Editor’s Note: The following is a “Letter to Owners” from Mike Snell, president of Monaco and Holiday Rambler, that appeared in the company’s e-newsletter. Snell outlines the changes and the progress Monaco and Holiday Rambler have accomplished since being acquired by Allied Specialty Vehicle Inc., including a “Return to Power” with big bore engines built on an all-new Roadmaster chassis
Nearly five months ago, on May 16, Monaco and Holiday Rambler, along with Beaver and Safari, started a new journey under Allied Specialty Vehicles. The first part of that journey involved making some tough, but necessary decisions to ensure the continuation of the brands.
One of those decisions was moving production and service from Wakarusa, Ind., to Decatur. Much of the work force was given the option to transfer to Decatur. We also worked with the company who purchased our Wakarusa facility to transition some employees to their operations. With a strong local economy and thoughtful transition planning, the overall impact to the area has been minimal.
Another critical decision was to maintain distinct product DNA for each brand and to keep our engineering, design and product development teams intact. In order to do that, we opened a facility in Elkhart where our design teams have their own dedicated design area and shop. The entire team has been feverishly working over the last few months to bring you innovative, new features, great floorplans and stunning designs.
We believe in designing quality products that fulfill our owners’ needs and desires; therefore our design process is a true collaboration between our engineers and owners across all four brands. For the past few months, we’ve been gathering your feedback through focus groups and two extensive online surveys. Your responses were highly informative and some even surprising. We listened to those responses, and our design team made changes to key features to incorporate your input. In fact, any survey response that garnered a greater than 70% rating was automatically incorporated into our new products. When we say, “a coach designed by you, for you,” we mean it.
Interestingly, despite owning different brands, most of you asked for the same features in a new coach design. The only slight difference being that Beaver owners asked for specific wood species and unique furniture/trim design. Otherwise, the responses were similar and have guided our design.
Many of you shared that you’d like more counter space and additional pantry storage in the kitchen area. You expressed your interest in having a smart steering wheel and a premium audio system. Many also indicated they prefer to keep the side exhaust. This is just a sampling of the great input we received from you that we’re applying in our new designs.
We’re excited to announce, based on your input, we’re making a “Return to Power.” For the past five years, engine restrictions kept us from offering big-bore engines, which limited our product offerings. Beginning with the 600-hp rollout in January, you’ll also start seeing 500-hp, 450-hp, 380-hp and 300-hp models. Watch closely over the next few weeks for more about our “Return to Power.”
Part of our 2015 product line will feature the all-new Roadmaster chassis. This gives us the ability to offer big-bore Cummins engines and a new world-class independent front suspension system. This is not an “off-the-shelf” standard rail chassis. Our engineers collaborated closely with Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. to offer a redesigned Roadmaster chassis with unique modifications and tuning that gives you the ride and handling you’re expecting from our brands.
We realize you’re anxious to see our new products, and we’re anxious to introduce them to you. But at the same time, we all know that crafting well-designed, high-quality products is not something you can rush. We’re creating products that are unique and special in the industry, not cookie-cutter. ASV has invested in our brands and is giving us the time and resources we need to create a stellar product line-up.