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Fleetwood Shows Concept Hybrid in Louisville

December 22, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Fleetwood Industries Inc.’s Concept Hybrid – an industry first – is mounted on the 27,000-pound GVWR Freightliner ecoFRED front-engine diesel/electric hybrid concept chassis that promises to improve fuel mileage, particularly in stop-and-start situations or when the motorhome is on a grade. “We are collecting feedback from the public about their interest in this kind of vehicle,” said David Coffin, Fleetwood director of product development and engineering. In an initial test, Coffin... Read more

Seminar Offered for Warranty Administrators

December 22, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

The RV Learning Center is hosting a free 30-minute web seminar to introduce the new warranty administrator certification program Jan. 9 at 3 p.m., Eastern. The web seminar will be hosted by the Tony Yerman, an RVDA-RVIA master certified RV technician, certified service manager and certified parts specialist. Yerman will discuss all aspects of the warranty administrator program, areas of knowledge, how to take the free “readiness tests” and how to utilize the warranty administrator learning guides. The... Read more

Stat Surveys: October Towable Sales Fall 27.4%

December 19, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

October towable sales continued to reflect the effects of a soft market, showing a 27.4% decline in retail registrations. According to Statistical Surveys Inc., Grand Rapids, Mich., registration information from Florida, California, Idaho, Georgia, Maine and Vermont were delayed and not included in the monthly report. Florida and California represent two of the larger market share regions, which may have resulted in overstated declines. Overall October towable sales fell to 12,800 units from 17,622... Read more

White House Approves Bailout for Automakers

December 19, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

The Bush administration came to the rescue of the U.S. auto industry Friday (Dec. 19), offering $17.4 billion in loans in exchange for concessions from the deeply troubled carmakers and their workers. According to the Associated Press, one official said $13.4 billion of the money would be available this month and next – $9.4 billion for General Motors Corp. and $4 billion for Chrysler LLC. Both companies have said they soon might be unable to pay their bills without federal help. Ford Motor Co.... Read more

Jayco Offers First Class C on Sprinter Chassis

December 19, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Middlebury, Ind.-based Jayco Inc. has introduced the Precept, its first Class C motorhome on the popular high-mileage, 11,030-pound GVWR imported Sprinter chassis. The 25-foot Precept, powered by a 154-hp 3.0 V-6 turbocharged diesel engine, is designed with molded front and rear caps, vacuum-bonded sidewalls and one-piece polyethylene storage compartments. “The Precept is speced out with competitive standards,” said Paul Gardner, Jayco director of product development. “There is a lot of Class... Read more

Coachmen Shareholders OK Sale of RV Group

December 19, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Shareholders of Coachmen Industries Inc. today (Dec. 19) voted overwhelmingly in favor of selling the RV Group to Forest River Inc. for $42 million. More than 99% of the votes cast were in favor of the sale, according to Tom Gehl, director of investor relations, following a special shareholders meeting. The company has 15.9 million shares outstanding. The transfer of ownership will occur next week, Gehl said. Elkhart, Ind.-based Forest River Inc. is acquiring most of the assets of Coachmen’s... Read more

Forbes: Ford F-150 Tops ’08 Sales, SUV’s Tank

December 19, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

In a year when gas prices topped $4 a gallon and automakers ran to Congress seeking a $25 billion bailout, one would assume that low-margin, fuel-sipping small cars are far outselling big gas-guzzlers. Indeed, seven of the 10 best-selling vehicles so far this year are small cars or sedans that get high gas mileage. But, according to a Forbes report, when gas prices go up and the economy heads south, “buyers shift … from what they want to what they need,” says Jeff Bartlett, deputy... Read more

Monaco Unveils Aerodynamic Aluma-Lite ‘A’

