Monaco Leads RV Stock Price Rebound

January 28, 2003 by · Comments Off on Monaco Leads RV Stock Price Rebound 

A strong earnings report issued by Monaco Coach Corp. today (Jan. 28) contributed to strong stock price gains by Monaco and several other RV manufacturers. Monaco’s stock fell to a new 52-week low on Monday (Jan. 27) but, today, Monaco shares gained $2.19, or 18%, to close at $14.27 a share. However, Monaco’s stock remains well below its 52-week high of $30.70 a share. Meanwhile, shares of Winnebago Industries Inc. and Thor Industries Inc., until recently the RV industry’s two high fliers,... Read more

RVIA Wants Exemption for Smaller Firms

January 27, 2003 by · Comments Off on RVIA Wants Exemption for Smaller Firms 

Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) officials are hopeful the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will exempt smaller manufacturers from a wave of new mandated paperwork requiring the reporting of safety-related statistics. The new rules go into effect Aug. 1. “It is still a major issue for companies,” said Bruce Hopkins, RVIA vice president of standards and education. “I am feeling better that some of the smaller companies aren’t going to have to get into this... Read more

Fleetwood Restructures Its Credit Line

January 27, 2003 by · Comments Off on Fleetwood Restructures Its Credit Line 

Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. has successfully restructured its revolving line of credit, thus eliminating the need for it to pay a $1.9 million fee on Sunday, and lowering the amount of its required cash reserve by $20 million. Fleetwood’s line of credit is with a syndicate of banks led by Bank of America. The banks agreed to reduce Fleetwood’s borrowing power to $110 million from $190 million, but Fleetwood executives reported today (Jan. 27) that $110 million more closely matches the value of... Read more

Blue Bird Pushes Its Wanderlodge M380

January 27, 2003 by · Comments Off on Blue Bird Pushes Its Wanderlodge M380 

Luxury motorhome manufacturer Blue Bird Corp., Macon, Ga., is participating at more consumer RV shows this winter to support its Wanderlodge M380, a more mainstream motorhome positioned at the lower-end of the highline motorcoach price range. The Wanderlodge M380 is a 38-foot diesel pusher Blue Bird started shipping to an expanded dealer base in September. With a base retail price of $350,000, it represents Blue Bird’s effort to become more competitive in the highline segment of the conventional... Read more

Small Dealers Leaving New RV Sales?

January 27, 2003 by · Comments Off on Small Dealers Leaving New RV Sales? 

At least one small dealer has discontinued stocking new RV units because the manufacturers wanted him to carry larger inventories than what he felt he could afford, according to the Standard-Examiner of Ogden, Utah. Roy Mendoza, owner of Roy’s Cars & RVs in Ogden, told the Standard-Examiner he now stocks only used RVs, along with cars and trucks. RV manufacturers “forced numbers on us and we didn’t want to carry $2 million to $3 million in inventory because the interest (expense) ate us... Read more

Kemlite Sees Strong RV Market in ‘03

January 24, 2003 by · Comments Off on Kemlite Sees Strong RV Market in ‘03 

Despite war worries and the view expressed by some economists that the U.S. is entering the second half of a “double-dip” recession, Crane Co., parent of fiberglass supplier Kemlite, believes the RV market “will remain strong” in 2003. “RV orders remained strong in the fourth quarter, although backlog was lower than the third quarter because of a surge of orders in the third quarter that created a six-week backlog versus the normal eight-day cycle,” Crane executives reported today (Jan.... Read more

Industry Leaders Remain Upbeat About ‘03

January 24, 2003 by · Comments Off on Industry Leaders Remain Upbeat About ‘03 

They are concerned about the economic impact of a possible war against Iraq, but RV industry leaders and company executives remain upbeat in their outlooks for the RV market in 2003. David Humphreys, president of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), which represents RV manufacturers and supplier firms, said he is not second-guessing the forecast of a 5% increase in shipments this year, which was formulated late last year by Dr. Richard Curtin of the University of Michigan’s Survey... Read more

