Fleetwood RV continues to experience solid growth in 2014 as the Decatur, Ind.-based builder reported solid sales at the recently completed America’s Largest RV Show.
According to a press release, Fleetwood experienced a nearly 40% increase in Class A retail sales compared to last year’s show. Grumbine’s RV partnered with Fleetwood for sales support with Fleetwood reaching record sales in Hershey.
“Attendance was strong last week” says Lenny Razo, director of sales – Eastern Region. “We had a huge draw and saw a surge in sales. The retail side of the Hershey Show gives us great insight to our customers.”
Rolling out new floorplans, introducing new products, and increasing features for consumers has contributed to the increased boost in sales companywide, particularly with the Class A product lineup.
Bounder reached an unprecedented height in sales for Fleetwood last week. As one of the most driven brands on the road, Bounder continues to provide consumers with a durable product outlined with features that offers an unequivocal balance between value and quality.
Fleetwood Discovery also received a great deal of attention during Hershey. The Discovery 37R floorplan caught the eye of Hershey Show attendees. Consumers expressed their interest in combining premium diesel-class amenities in a shorter length. The Discovery 37R meets consumer needs without sacrificing any of its power.
Fleetwood also made “a bold fashion statement” last week, the company said. “We introduced an all-new light wood color option, Butternut, throughout the entire Fleetwood product line. The feedback we received at the show was tremendous,” reported Razo.
The addition of a lighter wood choice gives consumers a wider variety of interior décor options with Fleetwood products.
“Consumers have been asking for a lighter wood. It’s here. Based on the feedback at Hershey, we believe the lighter Butternut wood option will be a popular choice for consumers,” Razo states.
Fleetwood RV introduced a new Class A gas motorhome product this morning at the Elkhart County RV Open House. The Fleetwood Flair was last seen in the marketplace in 2007 but has now been reintroduced as a feature-packed crossover style Class A in 26- to 28-foot lengths.
“Fleetwood has a history of building quality-constructed motorhomes with lasting durability. Fleetwood customers know to trust and expect it. Fleetwood has more coaches on the road than anyone else. It speaks volumes to the level of quality that we produce,” said John Draheim, President and CEO of Fleetwood RV, in a press release. “By introducing the Fleetwood Flair, we are continuing to provide the highest level of construction and quality, now in an affordable Class A gas option.”
The Flair is available in three floorplans, the 26D, 26E, and 28F. The Flair is packed with features, including segment-exclusive bus-style, side-swing aluminum baggage doors, LED front headlight accents, four-color full body paint, power LED awning, standard exterior TV, and European hidden hinges on cabinetry.
“We believe consumers will be impressed with the Flair. It is quality-built with an extensive set of features for an affordable price,” says Lenny Razo, director of sales – Eastern. “Trusted value and quality construction; it is hard to resist. We believe that Flair will be the new leader in the segment.”
“Supporting our dealers is an important part of our business,” said Keith Packard, Fleetwood district sales manager, in a press release. “We recognize the amount of time and effort, and the financial obligations that go into expanding a business. We make every effort to be a part of those achievements, and to congratulate and applaud their accomplishments. I am honored to have taken part in such a notable celebration for Ed, his family, and his business. We at Fleetwood wish him all the best.”
McGeorge’s Rolling Hills RV first opened in 1973 as a small, family owned RV dealership. More than 40 years later, McGeorge’s RV has more than doubled the size of its showroom, sales and service departments, and product lot. The new facility is located conveniently along I-95 just north of Richmond.
“McGeorge’s RV expansion and more than 40-year history in business was a direct culmination of Ed’s obvious dedication to providing the highest quality customer service year after year, yet remaining committed to his roots as a family-owned business. That’s what makes them such a great partner to Fleetwood,” says John Lowry, COO of Decatur, Ind.-based Fleetwood RV, noting Fleetwood has partnered with McGeorge’s RV since 2011.
According to a press release, the Expedition 38K floorplan features a free-standing dinette/computer workstation, front galley layout and a bath-and-a-half. For added sleeping capacity, the model offers a mid-ship living area with a transformer sofa and a hide-a-bed air mattress to accommodate extra guests. Additional amenities include a standard king bed with Dream Easy memory foam mattress in the bedroom and an optional electric fireplace.
“More than ever, motorhomes are seen as an extension of an owner’s home,” said Steven Hileman, director of marketing for the Decatur, Ind.-based builder. “We offer floorplans that provide convenience, functionality, comfort and beauty, just like you’d expect in your home.”
