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Open Range Makes Gains in Challenging Market

November 26, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Randy Graber says he feels fortunate – perhaps an unexpected outlook for the owner of a company that incorporated in August of last year just as the towable market began turning south. The president of Open Range RV Co., a small, family-run firm in Shipshewana, Ind., explains that if he had launched a year, or even six months, later, “this never would have happened.” “The financing wouldn’t have been there,” said Graber, a 25-year industry veteran most recently with Keystone RV Co. “The... Read more

GE Partners With Spader Business Management

November 26, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

GE Capital Solutions, Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF) announced that it is launching a new program with Spader Business Management to help U.S. recreational vehicle dealers improve their performance. CDF will offer its customers tuition credits that will pay 50% or more of the costs on select Spader products designed to increase profitabIlity. “RV dealers are very challenged right now. Many are looking for tools to improve overall performance,” said Pete Lannon, managing director,... Read more

Dutchmen to Introduce EcoLogic Trailer Line

November 26, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Dutchmen Manufacturing Co. will introduce an ultra-lightweight EcoLogic travel trailer with an aerodynamic front end, poly-plastic windows and a 100% composite substructure at the 46th Annual National RV Trade Show, Dec. 2-4 , in Louisville, Ky. The European-inspired EcoLogic is built with composite Cosmolite roofs and flooring from TekModo LLC and sidewalls using Superlite from Azdell Composite and Materials Solutions Inc. laminated to Filon fiberglass. Both products do away with luan and other... Read more

Outlook ’09 to Detail New Go RVing Ad Theme

November 26, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

In response to the changing marketplace, Go RVing has updated its print and Internet ads to attract budget-conscious consumers with a strong message about the affordability of RV travel. The ads have a new theme line – “Go Affordably. Go RVing.” – along with several new headlines. New body copy focuses on RV travel savings and the lasting value of RV ownership. The ads also refer readers to GoRVing.com where they can get the facts from RVIA’s 2008 Vacation Cost Comparison study. The 2008... Read more

New Chassis, Floorplans Set for Louisville Show

November 26, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Workhorse Custom Chassis LLC, Union City, Ind., will introduce two new front-engine diesel chassis at the 46th Annual National RV Trade Show, Dec. 2-4, at the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC) in Louisville, Ky. The new W20D and W22D chassis feature 20,000- and 22,000-pound GVWRs, respectively, and are powered by 230-hp Navistar MaxxForce 7 diesel engines. Workhorse said the W20 chassis will be displayed in Louisville on Winnebago Industries Inc.’s Itasca Sunstar floorplan and a new Serrano Class... Read more

October Wholesale Shipments Decline 52.5%

November 26, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Representing the sharpest year-over-year decline in 2008, October wholesale shipments were down 52.5% as all sectors registered over 40% drops. According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), overall October shipments totaled 13,500 units compared with 28,400 a year ago. For the 10 months, deliveries fell 27.2% to 225,400 units from 309,500 the year prior. The high-volume travel trailer market declined 47.9% in October with 7,400 units shipped versus 14,200 in 2007 while deliveries... Read more

Have a Safe and Enjoyable Thanksgiving

November 26, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

The RVBUSINESS.com staff will be taking a short hiatus over the Thanksgiving weekend. The site will be idle on Thursday (Nov. 27) and Friday, then we’ll resume on Monday covering events at RVIA’s National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., as well as any breaking national industry news. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday. Sherman Goldenberg, Publisher Dave Barbulesco, Managing Editor/Web Editor Bruce Hampson, RV Business Editor Bob Ashley, Editor at Large  Read More →

Area Workers Adapt After Starcraft Shutdown

November 25, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

The planned shutdown of the Starcraft RV Inc. plant in Topeka, Ind., by mid-January, announced Monday, was another major blow to this town of just 1,100 people. But, according to a report in the Goshen News, the hundreds of people who work in the RV businesses in the region have felt a slowdown in production all this year. Plants in the area have been operating at less-than-maximum capacity, with some factories stopping production an average of a week per month all this year. In recent weeks, work... Read more

Fleetwood Incurs 54% Decline in 2Q Revenue

November 25, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Following an announced restructuring plan that will close eight facilities corporatewide, including two trailer plants, Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. reported today (Nov. 25) steep declines in revenue and a $56.7 million net loss for its fiscal second quarter, ended Oct. 26. “In view of the magnitude of the revenue declines and the current business outlook, we have implemented new cost-saving measures and announced significant additional changes to our manufacturing footprint,” said Elden Smith,... Read more

Coachmen Estimates $42 Million Selling Price

November 25, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Editor’s Note: The following is an SEC filing by Coachmen Industries Inc. outlining the sale of its RV assets to Forest River Inc., pending shareholder approval. Coachmen estimates the purchase price will be approximately $42 million. On November 20, 2008, the Registrant announced that it had entered into an agreement to sell substantially all of the assets of its recreational vehicle sales and manufacturing business to Forest River, Inc. The parties will calculate the purchase price in accordance... Read more

Marathon Coach Extends Layoffs of 150 Workers

November 25, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Conversion bus builder Marathon Coach Inc. is extending the temporary layoff of 150 workers at its Coburg, Ore., headquarters, according to a report by local TV station KVAL. “I thought we were all expected to come back today but the layoffs are extended to Jan. 5,” said Anthony Ryan. Fellow worker Larry Black said the timing couldn’t be any worse. “We just have to ride it out,” said Black. “It will get better. I’m sure of that. It will just take time.” But... Read more

RVT.com Adds Rentals in Deal with GetRV.com

November 25, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

RVT.com, an online classified website for new and used RVs, has partnered with GetRV.com to add RV rentals to its portfolio. According to a press release, RVT.com customers that are not yet ready to purchase can opt to rent through GetRv.com by searching their local area for available units. “We are always looking for ways to enhance our customers’ web experience,” said Rodney Friesen, senior managing director of RVT.com. “Providing this capability to them demonstrates that... Read more

Newmar Louisville Lineup Stresses Innovation

November 25, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Despite the downturn in the RV industry, Nappanee, Ind.-based Newmar Corp. said that its product lineup for the National RV Trade Show, Dec.-2-4 in Louisville, Ky., will offer innovation and new features that match consumer needs. “Our executive management team and sales staff are optimistically poised and ready to navigate Newmar through this challenging time in our industry,” said John Sammut, vice president of Sales and Marketing. “In spite of current market conditions, Newmar is continuing... Read more

Ga. Firm Acquires Superior Park Model Homes

November 25, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Mitchell County Industries LLC (MCI) has purchased the assets of the defunct Superior Park Model Homes and resumed production on a limited basis of recreational park trailers in a 120,000-square-foot plant in Pelham, Ga. MCI is a new face in the park model business but with deep roots in the industry and southwest Georgia, explained Gary Giddens, national sales director and one of three partners in the new company. Other partners are Tom Shanklin, COO, and David Cutts. The trio has prior experience... Read more

FEMA Reverses Course, Solicits Bids for Trailers

November 25, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

In a rather stunning turn of events, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has abruptly done an about face and plans to solicit bids to build as many as 15,000 travel trailers divided among as many as five manufacturers to be used as emergency housing. A notice posted on a government website said that FEMA “intends to order a minimum quantity of 100 units from each successful offeror with ability to order a total of 15,000 units (divided equally among the successful offeror) over a five-year... Read more

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