Thor Industries Inc. today (March 19) announced a series of organizational changes at its Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc. subsidiary.
Effective immediately, Matt Zimmerman, president of Keystone RV Co., will assume the additional responsibilities of overseeing Dutchmen RV, replacing Cam Boyer. In addition, Aram Koltookian, formerly general manager at Keystone, will become executive vice president of Dutchmen.
According to a new release, the moves are expected to result in improved operating efficiencies, product quality and customer support.
“Matt and Aram have played a major role in Keystone RV’s success over the past 14 years,” said Thor President and COO Bob Martin. “We plan to draw on their ability to lead a well-managed, customer-focused organization as we focus on accelerating Dutchmen’s growth.”
Martin underscored the strength of the Dutchmen dealer network and Dutchmen brands, noting, “Voltage, Coleman, Aspen Trail and Denali are highly regarded names that attract strong consumer interest and dealer commitment. We believe that the entire Dutchmen family will grow and prosper as overall quality and back-end support continue to improve.”
“Dutchmen RV has great momentum right now,” commented Zimmerman. “It is our primary focus to keep that going as we strengthen all areas of the business to handle further growth. Dutchmen RV will remain independent and continue to develop and bring to market exciting new Dutchmen-branded products. In addition, Dutchmen will continue to operate with its own sales force, engineering staff, product development team and production facilities. The only changes the Dutchmen dealer should see are improved quality and customer support.”
Jim Izbicki has joined Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc. as director of service operations, according to a press release. In the new position, Izbicki will oversee Dutchmen’s parts, service and warranty departments.
“Jim comes from the RV customer service side of the business,” said Kelly Green, vice president of operations. “He brings 26 years of building and maintaining strong customer/dealer relationships throughout North America, and we’re glad to have him on board.”
Izbicki noted, “Priority one is making sure Dutchmen is easy to do business with. We’re evaluating our staffing to guarantee we have the people in place to properly take care of our customers.”
Izbicki is also working on developing Dutchmen’s online parts catalog, as well as improving the timeliness and accuracy of parts orders.
“Everything we do is dedicated to complete customer satisfaction, and to that end, we’re currently working on warranty procedure changes we plan to implement in the next 60 to 90 days,” Izbicki said.
Izbicki began his RV industry career in 1987 and has worked for several RV manufacturers as a parts advisor, tech writer, parts and service manager, and director of parts and service.
Izbicki attended the University of Pittsburgh, is married, and lives with his wife and son in northern Indiana.
Ryan Elliott has joined Aerolite, a division of Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc., as product manager. According to a press release, Elliott will manage the growth of Aerolite’s completely redesigned products by “providing input during product design and development and expanding the division’s dealer base through new market penetration.”
“Ryan came from the industry’s fifth-wheel market segment,” General Manager Ryan Thwait said. “He is one of the RV industry’s strongest reps in building and maintaining dealer relationships, and brings 10 years experience in dealer contact and product expertise to the ultralite market.”
Thwait added that Elliott’s experience and input has been instrumental in redesigning Aerolite to include “higher end features at the same price point. This is the only travel trailer in the industry with a standard king bed,” he noted. Another new addition is a redesigned exterior with new gray graphics and a contemporary front cap.
Five new Aerolite floorplans debuted at the RV Open House held in September. “The Aerolite line now goes from 16-foot expandables to 35-foot travel trailers, all with a whole new look inside and out,” Thwait said. Elliott noted that a major part of his new job is planning and design. “We want to make sure our product is right for the retail customer, so we listen to feedback from our owners and dealers. Then, staff from production, purchasing, sales, marketing and management work together as a team to build greater value into the Aerolite brand.”
Elliott began his RV industry career just out of college in Dutchmen’s parts and service department. He then worked in sales for both Monaco Coach Corp. and Heartland RV LLC prior to joining Aerolite. Elliott earned a bachelor’s in sales and marketing from Indiana State University in Terre Haute. He and his wife, Sarah, live in Goshen, Ind., with their son and daughter.
Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc. has named Len McDougall as regional sales manager for the company’s Dutchmen travel trailer brand.
According to a press release, McDougall has worked in the Canadian and U.S. RV manufacturing sectors, with responsibilities including national sales manager and territory sales representative, as well as extensive participation in product development. McDougall was also a founding member of the Leisure Lifestyle Marketing Group, which evolved into the Go RVing Canada Committee.
“Len brings 20-plus years of valuable RV sales, marketing and management experience, coupled with genuine enthusiasm,” said Dutchmen General Manager Rob Groover. “With Len’s contributions, Dutchmen is looking forward to continued Canadian growth.”
McDougall has served RV dealers across North America, and refers to himself as a member of the ‘50-10 Club’, for having visited all 50 states and 10 provinces. He is married with two children and will serve all provinces from his Canadian-based office.
Goshen, Ind.-based Dutchmen Mfg. Inc. is breathing new life into the legendary Coleman brand name with the debut this fall of its completely revamped Coleman travel trailer. The initial “ultra-light” version was unveiled in September at the Pennsylvania RV & Camping Association’s (PRVCA) Hershey Show and Elkhart’s 5th Annual RV Open House Week. Dutchmen’s first wave of upgraded 16- to 36-foot, fiberglass-skinned Coleman towables feature new graphics on gray color-infused fiberglass exteriors, fully enclosed insulated underbellies, larger water capacities and enhanced insulation. And they’re more firmly linked to The Coleman Co. Inc. and its storied brand with the standard inclusion in each new unit of two Coleman folding chairs with dedicated storage modules. Coleman coolers, lanterns, indoor-outdoors tables and sleeping bags are also options. “It was just a complete redo of the product,” says Product Manager Troy James, whose staff incorporated residential and marine themes in the interiors of the $9,995-$33,500 retail line. “Coleman in the past used to try and be everything to everybody and, simply put, it was just a Dutchmen with a different sticker on the outside. Well, it’s not that way anymore, not only because of the product changes, but in how we’re approaching it internally at Thor. It’s a complete focused sales team on it now.”
