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Distance Learning Gains Ground With Techs

July 30, 2004 by · Leave a Comment 

Officials hope to register between 250 and 300 locations outside of Florida for the fourth year of RV service technician certification classes. Those classes, conducted by satellite and on the Internet, begin Sept. 15. “We want to increase our enrollment because we want to put the mind set about training right inside the dealership,” said Bruce Hopkins, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association vice president for standards and education. In 2003, 255 dealers and manufacturers – 58... Read more

Jayco’s Record Pace Energizes Dealer Confab

July 30, 2004 by · Leave a Comment 

Indiana-based RV manufacturer Jayco Inc.’s ongoing efforts to differentiate and refine its product offerings has yielded some eye-popping results in shipments and sales. That was the central message delivered by the privately held company’s management team during Jayco’s annual Homecoming Meeting July 19-21 in Las Vegas. “In 2003, Jayco increased shipments to dealers by nearly 10 percent over the previous year,” Jayco President Derald Bontrager told representatives of some 190 dealerships... Read more

Supplier Drew Reports Record Sales, Earnings

July 30, 2004 by · Leave a Comment 

Drew Industries Inc., parent of RV industry supplier firms Kinro, Lippert and Zieman, reported record sales and earnings for the three months ended June 30. The company’s net income increased 53% during the April-through-June period to $8.2 million, compared with $5.3 million a year earlier. Drew’s RV-related operating earnings increased 51% during the three months to $10.4 million, compared with $6.9 million a year earlier. Meanwhile, Drew’s total sales increased 58% during the second quarter... Read more

Southeast RV Dealer Enters Elkhart Market

July 30, 2004 by · Leave a Comment 

A leading Southeast RV dealership chain has purchased a former auto sales lot on the northwest side of Elkhart, Ind., and will begin selling products by this fall, according to a story in the Elkhart Truth. Auto dealer Thad Naquin said that on July 1 he sold the former Linville Olds-Cadillac site on North Nappanee St. in Elkhart to Suncoast Properties of Jacksonville, Fla., owners and operators of Suncoast RV Centers. The expanding dealership chain has 13 RV dealerships in the Southeast. Salem Hassan,... Read more

Fleetwood Motorhome Sales Increase 22%

July 30, 2004 by · Leave a Comment 

Fleetwood Enterprises Inc.’s motorhome sales revenue increased 22% to $313 million in the first quarter of its fiscal year 2005, although the company’s travel-trailer, fifth-wheel and folding-camper sales all declined, Fleetwood reported Thursday (July 29). Fleetwood’s total RV sales increased 10% to $481 million in quarter that ended July 25, compared with $437 million for the same period a year earlier. The company’s travel trailer and fifth-wheel sales declined 6% in the period to... Read more

Fleetwood vs. Coleman Trial Set for November

July 29, 2004 by · Leave a Comment 

A November trial date has been set for the lawsuit filed by Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. against The Coleman Co. Inc., which challenges Coleman’s decision to allow Coachmen to build RVs under the Coleman brand name, Coachmen Chairman and CEO Claire Skinner revealed during a conference call with investment analysts on Tuesday (July 27). Fleetwood, which built folding trailers under the Coleman brand name from 1989 until last year, has named Coachmen “a cross-claimant” in its suit against... Read more

Featherlite Reports 67% Increase in Earnings

July 29, 2004 by · Leave a Comment 

Bu- conversion motorhome and specialty aluminum-trailer and transporter manufacturer Featherlite Inc. reported a 67% increase in second-quarter earnings. “Our luxury coach sales offices are reporting increased customer traffic and excitement over the 2005 Featherlite coaches, especially the Triple Crown- and Super Slide-model Vantares,” said Conrad Clement, president and CEO. “We have lowered our used coach inventory significantly, which will lower interest costs and should increase... Read more

RV Supplier Hopkins Manufacturing Sold

July 29, 2004 by · Leave a Comment 

Hopkins Manufacturing Corp., a supplier of specialized towing RV aftermarket products, has been acquired by private equity firm Friend Skoler & Co. L.L.C., Saddle Brook, N.J. The announcement was accompanied by news that American Capital Strategies Ltd. has invested $35 million in Emporia, Kan.-based Hopkins. Hopkins’ products include vehicle-to-trailer wiring and control accessories, RV supplemental tow brakes, RV levels and a variety of automotive fluids and accessories. Bradley Kraft,... Read more

RVBUSINESS.com: RV Industry Supports Bush

July 29, 2004 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s probably no surprise to veteran RV industry observers that support for President George W. Bush within the ranks of the RV industry is very strong. According to the latest RVBUSINESS.com Poll, in fact, preference for Bush in November exceeds 85% of our website’s respondents. Conversely, only 13% of poll respondents said Massachusetts Senator John Kerry should be elected to the nation’s highest office. Independent Ralph Nader mustered barely 1%. Asked to explain their viewpoints, poll participants... Read more

Spartan Motorhome Chassis Sales Up 55%

July 29, 2004 by · Leave a Comment 

Spartan Motors Inc.’s second-quarter earnings tripled largely because of a 55% increase in sales of its diesel-pusher motorhome chassis to RV firms. The Charlotte, Mich. company reported today (July 29) that it earned $2.3 million during the three months ended June 30, compared with $734,000 earned during the April-through-June portion of 2003. The company’s total sales increased 42% during the second quarter to $78.2 million, which included the 55% gain in motorhome chassis revenue and a 36%... Read more

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