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Airstream Inc. Announces List of Top Dealers

July 29, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

airstream logoAirstream Inc. announced its top U.S. dealer rankings based on retail units sold between May 2013 and May 2014 during the company’s dealer meeting in Charleston, S.C.

Airstream’s “Top Dealer” winner, Colonial Airstream, is a family owned dealership and leads retail sales in both the touring coach and travel trailer classes. Based in Lakewood, N.J., Colonial has dedicated sales staff for Airstream that provides industry leading sales support and exceptional service after the sale.

Airstream awarded the “Top Dealer Group” for multiple locations to Adventures Northwest, with locations in Boise, Idaho, Portland, Ore., San Francisco and Seattle, Wash. Airstream Adventures Northwest is a an Airstream exclusive dealer offering both sales and service.

“We currently have the strongest dealer body we have had in many years from top to bottom,” said Airstream President and CEO Bob Wheeler, “and it gives us great pleasure to honor these top performers. They epitomize what it takes to top the list: passion, focus, and a commitment to customer satisfaction.”

In the past three years, Airstream has taken a retail-focused approach to its dealer channel focusing on tools and training that will help make their dealer partners successful.

“This retail focus continues to drive success as the 10th largest retail dealer five years ago would only be the 26th largest dealer in this year’s ranking,” said Wheeler. “The success is a real tribute to the commitment Airstream dealers have made over the past three years.”

In early 2014, Wheeler attributed the brand’s committed dealer network to Airstream’s record-breaking 2013 sales, which placed production levels at a nearly all-time high. The demand for Airstream’s design-driven products led to the largest backlog the company experienced in more than 30 years.

Other recognized leaders include:

Top 10 Airstream dealers ranked by travel trailer retail units sold:

  • Colonial Airstream – Lakewood, N.J.
  • Bay Area Airstream Adventures – Fairfield, Calif.
  • Airstream Adventures Northwest – Gladstone, Ore.
  • Airstream Adventures Northwest – Covington, Calif.
  • Airstream Los Angeles – San Gabriel, Calif.
  • Camper Clinic II – Buda, Texas
  • Windish RV – Lakewood, Colo.
  • Airstream Orange County – Westminster, Calif.
  • Airstream Adventures Northwest- Nampa, Calif.
  • Toscano RV – Los Banos, Calif.

Top 10 Airstream Dealers ranked by touring coach retail units sold:

  • Colonial Airstream – Lakewood, N.J.
  • Camper Clinic II – Buda, Texas
  • Tied for 3rd - North Trail RV, Fort Myers, Fla., and Vogt RV, Fort Worth, Texas
  • Tied for 5th - Bay Area Airstream Adventures, Fairfield, Calif., and Schumacher, Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Tied for 7th – Arbogast RV, Troy, Ohio, and Airstream Los Angeles – San Gabriel, Calif.
  • Airstream Adventures Northwest – Gladstone, Ore.
  • Tied for 10th – Airstream Adventures Northwest, Covington, Calif., and Airstream Orange County, Westminster, Calif.

In addition to the recognition of the top selling dealerships, Airstream also honored dealers for service and parts excellence, including:           

Service Excellence

Airstream Adventures Northwest – Gladstone, Ore.

Airstream of Spokane  

Top Parts Dealer

Out of doors Mart

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Airstream, Mercedes-Benz Club Form Alliance

June 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

 

New Sprinter-based Autobahn van

New Sprinter-based Autobahn van

Airstream Inc. and the Mercedes-Benz Club of America (MBCA) announced an exclusive multi-year partnership that will create a dedicated Airstream owners’ community, supported through partnership in MBCA club events and a variety of co-marketing programs.

Effective June 2014, Airstream will purchase a one-year MBCA membership for every customer who buys a new Airstream Interstate motorhome or Autobahn passenger van, both based on the award-winning Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis. Airstream will also give current qualifying MBCA Members a $500 discount on the purchase of a new Interstate or Autobahn.

“The values shared by Airstream and Mercedes-Benz have always been clear, but aligning ourselves more closely with such a large and active owners’ group will yield great benefits for all parties. We look forward to bringing to life the full potential of this new relationship,” said Bob Wheeler, Airstream president and CEO, in a press release.