Komfort’s 2410RK rear kitchen travel trailer by Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc. was recognized by Consumer’s Digest magazine as a Best Buy travel trailer in its May/June 2012 issue.
According to a press release, the Best Buy title is awarded to less than 3% of the products competing in any particular category. In the magazine’s “Road to Recovery” article, Komfort was cited as the one product among dozens that “delivers all of the amenities that you’d expect from a premium travel trailer, but with more space for a lower price than other models deliver.”
Rich Dzierwa, editor of Consumer’s Digest, said, “Komfort stood out and rose to the top in what we deemed premium travel trailers.” The Best Buy product recommendation was a combination of product features, performance and price.
“Komfort was the least expensive of the travel trailer products reviewed, based on quality of construction, features, use of space and ease of towing,” Dzierwa stated. Research procedures for product evaluations are “comprehensive and diligent from the start.” He added that the magazine is “designed to serve consumers by helping them spend their money wisely.”
Rob Groover, general manager for Goshen, Ind.-based Dutchmen’s Infinity, Komfort and Dutchmen product lines, noted, “Komfort is a premium travel trailer at a midline price. This is not a cookie-cutter RV. There’s nothing like it on the market, especially in this price category.”
Groover added that Komfort models have a high insulation value, making them ideal for extended camping in most types of weather. Inside, modern interiors feature leather furniture with simple, contemporary lines and fresh decors with premium flooring. A crowned ceiling increases headroom. The exterior is set off by a sleek, aerodynamic front fiberglass cap and contemporary graphics.
Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc. announced today (April 23) the appointment of Beau Durkee as West Coast regional sales manager for the company’s Aerolite and Dutchmen brand towable lines.
“Beau comes to Dutchmen with over 15 years of RV retail experience along with eight years of wholesale experience, and will contribute greatly to the success of the Aerolite and Dutchmen brand products,” said Matt Berg, product manager for the Goshen, Ind.-based Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary.
“I’m incredibly excited about joining the sales team at Dutchmen,” said Durkee. “The Aerolite and Dutchmen products look spectacular and the West Coast production facility is a huge advantage for dealers.”
Durkee can be can be reached at Dutchmen by phone at 574-349-5522 and email at bdurkee@Dutchmen.com.
Consumers who purchase a new Dutchmen travel trailer or fifth-wheel this year are getting an extra bonus – a free night of camping at any Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resort in the U.S. or Canada.
“We think this is a great way to introduce our customers to the many fun-filled, family Jellystone Parks across North America – we are excited to have the opportunity of introducing the Dutchmen RV brands to the Club Yogi Rewards members as well,” said Bruce Hardy, director of marketing for Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc., adding that this year is the first time the Goshen, Ind.-based company has partnered with a campground chain to offer free camping.
According to a press release, the promotion is also the first of its kind for Club Yogi Rewards, the points-based loyalty program for Jellystone Parks, said Lauri Hart, loyalty program manager for Milford, Ohio-based Leisure Systems Inc., which franchises Jellystone Parks.
Hart said Dutchmen buyers will receive a voucher that they redeem online for 6,000 rewards points. “That’s enough points for one night of free camping in a premium campsite, but Dutchmen buyers can also continue to accumulate points for additional nights of free camping as they continue to camp at Jellystone Parks around the country,” Hart said.
Jellystone Parks have been on the expansion mode in the U.S. and Canada in recent years, adding new parks in Alabama, Colorado, Indiana, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas and Nova Scotia.
Dutchmen, for its part, has launched several initiatives in recent months to improve its sales and competitiveness in the RV marketplace, including restructuring its sales management team and making internal moves to improve product quality and manufacturing efficiency.
Cam Boyer, president of Goshen, Ind.-based Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc., announced today (March 9) that Scott Paston was appointed regional sales manager for the company’s Dutchmen and Aerolite brand product lines.
“Scott comes to Dutchmen with 12 years experience in sales and will contribute greatly to the success of the Dutchmen and Aerolite brand products,” said Boyer. “Scott’s territory includes the central and Southwest states.”
Paston can be contacted at 574‐975‐9976 or spaston@Dutchmen.com.
Dutchmen RV is an operating unit of Thor Industries Inc. produces travel trailers and fifth-wheels under the brands Aerolite, Aspen Trail, Breckenridge, Coleman, Denali, Dutchmen, Infinity, Kodiak, Komfort, Rubicon and Voltage. For more information visit www.dutchmen.com.
Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc. announced today (March 7) that Matt Berg has been appointed product manager for the company’s Dutchmen brand product line.
“Matt comes to Dutchmen with a tremendous record in RV industry,” said Cam Boyer, president of the Goshen, Ind.-based towable builder. “His 17 years experience in sales and product development will contribute greatly to the momentum that we have with the Dutchmen brand product.”
He added, “Matt will focus on product development and sales management for the Dutchmen brand travel trailer product.”
Berg can be reached at Dutchmen by phone at 574‐975‐0503 and email at mberg@Dutchmen.com.