Bass Pro to Expand by 33%

January 23, 2003 by · Comments Off on Bass Pro to Expand by 33% 

Bass Pro Shops Inc., the retail store chain that has dabbled in RV retailing, announced earlier this week it will open five more locations before the end of 2004. Bass Pro, operator of 15 Outdoor World stores, said it will open stores in Bossier City (Shreveport), La., Destin, Fla., Hampton, Va., Las Vegas, Nev., and Oklahoma City. The Bossier City Outdoor World is scheduled to open in the late fall of this year while the Destin location, on the Florida Panhandle, is scheduled to open in the middle... Read more

Dutchmen Breaks Ground for New Plant

January 23, 2003 by · Comments Off on Dutchmen Breaks Ground for New Plant 

Despite frigid temperatures, the Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc. subsidiary of Thor Industries Inc. conducted an official groundbreaking ceremony today (Thursday Jan. 23) for its new production plant on the southeast side of Goshen, Ind. The new, 98,000-square-foot facility is expected to become operational by early summer. Dutchmen anticipates hiring around 200 new employees to build laminated fifth-wheels and travel trailers in the new plant. “Dealer demand for our laminated fifth-wheel products... Read more

Tom Schaeffer to Expand RV Operations

January 22, 2003 by · Comments Off on Tom Schaeffer to Expand RV Operations 

The RV component of Tom Schaeffer’s Recreation & Fitness Center in Shoemakersville, Pa., will expand because the company is liquidating its outdoor-goods department, according to the Reading (Pa.) Eagle. Schaeffer’s is leaving the outdoor goods business because Cabela’s, a hunting, fishing and outdoor gear-specialty retailer, will open its largest store nearby, said Kevin Rinehart, Schaeffer’s store manager. “We’re looking to expand on the RV side (known as Tom Schaeffer’s RV Superstore),... Read more

Ganis Adds Value to E*Trade

January 22, 2003 by · Comments Off on Ganis Adds Value to E*Trade 

E*Trade Group Inc. reported today (Jan. 22) that Ganis Credit Corp., which E*Trade acquired late last year, already is adding to E*Trade’s value. Ganis, a major source of loans to consumers buying RVs, boats and motorsports products, now is a unit of the E*Trade Bank subsidiary of E*Trade Group. “With incremental acquisitions such as Ganis Credit Corp. and Engelman Securities (a broker-to-broker institutional trading business) and a steady focus on meeting the needs of different customer segments,... Read more

Progressive Opens RV Claims Training Center

January 22, 2003 by · Comments Off on Progressive Opens RV Claims Training Center 

Insurance company Progressive Corp. has opened what it believes is the first center to train personnel to handle RV, boat, motorcycle, ATV and personal watercraft claims. The new facility for training reps to handle RV and other leisure products claims is in Tempe, Ariz. Previously, Progressive used its facilities for training auto claims reps to train the people responsible for handling such claims. Progressive decided it needed to open a facility to train more people to handle claims in the sector... Read more

Greeley, Colo., Considers RV Parking Rules

January 21, 2003 by · Comments Off on Greeley, Colo., Considers RV Parking Rules 

Greeley, Colo., has joined the list of communities pondering rules limiting RV owners’ rights to store their rigs on their property. Greeley already has an ordinance prohibiting RV owners from storing RVs or boats within 25 feet of the front property line and it limits who can store them in side yards. And most RV owners are required to park them on a paved surface, not gravel or dirt. The ordinance has been on Greeley’s books for years but it didn’t grab much attention until last year, when... Read more

ARVC Joins Surface Transport Coalition

January 21, 2003 by · Comments Off on ARVC Joins Surface Transport Coalition 

The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) has joined four other trade associations to form the National Travel, Tourism and Recreation Coalition (NTTRC) to lobby Congress as it prepares the next federal highway bill and other transportation-related legislation. Congress needs to pass a new highway bill this year because current legislation expires in October. In addition to ARVC, the other NTTRC members are the American Bus Association (ABA), the National Tour Association (NTA),... Read more

Consumers Cautious at Tampa SuperShow

January 21, 2003 by · Comments Off on Consumers Cautious at Tampa SuperShow 

Some dealers exceeded their sales goals during the recent Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa while others “had a tough time getting names (signatures) on the dotted line,” according to Dave Kelly, marketing director for the Florida RV Trade Association, sponsors of the event. “I don’t think I talked to any dealers who were down in the dumps,” Kelly said. “Some dealers did extremely well while others were a little behind where they wanted to be.” Attendance was good at the major retail show,... Read more

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