Entertainment in the Expedition 38K is provided by a large 40-inch Sony LED TV in the living area, which includes an L-shaped sofa for comfortable lounging. The 38-foot floorplan also offers generous storage space and an optional stacked washer/dryer. The exterior is set off by flush mount windows adding a seamless, premium look.
“The success we have had with the Bounder 35K led us to develop the Expedition 38K,” said Lenny Razo, Fleetwood RV director of sales for the Eastern region. “Some of our loyal customers who purchased 35K’s now have an option to move up to a diesel model in the Expedition 38K without giving up the floorplan they fell in love with.”
For more information on Fleetwood RV, call (800) 322-8216 or visit www.fleetwoodrv.com.
Fleetwood RV Inc. announced a new floorplan for its compact Class A diesel pusher, the Excursion. According to a press release, the 35E floorplan features a contemporary design along with a flexible layout that allows RVers to include the whole family on journeys.
Abundant sleeping areas include bunk beds, a dinette that coverts to a sleeping area, queen bed with a reversible designer bedspread in the bedroom and an optional hide-a-loft drop-down queen bed. Entertainment is provided by Sony LED TVs and a new optional exterior entertainment center.
“Excursion appeals to both the first-time diesel buyer, and veteran RVers looking for a better value and stronger feature set,” said John Draheim, president of Fleetwood RV. “The new 35E provides the additional sleeping capacity and storage space that families need with the value and durability they expect from a Fleetwood.”
The Excursion 35E also provides extra storage areas with a seating and storage bench in the bedroom, storage across the rear wall and pass-through storage in the exterior compartments. An optional washer/dryer gives owners the convenience of doing laundry during their travels.
For the 2015 model year, all Excursion models were upgraded to feature flush-mount windows, LED accent lights on the front headlights and new exterior graphics and colors.
“Thy 35E floor plan is an outstanding addition to the 2015 Excursion lineup,” said Lenny Razo, Fleetwood director of sales for the eastern region. “It’s a great example of the innovative floorplans developed to meet the needs and desires of our owners.”
For more information on Fleetwood RV, call 1-800-322-8216 or visit www.fleetwoodrv.com.
Fleetwood RV Inc. announced it has added Bretz RV to its dealer network, according to a press release. In business since 1967, Bretz RV operates two Montana locations in Billings and Missoula and is a premier dealer in the Northwest.
“We are pleased to welcome Bretz RV to the Fleetwood family,” said Dave Denarola, Western region director of sales. “They provide exceptional, personalized customer service, which ensures our owners will have the experience they deserve right from the time they purchase a Fleetwood motorhome.”
Fleetwood RV Inc. and Michigan-based General RV recently achieved record sales at the Detroit Camper and RV Show, held Feb. 5-9 in Novi. According to a press release, Fleetwood’s three most recognized models, Bounder, Discovery and Storm, contributed to the most Fleetwood motorhomes ever sold at the Novi event.
Offering innovative floorplans, the Bounder 35K remains a leader in the Class A gas segment with a layout that “flows seamlessly from front to back,” the company said. The gas-powered Discovery 40E floorplan was also a hit of the show, featuring a spacious galley design, an over-the-top pantry and pop-up 46-inch LED Sony HDTV.
The Storm gas Class A remains a top seller, resulting from its crossover design, blending the best of both a Class A and Class C coach with Fleetwood’s exclusive Hide-A-Loft drop-down bed and Bunk-Bed-n-Breakfast features.
“The Detroit show was a great success and we look to continue that success with our three key models, Discovery, Bounder and Storm,” said Lenny Razo, Fleetwood RV director of sales, eastern region. “We are proud to be partners with General RV and excited to be teaming up with them again at three major upcoming shows.”
“Fleetwood’s products definitely resonated with the crowd at the Detroit Camper and RV Show,” said Bob Green, director of sales at General RV. “We’re looking forward to seeing equally strong support of these amazing models at the other shows we’ll be attending in February.”
Upcoming shows for Fleetwood and General RV include:
• The 46th Annual Chicago RV & Camping Show, Feb. 12-16, Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, Ill.
• Jacksonville RV Show, Feb. 13-16, Jacksonville Equestrian Center, Jacksonville, Fla.
• Utah Sportsmens Vacation & RV Show, Feb. 13-16, South Towne Expo Center, Sandy, Utah.
Fleetwood RV announced the appointment of Don Krzyzanowski as the company’s new Southeast district sales manager.
According to a press release, Krzyzanowski previously worked at Camping World of Tampa where he was the general sales manager. He oversaw a team of 25 sales, finance and support personnel while managing the sales process along with the training and development of the sales team.
