Luxury Coach Maker Seeing 25% ’10 Upturn
Frank Konigseder of Stuart, Fla., makes and sells million-dollar Liberty Coach motorhomes.
And he thinks he will sell more this year than he did last year, the Palm Beach Post reported.
Liberty Coach is a family-owned luxury motorcoach manufacturer that was founded in 1968 by Konigseder and his wife, Jeanne. Simply put: They wanted to build a better RV.
New Liberty Coach motorhomes cost from $1.95 million to $2.2 million. Used ones go for $350,000 to $1.6 million.
The couple’s first project was the renovation of a Greyhound bus with 2.5 million miles on it.
After decades of partnerships with coach makers, Liberty Coach launched its own plant in North Chicago, Ill.
In 2001, Liberty Coach opened its sales dealership in Stuart. The Konigseders chose the location to cater to its strongest customer base. Today, Liberty Coach is owned by the couple and their two sons, Kurt and Frank X. Konigseder.
Frank X. Konigseder estimates that “80% of the customer base is east of the Mississippi River. And most of these people will transition through the Southeast and come through Florida.”
Liberty’s manufacturing plant in Illinois has 84 employees, and its dealership in Stuart has 18 employees. At its peak, the manufacturing plant had 125 employees.
Even though the economic downturn is the company’s biggest challenge, Liberty Coach reports increased sales in both new and used motorcoaches ordered for 2010.
With a total of seven new coaches sold this year, the company projects a total of 16 will sell by the end of 2010, up from 12 last year. The company also refurbishes and sells used coaches; 30 have sold this year.
Konigseder attributes the increase to people getting over “the shock of the economic recession.” People are “feeling better about the general economy … and have adjusted their lives” to the economy.
With other competitors in the market, why buy a Liberty Coach motorhome?
Remote control and computer systems make the management of the motorcoach as simple as driving it. The Crestron remote control system resembles a small television screen. The touch screen can dim the interior lights, control audio and video systems and raise and lower the blinds.
The interior of Liberty Coach motorhomes includes hand-crafted wood moldings and cabinetry, marble countertops and tufted sofas.
And the luxury extends to customer service. Each buyer gets Frank X. Konigseder’s home and cellphone numbers.
Louie Bob and Jo Ann Davis, from central Texas, have bought two Liberty Coach motorhomes. Bob describes his experience with Liberty Coach as “wonderful” and believes the company’s “workmanship is top-notch.”
Liberty Coach’s goal is to promote a lifestyle of first-class motor travel. It hosts an annual rally in Stuart the week of the Super Bowl.
“When you own a coach,” Jo Ann Davis said, “the friends you meet and make are really friends forever.”