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Coastal Bend Popularity with RVers Grows

March 31, 2004 by · Leave a Comment 

Rumors that some snowbirds had flown the coop this winter season are true, but area Chamber of Commerce officials for Corpus Christi, Texas, say there still were plenty of winter Texans around, according to the Corpus Christi Caller Times. However, several RV campground operators in the Corpus Christi region, known also as the Coastal Bend, said their business was quite strong this past winter because their area is becoming an attractive alternative to the Rio Grande Valley farther south. The Rio... Read more

S&P Promotes Thor to MidCap 400

March 31, 2004 by · Leave a Comment 

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) will promote Thor Industries Inc. from its SmallCap 600 Index to its MidCap 400 Index effective Thursday (April 1). Thor, which is on track to have nearly $2 billion in sales during its fiscal year 2004, which will end on July 31, will become a component of the S&P MidCap 400 Global Industry Classification System (GICS) Automobile Manufacturers Sub-Industry Index after the close of stock market trading on Thursday. Thor will replace information technology... Read more

RVDA Foundation Scholarship Application Deadline Nears

March 31, 2004 by · Leave a Comment 

The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association Education Foundation’s Scholarship Program is accepting applications for the 2004-2005 school year through April 9. The program awards scholarships to college students interested majoring in business, finance, economics and accounting. Applicants must be employees, or their dependents, of RV dealerships or other RV-related companies. Dealer principals and their dependents are not eligible. The scholarship is made possible by the Newt and Joanne Kindlund... Read more

Fleetwood Making Financial Progress

March 31, 2004 by · Leave a Comment 

Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. issued another call on Tuesday (March 30) for the redemption of trust preferred securities, providing an indication that it is making progress towards overcoming the financial difficulties that plagued the firm a few years ago, according to Lyle Larkin, vice president and treasurer. Earlier this month, Fleetwood called for redemption of $50 million worth of 9.5% Convertible Trust Preferred Securities. The $50 million represented one-third of the $150 million in 9.5% convertible... Read more

Campground Reservations Up 73%

March 31, 2004 by · Leave a Comment 

Campground reservations for this summer were up 73% over last year in some regions as of March 1, according to online reservations firm ReserveAmerica. Campers also are showing a strong preference for booking online. Fifty-six percent of all reservations were placed on the Internet, according to the company, which handles reservations for 150,000 campsites on state and federal land. ReserveAmerica, a unit of InterActive Corp., also handles reservations for cabins, day-use facilities, and picnic areas... Read more

Tom Raper Expands Near Cincinnati

March 30, 2004 by · Leave a Comment 

Richmond, Ind.-based dealership Tom Raper Inc. has opened a second store, this one north of Cincinnati in Fairfield, Ohio. “Over the years, we’ve sold thousands of units in the Cincinnati market,” said Dave Bane, president of the company. “From a parts and service standpoint our customers needed to be taken care of.” The new 40,000-square-foot indoor showroom and parts store on Ohio Route 4, about 55 miles southeast of the original Tom Raper location in Indiana, is in a building that formerly... Read more

Coast Declares Special Dividend

March 30, 2004 by · Leave a Comment 

Coast Distribution System Inc. has declared a special dividend and Chairman Tom McGuire said he was hopeful it is a sign of things to come for shareholders. The 6 cents-a-share dividend will be paid on April 23 to shareholders of record as of April 9. Coast, a distributor of aftermarket parts, accessories and supplies to around 15,000 RV and boat dealers in the U.S. and Canada, earned $2.3 million, or 50 cents a share, in 2003, McGuire said. “We are pleased that the earnings we generated in 2003... Read more

rvSearch.com Auction Set for Indy

March 30, 2004 by · Leave a Comment 

Affinity Group Inc.’s. rvSearch.com subsidiary planned to stage a two-day RV auction in May in Indianapolis that will be open to both retail and wholesale customers. “It will be oriented toward both dealers and the general public,” said Ed Schram of Westlake Village, Calif., project manager for AGI, the parent company of TL Enterprises Inc., publisher of RVBusiness and RVBUSINESS.com. “The wholesale side of it — the dealer side — is not an entirely new venture. Dealers are used... Read more

