Fleetwood RV Inc. President and CEO John Draheim has been appointed to the Indiana Chamber of Commerce board.
According to a press release, Draheim will serve a three-year term through 2015. The board is made up of 180 business and civic leaders throughout Indiana.
With a focus on developing aspects of the organization’s business advocacy groups, the board members serve on various committees that research topics and define policy positions for adoption. These positions are then used by the chamber’s advocacy team to initiate and evaluate legislation at the Indiana Statehouse and in Congress.
“It’s an honor to be asked to serve on the Indiana Chamber of Commerce board of directors,” said Draheim. “The chamber serves an important role in promoting economic prosperity and job growth in Indiana, something which is incredibly important to the people of our state and to companies like Fleetwood RV.”
Decatur, Ind.-based motorhome builder Fleetwood RV Inc. has partnered with Fort Wayne’s Bishop Luers High School in its participation during CANstruction 2013, in support of the Community Harvest Food Bank (CHFB).
According to a press release, CANstruction pairs local high school students with business sponsors and engineering mentors to design and build structures based on this year’s theme, “Dynamic Duos.” The structures are all built using only cans of food, which are then donated to the CHFB and for distribution throughout the nine counties which it serves.
On exhibit from April 12–21 at Fort Wayne’s Glenbrook Mall, Bishop Luers’ “Bo, Luke and the General Lee” structure represents the iconic television twosome and how they fought for the good in their 1969 Dodge Charger, the General Lee. This design also resonates the efforts of the CHFB in the fight against hunger within the community.
“This is our second year of sponsorship with the CANstruction program and we’re extremely pleased to be able to sponsor Bishop Luers High School in this worthwhile cause,” said Doug Hormann, director of human resources for Fleetwood RV. “Fleetwood RV’s commitment to this program supports our continuing efforts of giving back to the community while providing the ability for Bishop Luers students to showcase their design and do their part in the fight against hunger.”
Decatur, Ind.-based motorhome builder Fleetwood RV Inc. announced that John McKibben will join the company as director of operations.
McKibben’s responsibilities will include management of on-line and off-line production, lean manufacturing processes and operational resource planning. With 17-plus years in production management, he offers wide-ranging experience applying advanced lean manufacturing strategies in plant environments.
Most recently serving as plant manager at Bluffton Motor Works, McKibbon also has prior management experience at Nestle and General Motors Co. As a certified Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) coach, he also trains teams in TPS and TPM tools to improve safety, quality and productivity.
“John’s broad management background and lean manufacturing expertise is a great match for our organization,” stated John Draheim, president & CEO of Fleetwood RV. “He has a proven track record of consistently attaining production schedules, meeting quality expectations, solving process challenges and improving safety, all of which are extremely important to our work here at Fleetwood RV.”
McKibben, a Fort Wayne, Ind., native, replaces Luis Ortiz. A Six Sigma black-belt and lean expert, Ortiz advances to a new consulting role for Fleetwood RV stakeholder, American Industrial Partners (AIP).
“Luis played a critical role in the development of our lean manufacturing journey and we’re incredibly grateful to have had him on our team,” said Draheim. “He has accepted a position with AIP as a lean sensei where he will get to extend his expertise to an expanding portfolio of companies.”
American Coach, the luxury coach division of Decatur, Ind.-based Fleetwood RV Inc., highlighted three new floorplans for the American Heritage, American Eagle and American Tradition models at the 50th Annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., November 27 – 29.
According to a press release, American Coach also introduced its brand essence statement — “The trusted leader in quality-engineered luxury RVs” — and unveiled a new website that effectively communicates the American Coach message, including industry-leading support, a trusted brand and “a passion to produce the best products and innovation in design and engineering.” The refreshed website, www.americancoach.com, features a design that’s consistent with a luxury brand, larger product images, easy navigation, a “Build Your Own” application and improved owner center portal.
A series of brochures, one for each American Coach model, was also produced that not only highlights the company’s all-new floorplans, but the innovative design options available. Mindy Cox, an interior designer with 18 years in the industry, joined the American Coach team this year and will be a driving force in the company’s renewed focus on distinctive design.
“The American Coach brand is the epitome of luxury when it comes to motorhomes, and we’re focused on continuing to build them with meticulous attention to detail and the highest level of sophisticated design,” said Kyle McCrary, vice president, design, sales and marketing.