“We are thrilled to partner with Airstream as we welcome Interstate and Autobahn owners to the MBCA community. We look forward to seeing Interstate and Autobahn at events in the U.S. and Canada, which celebrate the heritage of Mercedes-Benz vehicles, and we warmly anticipate the start of new and lasting friendships with their enthusiastic owners,” said Terry Kiwala, MBCA national president.

Airstream first began its partnership with Mercedes-Benz with the launch of the Airstream Interstate in 2004, which remains the top model in its class for the third year in a row and is built from a bespoke version of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van chassis. Airstream’s new luxury VIP passenger van, the Autobahn, was launched in early June 2014 and is now available through select Mercedes-Benz Sprinter dealers. For more information visit www.airstreamautobahn.com.

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Airstream Generates 49% Growth in 3Q Sales

June 10, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

airstream logoJackson Center, Ohio-based Airstream Inc., a Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary, continues to roll along.

The Dayton Daily News reported that sales for the Shelby County RV maker were up 49% in its third quarter, ended April 30, compared to the same period last year.

Bob Wheeler, president and CEO of Airstream, said the third quarter success was partly a result of a seasonal uptick and a general sense of consumer confidence that seems to be driving the RV industry overall. In addition, the company has ramped up marketing efforts while some new dealers that opened in the last year are fully stocked and getting up to speed.

For the full story click here.

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Airstream’s Wheeler: Dealers Key to Success

May 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

001Serving as the centerpiece for his address at the May 14-16 Airstream Inc. Dealer Meeting, President and CEO Bob Wheeler applauded the company’s impressive sales growth in the past year while linking that success to the efforts – and loyalty – of its retail partners.

“This is a very select group. We’re very careful about who we choose to partner with,” Wheeler said during the gathering at the Embassy Suites North Charleston Airport/Hotel & Convention Center in Charleston, S.C. “The statement that really drives our business is ‘our success starts with yours.’ It’s not the other way around. There are many companies in this industry, and others, that have gotten that equation backwards.”

Wheeler noted that Airstream’s dealer base was again growing following the attrition that thinned the ranks during the heart of the recession. 

“Slowly, we’ve been building our dealer base since the recession,” he said. “I mean we really got hammered. We lost some great dealers, many of whom didn’t come back. It’s a regret that I have and it’s a shame. That said, we’ve added some fantastic dealerships in great points on the map, again very selectively.”

He added, “We have a commitment not to ‘over-dealer.’ We give strong territories and we will maintain the commitment in the future.”

That commitment paid strong dividends during the past year, as Wheeler reported that the Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary’s wholesale shipments increased 64% while retail sales grew 41%.

“With your help, it was another fantastic year,” he said. “It’s been a phenomenal run, well beyond what the market has done. We’ve really been able to outstrip the market with your help. Again, you’re the critical link in this chain.”

Other highlights from Wheeler’s address:

Facilities expansion: “If you haven’t been to Jackson Center (Ohio) in a while, you’re going to see some big changes, including a major renovation of our motorhome facility,” Wheeler said. “The expansion will double Airstream’s production capability for motorhomes and we think we’ll need every bit of that in the next year, year and a half.” The company is also planning a major expansion for its travel trailer plant that will add about 30% more production space. Wheeler said there is also additional office space planned.  

Workforce Strength: “We got down to 181 people five years ago,” Wheeler said. “We’re very proud to say that we’re up to 458 employees, the highest level of employment this company has ever seen.” He also emphasized the number of long-term workers, noting, “We’ve got employees working at our company longer than any other RV company has been in business currently, which is pretty remarkable.”

Partnerships Grow Brand: “We are getting more and more companies calling to ask about partnerships,” Wheeler stated. “We say no a lot more than we say yes, but it’s interesting how when your brand is hot, the phone just continues to ring.” Wheeler said the company’s product was being featured in ads by a wide scope of high-profile companies looking to leverage Airstream’s brand recognition with consumers. “They want to use our product for their purposes because they know our brand is hot,” he said. “We use their marketing power to help get our message out and drive people to your dealerships.” 