“We’re very excited to welcome Don to our sales team,” said Lenny Razo, director of sales-Eastern Region for Decatur, Ind.-based Fleetwood. “Don has shown a passion for the RV industry throughout his more than 10 years of retail experience. With that passion and a proven dedication to the customer, he’s a great fit for our company. As Fleetwood RV continues to grow, Don will be key in expanding our representation in the market and helping further satisfy our dealers’ needs and expectations.”
“I am very excited for the opportunity to join the finest RV company in the world,” said Don Krzyzanowski. “Throughout my RV career, I have had the pleasure of selling Fleetwood RVs and making camping dreams come true for many of my customers. Now, by joining the Fleetwood RV family, I will be able to continue making camping dreams come true for many more families well into the future.”
Fleetwood RV Inc. has announced that it will sponsor “Gone With the Wynns,” the recorded adventures of perpetual travelers and modern day documentarians, Jason and Nikki Wynn.
According to a press release, the Wynn’s maintain a website, GoneWithTheWynns.com, where they record their adventures, discoveries, helpful information and videos from the road. They will be traveling in a 2014 Excursion 33D.
Leaving their professional careers in Dallas, Texas, the Wynns decided to pursue a life of adventure on the road and saw no better way to do it than in an RV. “We love the idea of having all of the comforts of home while traveling, and we hate the hassle of having to book flights and hotels and live by a defined schedule,” said Jason Wynn.
Throughout their adventures, the Wynns will be featuring the 2014 Excursion 33D in videos, on their website and on social media sites. “The Wynns have a loyal following of fellow RVers who share their sense of adventure and love of life on the road,” states John Draheim, president of Fleetwood and CEO of Allied Recreation Group. “They’re a perfect fit for the Fleetwood brand and we look forward to seeing them showcase the Excursion along their adventures.”
For more information on all Fleetwood RV products visit www.fleetwoodrv.com.
The remaining portion of the former Fleetwood RV complex in Paxino, Pa., has been purchased by the parent company of Great Dane Trailers, a well-known manufacturer that has made a number of acquisitions nationwide since celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2000.
The News-Item, Shamokin, reported that CC Industries Inc. (CCI) bought the 73-acre property along Route 487 for $3.85 million, according to a deed filed last week with the Northumberland County Register and Recorder’s Office. It was one of four properties acquired by CCI in a sale authorized Aug. 1 by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court’s Central California District.
CCI is the parent company of Great Dane, which also operates a plant in Danville. It is the private-equity division of Chicago-based Henry Crown and Co., which is among the nation’s richest private companies.
A spokesman for Great Dane remained mum Thursday on CCI’s intentions in Paxinos.
“At this time no specific plans for the property have been announced,” David P. Grant, marketing director, said in confirming the purchase.
Even so, the purchase suggests the company might at some point be using the facility to make Great Dane products, which included refrigerated trailers, dry-freight trailers, platform trailers and truck bodies. When and if that will happen and how many people might be employed remain unanswered.
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Fleetwood RV Inc. has introduced a new floorplan for its Excursion model, a 33-foot Class A diesel pusher. According to a press release, the new 33D floorplan is the fourth layout available for the model, providing a number of features typically seen in larger diesel coaches.
The 2014 Excursion features several upgrades including new cabinet stain choices, interior décor and exterior design choices that allow owners to “create a motorhome that matches their unique tastes.” Additionally, the coach offers Sony LED TVs and LED ceiling lights while a new blind-spot/pet-window in the passenger area can be opened for ventilation. All Excursion models ride on the Freightliner XCS series chassis with the exclusive PowerBridge chassis system.
Responding to input from Fleetwood owners, the 33D is designed with dedicated sofa and dinette zones, both of which convert to sleeping areas. The floorplan offers generous sleeping accommodations with an optional Hide-A-Loft queen-sized bed over the cab along with increased bedroom space and wardrobe storage thanks to an east/west bed mounted within a slideout.
In the bedroom, customers will find plenty of storage space as a result of a large wardrobe that runs the full width of the rear of the coach. An optional washer/dryer combo unit is easily incorporated into the bedroom area, which also features a convenient window bench seat. Large windows on both sides of the bedroom provide welcome cross ventilation.
The kitchen area in the Excursion 33D features an optional residential refrigerator, abundant storage space with the floor-to-ceiling pantry and wrap-around galley countertop with flip-up extension. A spice rack helps keep ingredients secure while the polished LG solid-surface countertops and glass-tile backsplash enhance the look and functionality of the kitchen area.
Owners of the Excursion 33D will appreciate the most spacious bathroom of any Excursion model thanks to the split bathroom layout with the lavatory on the left and the shower on the right. Essentials are easily stored in the large medicine cabinet.