December 19, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Monaco Coach Corp.’s reinvented Holiday Rambler Aluma-Lite is an affordable, low-profile Class A motorhome built on 18,000-pound GVWR Ford or Workhorse gas-powered chassis. The 31-foot Aluma-Lite floorplan unveiled at the Louisville Show features a full-wall slideout, 6-foot, 10-inch ceilings, Corian kitchen countertops and a 22-foot full-wall slideout along with a smaller bedroom slide. To increase aerodynamics, the Aluma-Lite’s roof is 14 1/2 inches lower than a traditional coach resulting... Read more

Lazydays Gains Extension on Debt Due Date

December 19, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Seffner, Fla,-based Lazydays RV Center Inc. successfully modified its debt terms, extending the due date to Jan. 15. The RV retailer missed a long-term debt payment of $8.1 million due Nov. 17 and was given a 30-day window to renegotiate before being considered in default. “The objective of the negotiation is to change the terms of our financing to reflect current economic, financing, and RV industry conditions,” said Lazydays CEO John Horton. Lazydays CFO Randy Lay reported that the forebearance... Read more

Winnebago Swings to 1Q Loss on Falling Sales

December 18, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Winnebago Industries Inc. reported a net loss for its fiscal first quarter, ended Nov. 29, as the Forest City, Iowa-based builder cited the effects of declining motorhome sales, increased discounting and a lower mix of products sold. “Current market conditions remain extremely challenging due to the overall decline in the general economy, and a declining housing market and stock market, which continue to erode the American consumer’s sense of wealth,” said Winnebago Chairman, CEO... Read more

Four Winds Debuts Serrano Front-Engine Diesel

December 18, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Four Winds International Corp., Elkhart, Ind., introduced the sleek new Serrano front-engine diesel Class A on the new 20,000-pound GVWR Workhorse W-20D chassis powered by a 230-hp MaxxForce 7 V-8 engine. “It’s got European styling, but it’s still an American motorhome with all the conveniences that Americans have come to expect,” said Dana Simon, vice president of sales and marketing. Available in two 31-foot floorplans with up to two slideouts, Serrano features 150 square feet of... Read more

RVDA of Canada Reports on 2008 Highlights

December 18, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Editor’s Note: The following are annual reports compiled by the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of Canada that were submitted by its members in each province. The report appeared in the fall issue of The RV Compass magazine. • British Columbia RVDA boosted its membership to 96 in 2008 and continued to look for new avenues to promote RV career and technician training. The association continues to work with Okanagan College by providing support at career fairs to attract new people to the... Read more

Actuant’s 1Q Earnings Down, RV Sales Plunge

December 18, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Actuant Corp. reported Thursday (Dec. 18) that fiscal first-quarter profit fell nearly 58%, aggravated by impairment charge related to the company’s RV product line. The Butler, Wis.-based manufacturer of motion control systems and hydraulic and electrical tools and supplies reported net income for the quarter, ended Nov. 30, was $11.6 million compared with $27.4 million a year ago. Sales for the quarter declined 8% to $379.98 million compared with $415.14 million in the previous year. “We experienced... Read more

Decoding The Bass Guitar

December 18, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based TriMas Corp. today (Dec. 18) announced that its Cequent Consumer Products Group has been awarded additional towing security and accessory business with Wal-Mart. Cequent Decoding The Bass Guitar will supply modular towing systems, towing security products and accessories to Wal-Mart throughout the U.S. in 2009. “We are very excited to be chosen by Wal-Mart as their major supplier for towing security and accessory products,” said John Aleva, President of... Read more

New Dynamax Fiver Maximizes Storage Space

December 18, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Dynamax Corp. engineered a new floorplan in its upscale Dyna Aire fifth-wheel line that doubles the basement storage capacity. Dewayne Creighton, president of the Elkhart, Ind.-based firm, said that the new Dyna Aire Foundation Max fiver achieved the added space through use of “tubular bridge construction” in the chassis that literally raises the floor. “We wanted to give consumers maximum storage,” Creighton said. The Foundation Max has enlarged front storage along with a pass-through area... Read more

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