Global Presence: Wheeler said that Airstream had dealers represented in the U.K., Germany, Japan, China, Australia, South Korea and Italy while recently gaining a presence in Norway and Thailand. “We’ve got longer-term opportunities as well that we’ll pursue at some point, once it makes sense,” Wheeler said. “Again this is a global brand. There’s as much passion and desire for Airstream in many of those countries that I mentioned as there is here in the U.S.  It’s one of the great pleasures to talk to somebody that may not speak your language, but they’ve got their Airstream tee-shirt on. It’s a lot of fun to know that we cut across these cultures.” 

Airstream Vice President of Marketing Mollie Hansen and Vice President of Sales Justin Humphreys also presented during the meeting along with Thor Industries Inc. President and CEO Bob Martin, RVDA President Phil Ingrassia and RVIA Vice President of Communications and Marketing James Ashurst.  

In addition, Airstream recognized its top dealers, including:

Travel Trailer- Top 10

 COLONIAL AIRSTREAM – LAKEWOOD, N.J.

 BAY AREA AIRSTREAM ADVENTURES – FAIRFIELD, CALIF.

 AIRSTREAM ADVENTURES NORTHWEST – GLADSTONE, ORE.

 AIRSTREAM ADVENTURES NORTHWEST – COVINGTON, CALIF.

 AIRSTREAM LOS ANGELES  - SAN GABRIEL, CALIF.

 CAMPER CLINIC II – BUDA, TEXAS

 WINDISH RV – LAKEWOOD, COLO.

 AIRSTREAM ORANGE COUNTY – WESTMINSTER, CALIF.

 AIRSTREAM ADVENTURES NORTHWEST- NAMPA, CALIF.

 TOSCANO RV – LOS BANOS, CALIF.

 #1 Travel Trailer Dealer- Canada

 CAN-AM TRAILERS- LONDON, ONTARIO

 Touring Coaches

 COLONIAL AIRSTREAM – LAKEWOOD, N.J.

 CAMPER CLINIC II – BUDA, TEXAS

 NORTH TRAIL RV  - FORT MYERS, FLA.

 VOGT RV – FORT WORTH, TEXAS

 BAY AREA AIRSTREAM ADVENTURES – FAIRFIELD, CALIF.

 SCHUMACHER – PHOENIX, ARIZ.

 ARBOGAST RV – TROY, OHIO

 AIRSTREAM LOS ANGELES  - SAN GABRIEL, CALIF.

 AIRSTREAM ADVENTURES NORTHWEST – GLADSTONE, ORE.

 AIRSTREAM ADVENTURES NORTHWEST – COVINGTON, CALIF.

 AIRSTREAM ORANGE COUNTY – WESTMINSTER, CALIF.

 #1 Touring Coach Dealer- Canada

 MIDTOWN RV- PENTICTION, ONTARIO

 #1 Dealer All Products- Single Location

 COLONIAL AIRSTREAM- LAKEWOOD, N.J.

 #1 Dealer Group All Products

 AIRSTREAM ADVENTURES NORTHWEST

 #1 International Dealer

 AIRSTREAM & COMPANY- CUMBRIA, U.K.

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Airstream’s British Distributor Grows Operations

April 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Airstream Inc. is expanding operations in the U.K. and European markets, according to a report by Caravan Times.

The iconic American brand has enjoyed a surge in demand in both the U.K. and European markets, and British distributor Airstream & Co. is now expanding its team in its Cumbrian headquarters as well as its outlet in Andoversford, Gloucestershire.

Since the company brought the brand to the U.K. in 2006, it has seen hugely positive results with the popularity of its models soaring.

Michael Hold, sales director, noted, “This is fantastic news for the British market as it means that here we will have the space, time and freedom to concentrate on further increasing sales and offering a better service and repairs facility.”

For the full story click here.

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Airstream Launches ‘Live Riveted’ Video Series

March 24, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Airstream Inc. has released the brand’s first “Live Riveted” stories feature video in a continuation of the company’s Live Riveted campaign designed to capture the spirit of the Airstream lifestyle.