“With the 33D, we’ve not only created an innovative layout, but also a variety of design choices and options that allow our customers to truly make their Excursion a reflection of their own unique tastes,” said Kyle McCrary, senior vice president of product planning and design for Decatur, Ind.-based Fleetwood. “We continue to develop distinctive floor plans such as the 33D with essential input from our owners.”
The 2014 Excursion 33D will be on display at the Pennsylvania RV & Camping Show, Sept. 11-15 in Hershey, Pa.
Fleetwood RV, Inc. announced today (May 24) one of its existing dealers, Transwest RV, is adding a new, full-service location in the Kansas City market. The dealership’s Frederick, Colorado, location has been selling and servicing Fleetwood and American Coach products since June 2012.
The new Transwest RV facility in Belton, Missouri, just south of Kansas City, will sell and service the full line of Fleetwood products, including Providence, Discovery, Expedition, Excursion, Southwind, Bounder, Terra, Storm, Tioga Ranger and Tioga Montara. In addition, the location will sell and service the American Heritage, American Eagle, American Tradition and American Revolution models. The Belton location will be an authorized American Coach and Fleetwood parts and warranty service facility.
“Our new Belton facility is a natural expansion for Transwest,” commented Dave Bowe, General Manager of the new Transwest RV location. “Fleetwood and American Coach manufacture some of the most innovative products in the industry, and we’re proud to offer them to our customers.”
Transwest has a strong history of serving its customers, selling and servicing light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks, specialty vehicles, horse trailers and over-the-road trailers. The company has earned an A+ rating from the Northern Colorado Better Business Bureau based on its superior customer satisfaction ratings.
“We’re excited to partner with an outstanding dealership like Transwest as they grow their business,” said Dave Denarola, Western Region Director of Sales for Fleetwood and American Coach. “Their new location in Belton will help us reach and better serve the market in that area by offering a full-line facility that can sell as well as service Fleetwood and American Coach products.”
In the wake of its announced acquisition of Navistar Inc.’s RV operations, Allied Specialty Vehicles (ASV) has begun assembling the pieces for its emergence as a major player in the motorhome segment.
Faced with a raft of organizational and engineering challenges, ASV has mapped out a strategy that will consolidate the building of four high-profile motorhome brands at its campus in Decatur, Ind., while also realigning its corporate structure.
“We will be manufacturing four very iconic motorhome brands – Fleetwood, Monaco, Holiday Rambler and American Coach – all with strong recognition in the marketplace, a loyal customer base and tremendous dealer networks,” noted John Draheim, president and CEO of Fleetwood RV Inc., a division of Orlando, Fla.-based ASV.
As part of the buyout, ASV purchased all of the equity interests of Navistar RV, including manufacturing operations for Navistar’s R-Vision and Holiday Rambler towable units in Harrisburg, Ore., and Navistar’s Monaco and Holiday Rambler brand motorized RVs in Wakarusa, Ind. ASV, which is owned by private equity firm American Industry Partners, has also entered into a multi-year leasing agreement for Navistar RV’s Elkhart, Ind., plant, a former Roadmaster chassis facility that houses towable operations. The sale does not include Bison Coach, Navistar’s horse trailer manufacturing business.
“Towable operations will not be impacted,” said Draheim. “The Roadmaster chassis is currently being assembled in an out-building in Wakarusa. We haven’t made a decision if we will continue to build chassis.”
Phasing out Operations in Wakarusa
The most imposing challenge will be the phasing out of operations in Wakarusa while preparing for a ramp-up of production in Decatur where ASV operates facilities encompassing 558,500 square feet of manufacturing space. Currently around 412,000 square feet are being utilized for Fleetwood/American Coach production.
“We are going to continue to build units in Wakarusa for the next three or four months, fulfilling all of the commitments already on the books,” Draheim said. “I anticipate that the last unit will run down the line sometime in August. At the same time, we’ll be implementing a parallel project in Decatur to prepare for the move.”
Draheim reported that the relocation will impact around 500 workers at the Wakarusa plant, 400 involved in production work. “The balance are in product development and engineering, and we are hiring people from those groups. Parts and service will not change.”
Draheim said that while production will continue, the work force will be incrementally pared down. Employees, who were meeting with management today, would be considered for openings in Decatur.
“I don’t see us starting production in August or even September,” he said, “so I don’t know if people will be able to wait that long. Our intent is to sell the Wakarusa facility. We have already received interest from a few industry companies where people would be able to find employment.”
He added, “Our top priority is taking care of these people who lost their jobs.”