Carriage Names New CEO

March 30, 2004 by · Leave a Comment 

Mid-to-highline towables manufacturer Carriage Inc. has promoted Jeffrey L. Miller, its CFO the past eight years, to the position of CEO. Meanwhile, Glenn Cushman, the Phoenix, Ariz., resident who led the investor group that acquired Millersburg, Ind.-based Carriage in 1999, and who served as CEO since 2001, will remain with Carriage as a “consultant to the sales department and concentrate on dealer relations and long-term corporate planning.” Cushman, who continues as the principal owner of... Read more

Coachmen Expanding Towables Output

March 30, 2004 by · Leave a Comment 

Coachmen Industries Inc. will be able to expand its production of certain midsize travel trailers and fifth-wheels by 40% as a result of the company moving the operations of one of its factories from Goshen to Middlebury, Ind., according to Mike Terlep, president of Coachmen RV Co. Coachmen sold a 79,000-square-foot towables assembly plant in Goshen to Thor Industries Inc.’s Keystone RV Co. subsidiary and Coachmen has relocated the Goshen plant’s activities into a factory it bought from Jayco... Read more

Travel-Trailer, Fifth-wheel Retail Up in January

March 29, 2004 by · Leave a Comment 

Combined retail sales of travel trailers and fifth-wheels increased 11.5% in January with travel trailers gaining 9.9% and fifth-wheels increasing an even 14%, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm. There were 5,122 travel trailers sold in January by dealers in the 48 states from which Statistical Surveys was able to gather data, compared with 4,659 in January 2003. Statistical Surveys was unable to collect New Hampshire’s numbers in time for its report and... Read more

Fleetwood Forms Gearbox Marketing Partnerships

March 29, 2004 by · Leave a Comment 

Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. has formed marketing partnerships with dirt-bike enthusiast media outlets and rider equipment suppliers to help market its Gearbox LSV sport utility RV. Fleetwood formed the partnerships with Dirt Rider Magazine and Outdoor Life Network’s Dirt Rider Adventure program and M2R Helmets and Spy Optics. Dirt Rider Magazine and Dirt Rider Adventure used the GearBox LSV, which stands for lifestyle support vehicle, at their 24-hour test event in Gorman, Calif., in January and... Read more

20,000th Montana Fiver Shipped

March 29, 2004 by · Leave a Comment 

Keystone RV Co. shipped its 20,000th Montana fifth-wheel on Friday (March 26), the Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary announced. Ron Neff, president of American RV of Grand Rapids, Mich., one of the largest Montana dealers in the country, was presented the keys to the 20,000th unit during a ceremony at Keystone’s Montana plant in Goshen, Ind., on Friday. The Montana brand was introduced in 1998, two years after Keystone was founded. Since then, it has grown to become the leading fifth-wheel brand. In... Read more

RVBUSINESS.com Poll: 5%-9% Growth in ’04

March 29, 2004 by · Leave a Comment 

Nearly 87% of those responding by e-mail to the first-ever RVBUSINESS.com Industry Poll believe the RV sector’s 2004 sales will exceed those of 2003. And, given a variety of generally positive economic signals, about 41% of the nearly 400 survey respondents think that this year’s gains will be in the upper single-digit range. A closer look: • 10.5% anticipate double-digit growth. • 40.9% expect an upswing of 5% to 9%. • 35.4% foresee modest growth of less than 5%. • 9% expect no significant... Read more

Keystone Buys Former Coachmen Plant

March 29, 2004 by · Leave a Comment 

Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary Keystone RV Co., today (March 29) completed the acquisition of an 80,000-square-foot former Coachmen Industries Inc. plant in Goshen, Ind., so Keystone could increase output of its Outback travel-trailer and fifth-wheel models by 30% to 40%. Terms of the transaction were not revealed. The former Coachmen facility, which Keystone plans to have in operation by May, also will be used to supply laminated building materials for Outback units and other Keystone brands, Ron... Read more

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