According to a report by Digital Journal, the video focuses on Tim Flannery – champion baseball coach, musician, surfer and philanthropist – and showcases personal and inspiring stories capturing his passion for living life to its fullest. To view the video click here.

“Our goal through this unique campaign is to create and connect a community of people that encompasses the spirit of the Airstream experience,” said Bob Wheeler, president and CEO of Jackson Center, Ohio-based Airstream. “Tim is a perfect example of someone who has a passion for life and philanthropy that cannot be ignored. Whether on the road in his Airstream, coaching baseball or playing benefit concerts, his inspirational life embodies what it means to live riveted.”

As a former MLB player with the San Diego Padres and current third-base coach for the San Francisco Giants, Flannery’s passion for life transcends baseball as he spends his free time as a talented songwriter, avid surfer and musician with his band The Lunatic Fringe. Flannery’s philanthropic efforts also have helped raise funds for the Bryan Stow Fund. Stow suffered traumatic injuries from an incident on Opening Day 2011, and through benefit concerts, CD sales, and silent auctions, Flannery has raised more than $200,000 to help support the Stow family.

For the full story click here.

 

 

 

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Airstream Interstate is Top Selling ‘B’ Van in ’13

February 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Interior of Airstream Interstate Class B

Airstream Inc. announced today (Feb. 20) that its Interstate brand is the top selling Class B motorhome in the U.S. for the third year in a row, according to Statistical Surveys Inc.

In 2013 Airstream Interstate unit sales increased 48% over 2012, nearly three times the overall segment growth which was up 15.9% year-over-year, the company reported in a press release. The Interstate now has nearly 23% market share in the touring coach segment.

“The momentum we gained in 2011 and 2012 has carried us for another year,” said Airstream CEO and President Bob Wheeler. “To keep things rolling, we unveiled a new Interstate model at the end of 2013 in an effort to enhance the product and experience for our buyers. We think these changes will only magnify interest as we move into 2014.”

Airstream said the Interstate motorhome “continues the tradition of extraordinary design and handcrafted quality that has made Airstream a style classic for 82 years.” Offering fuel-efficiency and luxury, the line includes nearly two dozen “best in class” Mercedes-Benz features and enhancements. The Interstate has a MSRP of $146,300, and $149,006 for the EXT model.

“Our dealers are also very instrumental to the success of the Interstate, and we appreciate their hard work over the last three years in helping Airstream maintain the top retail spot for ‘B’ vans,” said Wheeler.

Airstream had a record-setting 2013, making it the best-selling year in its 82-year history. The demand for Airstream’s products led to the company’s largest backlog in more than 30 years.

For more information on the Airstream Interstate visit http://www.airstream.com/.

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Airstream Inc. Reports ‘Record Growth’ for 2013

February 6, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Airstream's Bob Wheeler

Airstream Inc., a subsidiary of Thor Industries Inc., announced a 59% sales increase in calendar 2013. Airstream, which manufactures travel trailers and Class B motorhomes, attributed its second year in a row of record growth to a more committed dealer network, accelerated marketing efforts and an overall industry uptick.

According to a press release, sales of Airstream’s Interstate Class B motorhomes were up 51% year-over-year while travel trailer sales increased 59%, putting production levels of all products at highs the company hasn’t seen since the 1970s. The demand for Airstream’s “design-driven” products led to the largest backlog the company had experienced in more than 30 years.

To support the growing demand, the company is increasing production and rapidly creating jobs at its Jackson Center, Ohio, manufacturing plant. Airstream made numerous key hires for new positions across all areas of its business, including manufacturing, engineering, accounting and sales. As a result, Airstream was recently honored with INC Magazine’s “Hire Power Award,” recognizing companies that are driving jobs and the economy in their respective industries.

Airstream’s expanded distribution and more committed dealer network were the largest drivers for the company’s record year, which included the addition of new retailers in key markets in North America and abroad. With a stronger dealer network across the world, further development of markets such as China, Australia and South Korea will continue to be a priority in Airstream’s global growth strategy.

