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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

Gas Prices Reach Record High

March 26, 2004 by · Leave a Comment 

Gasoline prices reached record highs on Thursday (March 25), but there are indications gas prices will slip lower because it appears OPEC nations will ignore production quotas in order to maximize their revenues from high-priced crude oil. However, so far, it appears the high gas and diesel fuel prices are having a negligible impact on the RV retail market, according to industry sources. According to Fuelgaugereport.com, a service of AAA, the national average retail price for self-serve unleaded... Read more

Motorhome Retail Down 8.9% in December

March 26, 2004 by · Leave a Comment 

Statistical Surveys Inc. has revised its December motorhome retail market report and the market research firm now believes retail sales of Class A’s and C’s declined 8.9% in December, not 18.5% as it had reported earlier. The difference in the figures resulted from Statistical Surveys conclusion that 236 Class A’s and 61 Class C’s were not included in its original report because several states shut their record-keeping departments down early for the holidays to save money. Consequently, several... Read more

Workhorse Says R Series Diesel a Hit

March 26, 2004 by · Leave a Comment 

Officials with Workhorse Custom Chassis are convinced the company’s new R-series diesel-pusher chassis is a big hit with retail buyers. In fact, they say, some retail customers are taking delivery sight unseen of motorhomes on R-series chassis. For example, Vern Phillips, general manager of RV Peddler in Bakersfiled, Calif., sold his first R-series Class A to a customer who made the purchase “unseen and undriven,” according to Workhorse. The customer traded a “hardly used” 2002 Rexhall... Read more

Wi-Fi Demonstrated at FMCA Albuquerque

March 26, 2004 by · Leave a Comment 

Some 300 of the 4,000 members attending the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) 71st International Convention in Albuquerque, N.M., participated in an experiment to bring high-speed wireless Internet access to large temporary gatherings of people. “This was one of the largest outdoor networks ever set up,” said Jamison Stewart, president and CEO of Coach Connect Corp., Austin, Tex., whose company installed 10 antennas on the periphery of Albuquerque’s 76-acre Balloon Fiesta Park. ( Wi-Fi... Read more

Foreign Travel Outlook Improves

March 26, 2004 by · Leave a Comment 

According to analysts, the RV industry has benefitted since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks because Americans decided to vacation closer to home, presumably in RVs they bought recently or are planning to buy. How much of an effect those events had on RV sales is not known, but it is becoming apparent that Americans now are less afraid of traveling overseas, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article and other sources. For example, online travel agency Travelocity reports its air-travel... Read more

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