., officials told the Chico Enterprise-Record. R-Vision was considering leasing a factory that Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. used for building Class C motorhomes until the spring of 2001. Fleetwood still owns the property in the northern California community but it is allowing city and county officials to find a tenant for the building, said... Read more

El Monte Hires New Director of Sales

December 19, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

El Monte RV, one of the nation’s largest motorhome rental companies, has hired Jeff Gibson as director of sales. Gibson worked for El Monte RV from 1997 until 2001 as fleet sales manager and recently rejoined the company as director of sales to oversee wholesale and retail sales operations. Prior to returning, Gibson was district sales manager for Fleetwood Enterprises Inc., Riverside, Calif. He has been in the RV business for more than 11 years and is originally from southern California. “We... Read more

Holiday RV Repays Bank of America Debt

December 19, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

Dealership chain Holiday RV Superstores Inc. announced today (Dec. 19) it has repaid the last of the $7.8 million debt that it owed to Bank of America (BofA) as a result of it receiving funding from its major investor, Affinity Group Inc. Chairman Steve Adams. Holiday RV had used the loan from BofA to pay for a significant portion of its inventory. “The completion of this transaction demonstrates the commitment of our company and our investors,” said Holiday RV Chairman Marcus Lemonis. “Our... Read more

Venture Out RV Reopens in Bakersfield

December 18, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

RV industry veterans Lee FitzGerald and Buddy Maltone have purchased the former Recreation USA dealership in Bakersfield, Calif., from Holiday RV Superstores Inc. and they now are calling it Venture Out. Actually, Venture Out is the name of the dealership which FitzGerald’s family founded and which he led beginning in 1987. Then, in 1994, FitzGerald sold Venture Out to Holiday RV and he was the president of Holiday RV’s West Coast operations until 1996. FitzGerald’s noncompete agreement with... Read more

Winnebago’s Earnings Up 52%, Backlog Reduced

December 18, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

Winnebago Industries Inc. reports its net earnings increased 52% in its first fiscal quarter, which ended Nov. 30, and its sales revenue climbed 32% higher in the September-through-November period to a record $234.1 million. Winnebago, a New York Stock Exchange-listed company, earned $16.3 million in the first quarter of its fiscal year 2003, compared with $10.7 million earned a year earlier. “The positive results were due to the excellent acceptance of the company’s new 2003 motorhomes and continued... Read more

Travel Trailer Sector Has Recovered

December 18, 2002 by · Leave a Comment 

Industry data strongly suggests that the travel trailer/fifth-wheel sector fully recovered this year because shipments most likely will exceed the most recent peak levels of 1999-2000, according to Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) data. But the motorhome segment still has a way to go to reach its previous peak set in 1999, a review of RVIA data reveals. The product category experiencing the most robust recovery is conventional travel trailers of which 114,300 units were shipped from... Read more

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