Keystone Hosts Auto, RV Clients at Open House

June 27, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

George Lathouris, director of U.S. automotive sales for KAO, in front of “cannon tubes” used for shipping awnings and moldings (Photo by Shawn Spence) Exeter, Pa.-based Keystone Automotive Operations Inc. (KAO) had previously announced the opening of its sprawling, 360,000-square-foot Brownstown, Mich., warehouse, which has been shipping parts and accessories orders to independent automotive retailers and RV parts and accessories clients since last fall. (To view a slideshow scroll to... Read more

Universal Marine & RV Honored by Ally and RVB

June 23, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Universal’s Groves family (L-R) Jake, Jane, Cydney, Tyler and Greg Universal Marine & RV was recognized on Wednesday (June 22) by retail and wholesale lender Ally Financial Inc. and trade journal RVBusiness for hosting a unique, three-day, annual “Local Heroes” event at the Rochester, Minn., dealership. Owner-operators Greg and Jane Groves started celebrating the contributions of “Local Heroes” six years ago at their U.S. 14 facility in an effort to focus public attention – and a... Read more

Towables Help Lift Winnebago’s 3Q Profit 25.5%

June 22, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago Industries Inc. reported a 25.5% increase in net income for its fiscal third quarter boosted by strong performance in the company’s towable division coupled with a 20% cut in expenses. Revenues for the third quarter, ended May 28, were $272.1 million, an increase of 2.1%, compared to $266.5 million for the fiscal 2015 period. Net income was $14.4 million, or 53 cents per diluted share, compared to $11.5 million, or 43 cents per diluted share, in the same... Read more

Keystone’s Dutchmen Unit Buys EverGreen Plant

June 21, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc., a unit of Thor Industries Inc.’s Keystone RV Co. subsidiary, confirmed today (June 21) that the company will be expanding operations in Middlebury, Ind., with the purchase of a facility located near Dutchmen’s existing 92,000-square-foot plant on U.S. 20. Although Keystone’s management declined to elaborate, the newly acquired production facility, according to industry insiders, is in fact the former Lifestyle Luxury RV plant operated until recently by troubled... Read more

Patrick Acquires Supplier Mishawaka Metal LLC

June 20, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Patrick Industries Inc. announced today (June 20) that it has completed the acquisition of the business and certain assets of Elkhart, Indiana-based Mishawaka Sheet Metal LLC (MSM) for approximately $14 million. Patrick Industries, also based in Elkhart, will continue to operate the business on a stand-alone basis under the MSM brand name in its existing facility. According to a news release, MSM is a full service distributor and fabricator of a wide variety of aluminum and steel products serving... Read more

Camping World Files for ‘Initial Public Offering’

June 13, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Camping World Holdings Inc. on Monday filed documents for an initial public offering. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the RV retailer didn’t specify which stock exchange it would list its shares on, but said they would trade under the symbol CWH. Camping World, one of the larger nonpublic U.S. companies by revenue, has reported strong revenue growth for several years and remained solidly profitable. The company logged $3.33 billion in revenue in 2015, up 25% from a year earlier, according... Read more

SSI: Trailers Push Towables to 9% Gain in April

June 10, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Behind continued strong performance in the travel trailer sector, year-over-year towable retail registrations grew 8.9% in April while showing a 12.7% gain for the first four months, according to the latest report from Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI). Results by category showed: Sales for the high-volume travel trailer segment increased 12.2% for the month and 16.1% year-to-date. Fifth-wheel registrations were flat, down 0.2% in April but posted a 4.2% gain for the first four months. Folding... Read more

SSI: Motorhome Sales Retreat 5.6% During April

June 9, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

April motorhome retail registrations decreased 5.6% compared to the same period a year ago while sales for the first four months grew 5.8%. According to the latest report by Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI), Thor Industries Inc. was the motorized sales leader through April with a 27.2% market share, ahead of Forest River Inc. (26%) and Winnebago Industries Inc. (16.1%) share. Sales in the Class A motorhome market retreated 8.4% in April, while the sector posted an 3.2% gain year-to-date. Thor... Read more

RVIA Economic Study Shows RVs Move America

June 7, 2016 by · 1 Comment 

“RVs Move America,” the first-ever economic impact study of the recreation vehicle industry, revealed the RV industry contributed $49.7 billion to the U.S. economy in 2015, and provided 289,852 full-time jobs to American workers. Results of the study were released today (June 7) at a news conference in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) Committee Week 2016. Calling it “a critical tool that we need to prove our strength as an economic engine,”... Read more

Thor Reports Record Sales of $1.3 Billion In 3Q

June 7, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Thor Industries Inc. announced a 24.6% gain in net income from continuing operations on record sales for its third quarter, ended April 30. Revenues from continuing operations during the three-month period were $1.28 billion, up 9.4% from $1.17 billion in the third quarter last year. Sales of towable and motorized RVs posted combined growth of 5.8%, which was supplemented by $41.9 million in revenues from Postle Aluminum Co., acquired on May 1, 2015. Third quarter net income was $79.2 million,... Read more

RVIA ‘Committee Week’ Gets Underway in D.C.

June 6, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) Committee Week 2016 got underway today at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. Over the course of the five-day event, the association’s standing committees, the Executive Committee and the board of directors will meet to review the organization’s strategic plan and set the association’s agenda for the upcoming fiscal year. The Go RVing Coalition will also meet on June 6. One of the committees that met for nearly four hours this morning was... Read more

The BUZZ: Donnelly Appreciates Obama’s Visit

June 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Donnelly makes his entrance before President Barak Obama’s speech in Elkhart (Photo by Tyler Klassen) President Barack Obama’s Wednesday (June 1) return to the RV manufacturing center of Elkhart, a northern Indiana city that he repeatedly visited during the recession because of its high unemployment rates, clearly cast a positive national spotlight on a resurgent area that today accounts for 85% of U.S. recreational vehicle shipments and tens of thousands of related jobs. Obama’s visit —... Read more

Obama Touts Policies & Performance in Elkhart

June 2, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

President Obama addresses crowd at Concord High School in Elkhart President Barack Obama on Wednesday (June 1) returned to the northern Indiana RV-building hub of Elkhart, Ind. – his third visit after having appeared there as a presidential candidate and newly elected chief executive – to tout the performance of his administration’s economic policies and overall efforts to help shepherd the nation out of the Great Recession. Obama, in the homestretch of his presidency, also took some good-natured... Read more

RVIA: Shipments Gain 4.5% in April, 9.5% YTD

May 31, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Total shipments to retailers were reported at 40,064 units in the April survey of manufacturers conducted by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), 4.5% greater than this same month last year. Year-to-date, total RV shipments have reached 148,259 units this year, the best start to any year since 2006 and the second best start since 1977. For the month, towable RVs provided the largest unit gains rising to 35,050 units. Meanwhile, motorhome shipments, representing 12.5% of all RV shipments... Read more

The BUZZ: Don Clark on Grand Design Growth

May 31, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Don Clark The growth rate of Grand Design Recreational Vehicles Co. is difficult to ignore. In a little more than three-and-a-half years, the Middlebury, Ind.-based towable manufacturer – started by former Keystone RV Co. executives Don Clark and brothers Bill and Ron Fenech – has grown from a startup to a thriving business that welcomed Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb to its complex for a May groundbreaking ceremony commemorating an $11 million expansion project that includes... Read more

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