In addition, a new American Coach iPad application was introduced at the Louisville show that provides dealers with an effective, mobile sales tool they can use to show customers floor plans, décor options and the “Build Your Own” feature.
Allied Specialty Vehicles (ASV), parent to Decatur, Ind.-based Fleetwood RV Inc., has appointed James R. Meyer as COO.
According to a press release, Meyer, 50, most recently served as president & CEO of Hatteras Yachts, a subsidiary of Brunswick Corp. His 30-year career includes director of product development at Ford Motor Co. for medium and large cars as well as crossover vehicles and general manager of small cars for Mazda.
“Consistent with our growth objectives, the addition of Jim Meyer as COO further strengthens our ability to deliver our operational excellence initiatives and strategic plans,” said Peter Guile, CEO of ASV. “Jim has an ideal background for ASV including vehicle product development, strategic sourcing and a proven track record of growing profit margins and strengthening businesses. He understands our recreational vehicle segment from leading a luxury yacht business and brings significant Asian and European operating experience.”
Meyer holds an MBA from the University of Michigan, a masters in engineering from MIT and a bachelor’s in engineering from the University of Michigan.
Based in Orlando, Fla., Allied Specialty Vehicles is a $1 billion revenue, privately held company comprised of industry leading brands in fire and emergency, recreation and commercial specialty vehicle segments.
Fleetwood RV Inc.’s growth warranted a visit by Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and members of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) board to the builder’s headquarters in Decatur, Ind., today (March 22), according to a press release.
Fleetwood RV, a leading manufacturer of Class A and Class C motorhomes, relocated its headquarters to Decatur in 2009 after consolidating its California and Pennsylvania manufacturing operations. The IEDC invested up to $9 million in performance-based tax credits and up to $100,000 in training grants based on the company’s accelerated job creation plans.
The company currently employs 1,106 workers at the Decatur manufacturing facility and recently hired 170 temporary employees to work on a four-month project.
Fleetwood said that much of its success is attributed to an ongoing commitment to innovation in its Fleetwood and American Coach brands. The company recently introduced the Excursion, a 33-foot Class A diesel model that has earned high accolades for its features and amenities.
“Through Gov. Daniels’ leadership, the efforts of the IEDC and the hard-working principles of the citizens of Indiana, this state has become a model for economic growth and job creation,” said John Draheim, president and CEO of Fleetwood RV. “As Fleetwood RV continues to grow, we plan to add more jobs and help to create an exciting future for the people of Indiana.”
Decatur, Ind.-based motorhome builder Fleetwood RV Inc. recently was awarded quality recognition from Ford Motor Co.’s Qualified Vehicle Modifier (QVM) Program.
• Compliance with all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS).
• Conformance with all Ford industry guidelines for vehicle conversions.
• Annual facility inspection and review of converter’s processes.
• A commitment to continuous improvement.
According to Ford, the purpose of this program is to assure vehicle modifier’s have the capability and processes in place to complete the vehicle in a repeatable manner – maintaining the integrity of the Ford chassis system while meeting federal and other compliance standards in place at the time of the build, and providing end-users with a quality built vehicle that meets their expectations.
“We believe we have achieved excellence in Ford’s Motor Home Quality Vehicle Modifier Program because of the investments we have made in engineering technology and lean manufacturing,” stated Fleetwood RV President and CEO John Draheim. “Our continued commitment to the quality and safety of our products is a driving force behind the products we deliver to our customers.”
Tom Johnson Camping Center announced that it is being named by Fleetwood RV Inc. as the No. 1 Jamboree Class C dealer in the nation and a Top Dealer Award recipient for American Coach and Southwind luxury motorhomes.
The Tom Johnson store in Marion, N.C. earned the distinction for the Jamboree brand while the Concord, N.C. earned Top Dealer Award for American Coach and Southwind.
“It is an honor for us to be named Top Dealer for American Coach and Fleetwood RV and we are very excited to be the No. 1 Jamboree Dealer in the nation,” said Gary Stroud, vice president. “Fleetwood and American Coach produce high quality products and listen carefully to customer needs. This philosophy of focusing on customer needs aligns with the Tom Johnson Camping Center business philosophy.”
Tom Johnson Camping Center is currently gearing up to host its 31st Annual Customer Appreciation BBQ set to run Sept. 8-10. This annual free event for customers includes a complimentary three-night stay in the Tom Johnson Camping Rally Park at the Marion location, nightly entertainment, seminars and activities, and complimentary breakfast and dinner on Sept. 10.