Airstream Interstate interior

Accelerated marketing and social media initiatives also played a significant role in increased awareness of Airstream, and brand partnerships with companies like Veuve Clicquot, Levi’s and Fender motivated new audiences to consider the versatility of Airstream’s products. The company also heightened its focus on social media engagement with the launch of its Live Riveted (http://www.airstream.com/live-riveted/) campaign. Live Riveted is a messaging platform that captures the excitement on which the brand was founded, and the overriding theme that connects people from all walks of life to Airstream and the travel and outdoor adventure it inspires.

“We are thrilled that at 82 years old Airstream is more popular than ever, and our customers, as well as leading brands across the world, continue to find new and creative uses for their Airstreams,” said Airstream President and CEO Bob Wheeler. “We anticipate another successful year in 2014 as we ramp up production and continue to gain momentum in global markets. Our international customers are keen to buy Airstreams and experience the American-made quality of our travel trailers.”

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Elite Firms Team with Airstream to Market Brand

January 23, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Airstream partners with high-profile brands

In 2013, chances are you probably saw an iconic Airstream travel trailer somewhere other than in a campground. That’s because the “silver bullet” trailers are becoming more popular with brands across the world using the functional and recognizable shape to activate innovative marketing campaigns, according to a press release.

Last year, Airstream Inc. partnered with brands ranging from Veuve Clicquot to Fender to Levi’s and the global (RED) charity, each using the new Airstreams in different ways, including:

• Veuve Clicquot: The custom Veuve Clicquot Airstream brought together two companies whose distinctive design and loyal communities and dedication to quality are recognized worldwide. The first-ever Veuve Clicquot Airstream toured the country from March to June, bringing a taste of champagne and the brand’s signature “zeste de folie” to cities across the nation. To view the custom trailer click here.

• Levi’s Mobile Gift Wrapping: Levi’s Holiday Airstream made appearances at the brand’s flagship stores across the US, providing gift-wrapping services by trained gift wrappers free of charge. To view the trailer click here.

• (RED) Auction: The 16-foot Airstream Sport trailer, custom designed by Jony Ives and Marc Newson, was auctioned at the Sotheby’s (RED) Auction in November and raised $300,000 to fight AIDS in Africa. The Edition 01/01 Wally Byam Airstream 16-foot Sport Travel Trailer features a custom interior and vintage-style wheels selected especially for this unique opportunity. To view the trailer click here.

Fender Airstream: The custom designed Airstream is a backstage lounge and mobile recording studio that tours the country appearing at music festivals and industry events playing host to some of the biggest names in music. The Fender Airstream is also a place to capture artist interviews and live performances from music festivals nationwide. To view the trailer click here.

“This year, we’ve aligned with some of the most diverse and interesting brands across spirits, music, retail and philanthropy,” said Bob Wheeler, CEO and president of Airstream. “Throughout all of these different campaigns, the excitement surrounding Airstream and the quality product we produce remains at an all-time high. We look forward to some interesting partnerships in the works for 2014 and seeing how we can create more creative, alternative uses for our travel trailers.”

 

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Airstream Trailers, Coaches Garner ‘DSI Awards’

November 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Airstream Interstate Class B

Airstream Inc. is being honored by the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) with its Quality Circle Award. According to a press release, the award is only given to brands that score 80% or more in overall dealer satisfaction.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the DSI Survey and the second year in a row that Airstream has been recognized. For the first time, both Airstream’s trailers and motorhomes have received the award.

“For the last two years, one of our top strategic initiatives has been to make the Airstream franchise one of the most valuable on a dealer’s lot,” said Airstream CEO and President Bob Wheeler. “The DSI is our scorecard, and the results are a validation of some of the things we’ve done and will be doing in the next year. We’d like to thank our dealers for the vote of confidence.”

The DSI survey was conducted between April and July and received responses from 469 dealerships. Airstream was judged by dealers in the following categories: sales support, sales territory, vehicle design, vehicle reliability and quality, competitive price and value, parts support, dealership warranty support and overall dealer communications.

Airstream’s achievement will be recognized alongside 17 other RV manufacturers at a rewards banquet on Dec. 2 in Louisville, Ky., the night prior to the opening of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) 51st National RV Trade Show.

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