Fed Swings the Axe, Slashes Key Interest Rate

October 29, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

The Federal Reserve has slashed a key interest rate by half a percentage point as it seeks to revive an economy hit by a long list of maladies stemming from the most severe financial crisis in decades. The Associated Press reported that the central bank on Wednesday (Oct. 29) reduced its target for the federal funds rate, the interest banks charge on overnight loans, to 1%, a low last seen in 2003-2004. The funds rate has not been lower since 1958, when Dwight Eisenhower was president. The cut marked... Read more

12 Park Model Builders to Display in Louisville

October 28, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Twelve members of the Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA) will be displaying new products at the National RV Trade Show Dec. 2-4 in Louisville, Ky. The manufacturing firms divvied up some 18,900 square feet in the Broadbent Arena at the Kentucky Exposition Center that became available in early October. “We’re back, and that’s a good thing,” Bill Garpow, RPTIA executive director, told RVBusiness. In March, citing a traditional waiting list for Recreation Vehicle Industry... Read more

Camping World CEO Revs Up NASCAR Presence

October 28, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Marcus Lemonis believes his path to NASCAR can be traced to when he was adopted, at 9 months old, in Beirut. According to the Miami Herald, a couple from Miami raised him in South Florida and by the time he reached fourth grade, friends told him he would one day become a mayor. “I always looked like I wanted to be in charge of everything,” said Lemonis, CEO and chairman of national dealer network Camping World Inc. “I never knew I would be this lucky, but I always had a pretty good... Read more

Kingsley Coach Entering RV Rental Marketplace

October 28, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Custom motorhome builder Kingsley Coach Inc. announced today (Oct. 29) that the company will be establishing a short-term motorhome rental and leasing subsidiary in order to “help increase revenue streams.” In a press release, Kingsley stated: “After considerable due diligence and deliberation, Kingsley has found a need to focus its business on the short-term rental of Kingsley custom coaches, as well as motorhomes made by other manufacturers.” Kinglsey said that the RV rental market was... Read more

Consumer Sentiment Hits New Low in October

October 28, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Consumer confidence plunged to its lowest level on record in October, a private research group said Tuesday (Oct. 28). The Associated Press reported that the Conference Board said the consumer confidence index fell to 38, down from a revised 61.4 in September and significantly below analysts’ expectations of 52. That’s the lowest level for the index since the Conference Board began tracking consumer sentiment in 1967, and the third-steepest drop. A year ago, the index stood at 95.2. “Consumers... Read more

Coachmen Details Pact With Chinese Auto Firm

October 28, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

The first Coachmen Industries Inc. RVs bound for the emerging market in China under a recent agreement will likely be motorized units. The Middlebury, Ind.-based builder announced Monday (Oct. 28) in its third-quarter earnings report that it had entered into an agreement with a major automaker in China to act as Coachmen’s importer, distributor and sales partner in the foreign market. Following an investor conference call today, Coachmen officials told RVBusiness that the agreement is with Jinbei... Read more

Wall Street Looks for Fed Rate Cut, Stocks Soar

October 28, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Disappearing jobs, burrowing consumers and skittish companies are reasons for the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates and brace the tottering economy, according to an Associated Press report. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues open a two-day meeting Tuesday (Oct. 28) afternoon – their last before the November elections — to make a fresh assessment of economic and financial conditions and decide their next move on rates. Their decision will be announced Wednesday. It is all but... Read more

Katrina Inspires Concept for Lodge-on-Wheels

October 27, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

A small Mississippi company spawned by Hurricane Katrina has begun building “Lodge-on-Wheels” recreational vehicles — small, all-wood residences mounted on utility trailer frames, the first of which served as emergency housing for the company’s president who was left homeless by the storm. “We are really just getting started,” said Julie Martin, president of The Martin House Co. LLC, Bay St. Louis, Miss., whose company began production in February. “We do custom builds, and that... Read more

As Gas Prices Fall, Credit Still Crimps Industry

October 27, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

The recent fall of gas prices by more than a dollar a gallon certainly won’t hurt the RV industry, officials say. But a far bigger boost will come when the seemingly frozen credit world thaws, according to a report in the South Bend Tribune. “We’ve been saying all year that the real issue is not fuel prices,” said Kevin Broom, director of media relations for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). “It’s credit, and we believe that continues to be the... Read more

Canadian OEM Roadtrek Lays off 180 Workers

October 27, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Canadian-based Class B motorhome builder Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc. laid off around 180 workers last week, leaving about 20 workers at the Kitchener, Ontario, plant. As reported by CTV, the effects of summer-long high gas prices and an increasingly tightened credit environment put the brakes on manufacturing. Remaining workers will finish up existing vans currently in production. Chairman Jeff Hanemaayer told the TV station that it is the “worst situation” he’s seen in his 23 years of running... Read more

Towable Builder Ameri-Camp Ceases Operations

October 27, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Towable builder RV Manufacturing Enterprises LLC, dba Ameri-Camp, has closed its doors, according to a memo to suppliers from President Michael Bajaillia. “It is with sincere disappointment that we write to inform you that, due to economic conditions, Ameri-Camp is forced to cease its operations,” said Bajaillia’s Oct. 20 memo. “Unfortunately, the company has no available assets to pay toward its unsecured creditors. “We sincerely regret the impact this has upon your... Read more

September Wholesale Shipments Tumble 42.5%

October 27, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Wholesale shipments continued to retreat in September, down 42.5%, as all sectors showed sharp declines in year-over-year comparisons. The report marked the fifth straight month that deliveries incurred 25-plus-percent drop-offs. Shipments have lagged behind 2007 totals every month this year. According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), overall September shipments totaled 15,400 units compared with 26,800 a year ago. For the nine months, deliveries fell 24.6% to 211,900 units... Read more

FEMA Seeks to Meet With OEMs on Formaldehyde

October 27, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has scheduled a hastily called meeting for Thursday (Oct. 30) in Washington, D.C., allowing RV manufacturers and a Joint Housing Solutions Group to discuss “current market condition and the capability of RV manufacturers” to build travel trailers meeting FEMA’s now-stringent formaldehyde standards. Invitations for the meeting were posted on FEMA’s website Friday, and the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) issued a Standards... Read more

‘Financial Hurricane’ Impacts Coachmen’s 3Q

October 27, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

With its core recreational vehicle and manufactured housing markets being battered by a “financial hurricane,” Coachmen Industries Inc. reported a wider net loss for its third quarter, ended Sept. 30, on a 40% decline in revenue. “Both of our primary market segments are down by roughly 50% industrywide,” said Richard M. Lavers, president and CEO of the Middlebury, Ind.-based builder, noting that the housing segment did turn a pre-tax profit despite the adverse conditions. In its report, Coachmen... Read more

Reality TV Comes to AGI’s ‘The Rally’ in 2009

October 24, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Wilderness expert and survivalist Brian Brawdy and his co-pilot will live in his biodiesel-powered Lance Model 1181 camper on the grounds of the Expo New Mexico during “The Rally” April 17-20 in Albuquerque, N.M. The couple will be challenged to show how much RVers conserve resources while living in an RV and will be frequently monitored by cameras installed in the rig. Rally guests will be encouraged to watch and learn more about the challenge while viewing on a large outdoor screen. Brawdy’s... Read more

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