Launch of a New Era for ASV
Draheim said that initially ASV would essentially be setting up two companies in Decatur.
“We will be forming two separate business units – Monaco/Holiday Rambler and Fleetwood/American Coach,” Draheim said. “Sales, marketing, product development, parts and service will all run independently. Long-term that may change. I can envision how the two companies and four brands will fit under the ASV umbrella.”
Product development, however, remains at the forefront.
“We will be adding additional product development/engineering resources to those inherited in the deal from Navistar, as we view product as an extremely important component for success,” he said. “One of our main goals will be to further differentiate the brands. Monaco was the premier luxury motorhome in the market, but Navistar tried to change the product through its engine strategy. They tried to make Monaco something it’s not.”
Draheim said that the production side would not be immediately impacted, noting that RV sales had been dropping since Navistar Inc. announced last October that RVs represented a “non-core” business.
“At the volumes we’re running today, we’ll be able to integrate production in Decatur without changing our facilities,” he said. “As volumes increase, we may need to reconfigure.”
ASV’s management structure will also be in a state of flux while operations are merged. Draheim will continue to head up Fleetwood/American Coach while longtime Monaco executive Mike Snell has been named as president of Monaco/Holiday Rambler. Bill Osborne, president of Navistar RV, will not be part the new team.
“Mike will be reporting to ASV COO Jim Meyer, who is also acting COO for Fleetwood,” Draheim said. “We are currently conducting a job search to fill the Fleetwood slot so Jim can concentrate on his corporate responsibilities.”
He added, “In the next 60 to 90 days we will announcing a new management structure. I can foresee a corporate ASV RV umbrella with two business unit presidents and one COO to oversee operations. Right now, we are wading our way through all the changes and are focusing on implementing a plan that makes sense.”
Fleetwood RV Inc. recently released a “Build Your Own” mobile tablet application that allows users to configure a Fleetwood motorhome to their own personal specifications. According to a press release, the app is free and available for download at the Apple App Store and Google Play.
The new Fleetwood RV app lets users choose their preferred Fleetwood model and the floorplan that best fits their lifestyle. The app offers a selection of inviting exterior graphics, interior décor and cabinetry options to choose from. Allowing an even greater level of customization, the app provides additional optional features in categories such as the galley and appliances, living room and furniture, electronics, bedroom and exterior.
“The mobile tablet application provides our customers the ability to explore our full range of amenities and options while they build their own unique motorhome,” commented John Draheim, president and CEO of the Decatur, Ind.-based builder. “The app is an ideal example of how our brands continue to employ innovative marketing techniques that engage our owners and dealers.”
After users have designed their customized motorhome, they can compare the suggested retail price of the vehicle to the price as it’s been configured. They also have the option to e-mail the configured motorhome to themselves or share it with friends.
A “Build Your Own” mobile tablet application is also available for the American Coach brand, Fleetwood’s high-end motorhome line. The American Coach version of the app displays rich product décor and features and actively updates the floor plan as the user makes his or her specific selections.
“These apps provide a significant benefit to dealers and customers, who are now able to explore the endless possibilities, floorplans and options, all from the convenience of a mobile device,” added Draheim.
Plans call for a mid-May debut of Fleetwood RV Inc.’s restyled 2014 Discovery diesel pusher Class A — the first major upgrade of Fleetwood’s popular Discovery since 2007. Updated inside and out, the 36- to 40-foot 2014 Discovery is available in four floorplans – two with full-wall slideouts – on a 32,000-pound GVWR Freightliner XCM modular chassis adapted to Fleetwood’s PowerBridge platform and equipped with a 380-hp Cummins 8.9L diesel engine. MSRPs range from $270,000 to $286,000. The exterior sports oversized headlights with LED accent lighting in addition to a front slideout generator access door and revised colors and graphics. Inside is a more automotive wraparound dash with faux-wood inlays and soft-touch surfaces while new interior decors and wood options have been added. “Discovery has been Fleetwood’s iconic diesel brand for years and is a mainstay of our product lineup, so the design changes for 2014 are evolutionary,” reports Kyle McCrary, senior vice president of product planning and design for Decatur, Ind.-based Fleetwood. “Our process began by placing a new focus on appealing to both husband and wife. For him, we started from scratch with a new dash design to make it more driver-centric with the most modern switchgear and premium materials. For her, we kept the traditional interior styling but updated it with warmer fabrics and wall coverings, and new hardwoods. And to add some drama, we’re using massive 24-inch-by-24-inch polished tile plus an updated galley that includes new LG countertops, glass-tile backsplashes, a spice shelf and additional outlets. These updates will put Discovery at the top of its class for 2014.”