Monaco RV LLC, Carriage Inc., Travel Lite Inc., Fleetwood RV Inc. and Newmar Corp. are joining forces to display new products Sept. 19-22 on a 17-acre parcel of land on the northeast corner of U.S. 20 and C.R. 17 during Elkhart County’s 4th Annual RV Open House Week.
In what amounts to a classic case of how the emerging Open House casts industry competitors in unusually cooperative roles, the five adjacent exhibits will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily – and later when necessary — with a joint catered luncheon available 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. all four days, according to Ed Kinney, vice president of sales and marketing for Carriage, who played a pivotal role in organizing the display area.
The five-company exhibit, on the southeast side of Elkhart and a few minutes from the larger Forest River Inc. and Thor Industries Inc. displays, offers easy access, ample parking and close proximity to other manufacturer displays in the area, according to a Thursday (Sept. 1) Monaco release.
“We’re all splitting the costs, which are really low,” says Kinney, adding that there will be well over 100 units on display at the joint exhibit. “Everybody’s in this together.”
Kinney says this corporate cluster results from the experiences of some companies that felt their locations during last year’s Open House were too remote from the daily dealer traffic. Carriage’s management last year hosted dealers at the company’s home plant in Millersburg, a good 20-minute drive south and east of Elkhart.
Monaco’s main plant is in Wakarusa, Ind., while Newmar is in Nappanee, Ind., Travel Lite is based in New Paris, Ind., and Fleetwood is located about an hour’s drive southeast in Decatur, Ind.
There will be a tent set up amid the displays, said Kinney, adding that access to the paved parking area is off of C.R. 17.
“We look forward to bringing our products closer to dealers who will be in the Elkhart area,” noted Monaco’s Mike Snell, senior vice president of sales and product development. “We want it to be effortless for dealers to see our products, to learn about our advantages and connect with our employees and company. The manufacturer-dealer relationship is all about fostering good relationships based on open communication. At the same time, we want to provide the best, most state-of-the-art RVs on the market.”
“We’ll have lunches every day for dealers and visitors,” Kinney added. “We’re just real excited. It’s going to be a great turnout. It’s a nice layout. It’s a perfect piece of property – easy in, easy out, lots of easy parking. So, we’re just thinking of convenience for the dealers. And, you know, we’re three minutes from the Hall of Fame (where Thor will be set up). It doesn’t get better than that.”
Fleetwood RV Inc. debuted new models in the company’s Class A diesel pusher lineup along with the entry-level Jamboree Searcher and Tioga Montara C-bodies during the two-year-old company’s Aug. 23-25 National Dealer Meeting at the Grand Wayne Center in Fort Wayne, Ind.
Introductions by Decatur, Ind.-based Fleetwood included:
• Providence: Aimed at the “higher end of the price spectrum,” the 2012 Providence diesel pusher offers several upscale amenities such as polished porcelain floors, molded fiberglass roof and enhanced interior design with wall art and countertop edge detail upgrades. The line is available in four floorplans – three 42-foot models powered by a 450-hp Cummins 8.9L engine and a 40-footer equipped with the 380-hp ISC Cummins engine. The 42P is a tag-axle unit while the 42M offers a triple-slide and full-wall bath. Standard features include full-body paint, Aqua-Hot system (42M only), 2,000-watt pure sine wave inverter w/remote, hardwood cabinet doors/drawers, double roller shades, side-swinging luggage doors, and exterior grill and galley (optional).
• Discovery:The diesel pusher Discovery lineup features six models, including three tag axle units, all powered by a 380-hp Cummins ISC 8.3L engine. All-new floorplans for 2012 include the 42D, a quad-slide layout with a luxurious master suite, and the 42M, a full-wall-slide model with a Sony 40” mid-ship LCD TV. Features include 84-inch ceiling height, full-body paint, porcelain tile floor with decorative inserts,
hardwood cabinet doors/drawers, double roller shades, side-swinging luggage doors and optional exterior grill and galley.
• Jamboree Searcher and Tioga Montara: Both C models are available in three floorplans, including a 22- and 23-footer along with an all-new 25-foot model. All units feature a cab-over bed, spacious dinette and full bath with shower. Other features include hardwood cabinet doors; high-gloss smooth fiberglass exterior; a one-piece molded fiberglass front cap; and a full basement exterior with pass-through storage. Priced to compete in the entry-level market, MSRP’s are $64,190.