Phil Sarvari, executive vice president of Gulf Stream Coach Inc., announced today (July 25) the appointment of Paul Campbell as director of marketing.
According to a press release, Campbell has an extensive career in marketing, advertising, communications and public relations, having worked for a number of industry leaders in the RV, marine, automotive and aftermarket industries.
“We’re excited to have someone with Paul’s breadth of experience and strategic insight on our team, as we expand the products and services we provide to our valuable dealers and retail customers,” Sarvari said. “We’re convinced we have the RV industry’s leading combination of innovation, value, features, floorplans and quality. Paul’s job is to help us communicate that leadership to our dealers and the RV buying public.”
Campbell noted, “I’m proud to be in a position to help a company with the heritage, strength and enthusiasm of Gulf Stream as we enhance its leadership position and take advantage of growth opportunities in the RV industry.
Gulf Stream Coach, established in 1983 and based in Nappanee, Ind., produces a complete line of towable travel trailers and fifth-wheels that are sold throughout the U.S. and Canada. Brands include AmeriLite, Canyon Trail, Capri, Conquest, Enduramax, Gulf Breeze, Innsbruck, Kingsport, Sky, Streamlite, Track & Trail, Trailmaster, Visa By Gulf Stream and Yellowstone.
For more information, call (800) 298-8787, or visit www.gulfstreamrvtrailers.com.
The Kingsport brand by Gulf Stream Coach Inc. is helping dealers “generate midsummer excitement and sales by providing best-ever pricing and consumer-pleasing free upgrades,” according to a press release.
“We’re giving dealers a special opportunity to offer their customers incredible values,” said Sean Ryan, Kingsport general manager. “Customers want to buy, but they want to see true value before they say ‘yes.’ Now our valued dealers can offer our most popular floorplan at a price that clearly delivers the best combination of quality and value in the industry – and we’re not “de-contenting” our unit. We put an incredible price on a fully-equipped coach then went over the top by adding a bike rack and a power front hitch jack.”
Ryan noted that all Kingsport products also offer a two-year warranty. “It’s just what the market needs as we turn RV shoppers into satisfied Kingsport owners,” he said.
Gulf Stream Coach, established in 1983 in Nappanee, Ind., produces a complete line of towables sold throughout the United States and Canada. In addition to the Kingsport brand, travel trailers and fifth-wheels are sold under the Ameri-Lite, Canyon Trail, Capri, Conquest, Enduramax, Gulf Breeze, Innsbruck, Sky, Streamlite, Track & Trail, Trailmaster, Visa By Gulf Stream and Yellowstone brands.
For more information, call (800) 298-8787 or visit www.gulfstreamrvtrailers.com.
Nappanee, Ind.-based Gulf Stream Coach Inc. recently introduced five new models in its Ameri Lite “Super-lite” line of trailers, offering “many deluxe features found on higher-end units.”
According to a press release, the new models range from 14- to 19-feet in length and offer an optional fiberglass “sidewall” upgrade package that “enhances the appearance of the trailer while also adding durability and protection from road hazards.”
“The dealer response was outstanding,” says Randy Baskerville, national sales manager. “Gulf Stream is focused on reducing weight and increasing value. These new products even compete strongly with the used trailer market.”
Gulf Stream Coach, established in 1983, produces a complete line of travel trailers and fifth-wheels that are sold throughout the United States and Canada under the brands Ameri Lite, Canyon Trail, Capri, Conquest, Endurance Max, Gulf Breeze, Innsbruck, Kingsport, Sky, Track & Trail, Trailmaster, Visa by Gulf Stream and Yellowstone.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.gulfstreamrvtrailers.com.
Nappanee, Ind.-based Gulf Stream Coach reported tremendous dealer interest in its new Visa travel trailer on display during the recent 2010 RVDA RV Dealers International Convention/Expo in Las Vegas.
“The traffic was phenomenal,” said Steve Jacobs, Gulf Stream’s national sales manager, in a release. “We signed our first dealer on Tuesday night during the opening reception — I think that’s a first for Gulf Stream. We even made arrangements for the dealer to take delivery of the display unit after the convention for his own personal use. Current dealers were delivering prospects over to our display and sharing their success stories with the Visa.”
According to Gulf Stream, the Visa travel trailer has expanded the options available for those who use small SUVs or minivans as their tow vehicle — they no longer have to accept the “oil can” travel trailer or a pop-up. Visa utilizes state-of-the-art eco-friendly materials inside and outside, producing a compact travel trailer with a total dry weight around 2700 pounds. The Visa offers 82-inch interior ceiling heights, walk-around island queen beds, large dry baths, oversized dinettes and bunk models.
For more information, contact Gulf Stream Coach, 503 South Oakland Avenue, Nappanee, IN 46550, (800) 289-8787, or visit www.gulfstreamrvtrailers.com.
Gulf Stream Coach Inc. reported this week that its towables division posted a year-over-year sales increase of 107% through April.
Brands included in these sales figures are: Prairie Schooner, Yellowstone, Canyon Trail, Mako, Kingsport, Trailmaster, Conquest, Innsbruck, Amerilite, Streamlite, Gulf Breeze, Emerald Bay, Visa, EnduraMax and Track & Trail.
The Nappanee, Ind.-based, privately owned RV manufacturer has already increased production 25% in May, and anticipates another 20% increase for June production to assist dealers in replenishing their inventory levels, according to a news release.
“We have seen a greater surge in February through April this year than in the past. The trend is phenomenal, particularly over the past few weeks,” said Steve Jacobs, national sales manager. Gulf Stream Towables Division has added many new dealers so far in 2010.
Gulf Stream Coach attributes it’s success to providing their customers with innovative products that are high quality and offer tremendous features for the money.
For more information, contact Gulf Stream Coach, 503 S. Oakland Ave., