Germany-based Truma Corp., a major supplier to the European RV market, is eyeing the Dec. 3-5 National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., as an opportunity to showcase an array of product lines while also gathering input from potential OEM clients regarding the types of products it might consider marketing in North America.
Reinforcing its commitment to the U.S and Canada markets, the company also announced its new executive team for the North American market, including President Gerhard “Gary” Hundsberger, Vice President of Sales and Marketing Elden Wood and Vice President of Business Development Mark Howlett. Truma previously announced it has opened an office in Elkhart, Ind.
Truma told RVBUSINESS.com that in addition to an ultrasonic LevelCheck LP tank level indicator that it has committed to selling into the U.S. market at this point, Truma at the Louisville Show will largely be showing products it sells into the European caravan market. The family held company is a major supplier in an array of product categories from heating to air conditioning to water systems, propane and power supply equipment as well as popular remote controlled Mover-brand maneuvering devices for towable RVs.
“We already have a pretty good idea of what some key customers have told us as far as their needs when we met in Dusseldorf,” said Wood who is stationed in Elkhart. “But we want to get more of a complete understanding, which is our goal for this year’s Louisville Show. So, we’ll be showing some of the concept products, getting feedback on them as well as getting feedback on other items from the target customers. And then at Louisville next year (2014), you can consider that our ribbon-cutting event, I suppose, because in that next year we anticipate having more products specific for the American market.”
Truma sees plenty of upside in the resurgent U.S. RV market versus a European caravan arena that has slowed down somewhat over the past year for a variety of reasons.
“We do feel very confident in our abilities to contribute to the industry as a whole — not just on the OEM side, but with dealers on the aftermarket side as well,” said Wood. “So, now we just want to introduce ourselves, communicate our long-term commitment to this market and really listen to the needs of our customers and put the finishing touches on our plans of how we prioritize our projects moving forward.”
Details on the new executive team include:
• After completing a master’s in business administration, Hundsberger was employed for five years with Xerox, responsible for sales in southern Germany. He first joined Truma in 2001 as domestic and international inside sales manager. From 2010-2012, Hundsberger was director of international sales services until being promoted to head of global strategy.
• With more than nine years experience in the RV sector, Wood first entered the industry as a student of entrepreneurship at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, by founding an online RV rental and sales company. After graduating with a degree in business administration and global management, Wood worked for a period of time supporting many leading RV companies with his knowledge and expertise of both American and European RV industries.
• Howlett brings over 25 years of engineering, operational and supply chain experience to Truma Corp. He progressed through various roles in mold design, product development, supply chain, engineering and global quality process improvement with Husky Injection Molding. Howlett earned degrees in marine and mechanical engineering technology, and is an ASQ Certified Quality Engineer. In addition to serving as vice president of business development, he supports customer service and warranty for North America from his office in Toronto.