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Soft Markets Result in 2Q Loss for Coachmen

July 30, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

“Severe contraction” in the recreational vehicle and manufactured housing markets signaled a second-quarter loss for Coachmen Industries Inc. despite market share gains on the RV side and a return to profitability in its housing group. “The market declines of 2006 have continued this year, and for the first six months of 2007, total industry shipments of all RV types fell another 12.9%, while in housing, single-family housing starts fell 21.6% from June 2006,” said Rick M. Lavers, president... Read more

Motorized Sector Moderates June Shipments

July 27, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

A modest upsurge in Class A and Class C motorhome shipments helped to moderate an otherwise soft wholesale RV marketplace in June. June shipments totaled 34,500 units, compared to 37,400 in 2006, according to figures released Thursday (July 26) by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). Total shipments for the first half of the year amounted to 196,000 units, down 12.9% from 225,000 delivered in the first six months of 2006, although ’06 numbers do reflect orders for post-Katrina... Read more

RVers Actively Seek RV-friendly Locations

July 27, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

A research study conducted at the University of Northern British Columbia and Texas A&M University finds that RV-friendliness is key to attracting RV travelers. The research was conducted in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, at Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway, one of the major destinations for tourists from Canada and the U.S. More than 900 RVers were surveyed and interviewed through the summer of 2006 and provided new insights into their demographics, habitats, needs and preferences, according to... Read more

Cruise America Celebrates 35th Anniversary

July 27, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Cruise America RV celebrates its 35th anniversary this month. The company has grown dramatically since its founding in 1972 in Florida by Robert Smalley Sr., a former president of car-rental giant Hertz. Cruise America has expanded from a small family operation to become the largest RV rental company in the U.S., as well as one of the top sellers of used Class C motorhomes, according to a news release. In 1993, America shifted operations to Mesa, Ariz., where it is still located today. Now operating... Read more

Tiffin Unveils PowerGlide Diesel Pusher Chassis

July 27, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Tiffin Motorhomes Inc., will begin producing its Allegro Bus diesel pusher on a new, proprietary PowerGlide chassis that it will manufacture at its Red Bay, Ala., factory. General Manager Tim Tiffin said the 34,600-pound GVWR PowerGlide is a step toward “one-stop service” for Tiffin customers. The new chassis is being shown to dealers during Tiffin’s annual dealer meeting July 26-28 at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla. The company said it will initially offer the... Read more

Dutchmen Debuts Fiberglass Sidewall Package

July 27, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc. has introduced an optional new fiberglass sidewall package that, according to a release, enhances the appearance of the trailer while also protecting it from road hazards. Available on Dutchmen Lite and Four Winds Express Lite travel trailers, the new sidewall option replaces the standard corrugated aluminum exterior siding. “The new package creates a durable fiberglass sidewall option on entry-level price point units,” reported Steve Paul, vice president and... Read more

Availability Hampers Redesigned Sprinter Sales

July 26, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Sales of the newly redesigned Dodge Sprinter van, popular in the RV industry as a platform for Class B and C motorhomes, have fallen substantially from 2006, primarily because parent company DaimlerChrysler AG isn’t exporting enough of them to the states, according to USA Today. “If we get could more over here, we could sell them,” said Chrysler Group spokesman Bryan Zvibleman. Dodge sold 6,438 of the Mercedes-Benz-built vans during the first six months of the year, down 38% from the... Read more

Baird Poll: Half Report Sales Below Expectations

July 26, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

In its recently released “Q2 RV Dealer Survey,” investment firm Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. found that demand remains soft and lot inventory is falling as RV dealers reduce orders. Retailers remain reluctant to order as higher interest rates have discouraged trade-ins. Milwaukee-based Baird polled 86 dealers to gauge retail trends, inventories, promotional activity and 2007 expectations heading into the third quarter. Results included: • Retail: Demand remained weak in Q2 as... Read more

R-Vision Outfitting PODS for Emergency Housing

July 26, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

RV manufacturer R-Vision Inc., Warsaw, Ind., is outfitting specially equipped Portable On Demand Storage (PODS) units — typically used to store household goods — to be used for emergency housing, according to the Associated Press. Pete Warhurst, founder of PODS Enterprises Inc., Clearwater, Fla., is in discussions with the state of Florida and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) about ordering PODS units to have on hand. Monster storms in 2004 and 2005 planted the seed in Warhurst’s... Read more

Spartan Reports Record Quarter Sales, Earnings

July 26, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

Despite continued softening in its RV chassis segment, Spartan Motors Inc. today (July 26) reported its best-ever second quarter results — marked by a 39.7% increase in net sales and a 30.5% increase in net earnings for the quarter ended June 30. The Charlotte, Mich.-based manufacturer of custom vehicle chassis and emergency- rescue vehicles reported net earnings of $6.5 million on net sales of $152.6 million in the second quarter, compared with net earnings of $5 million on net sales of $109.2... Read more

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