Columbia Northwest Inc./Aliner’s new Somerset line of high-quality folding camping trailers has been well received at recent trade shows since its production launch in September, according to a press release.
The Somerset line currently features six models ranging from 10 to 14 feet. The company noted that “in a unique effort to continue to produce the highest quality trailers possible, Columbia Northwest is setting a controlled production output, offering the brand to a limited number of markets at the onset.”
“Unlike most product launches in the industry, we have decided to grow in a planned and structured manner in order to meet dealer demands in the most optimal way possible,” said Ned Collins, CEO of Mount Pleasant, Pa.-based Columbia Northwest, of the company’s unwavering commitment to quality and attention to detail. “We are willing to sacrifice short-term sales growth for long-term market penetration, stability and strong dealer relationships.”
The company said that the Somerset name is a nod to Somerset, Pa., where the Coleman line of trailers was manufactured by FTCA Inc. After the Coleman plant closed in early 2011, Columbia Northwest, located just one county away, took action to keep the products and their heritage alive. Many former supervisors, managers and even equipment found a new home with Columbia Northwest.
“For 40 years, these products were the market leader representing 30% to 50% of any given category,” says Allan Reeping, sales director for Columbia Northwest. “We are working to ensure that this standard is upheld as we determine our distribution method.”
Columbia Northwest is currently working with the dealer network most recently associated with FTCA as well as setting up existing Aliner dealers to carry the Somerset line where appropriate. The company has assigned over half of next year’s planned production, and expects to have the remainder to be assigned early in 2012.
For more information on Columbia Northwest, visit www.aliner.com.
A-frame folding camping trailer manufacturer Columbia Northwest Inc./Aliner has begun manufacturing Somerset folding camping trailers that are reminiscent in appearance of the units built until earlier this year by investment firm FTCA Inc. under the Coleman brand name. The new foldout will be on display at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) 49th Annual National RV Trade Show Nov. 29-Dec. 1 in Louisville, Ky. ”Our intent is to launch with eight models with 8-foot to 12-foot boxes, all with pretty-well standard features,” said Ned Collins, CEO of the Mount Pleasant, Pa., manufacturer. Collins said four of the floorplans with be ”touring-type” models and four will be included in an aggressively styled off-road series. ”We are going to launch to a combination of former Coleman dealers and the Aliner network,” Collins said. The Somerset made its debut at the recent 43rd Annual Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show in Hershey, Pa. Collins said that Aliner has hired some former FTCA employees who were in production, sales and engineering at FTCA’s Coleman plant in Somerset, Pa. ”In January (FTCA) closed their doors and at the time represented about 30% of the tent-camper market,” Collins said. ”So, we saw an opportunity.” Aliner’s camping trailer sales manager is Allan Reeping, who was FTCA’s national sales manager.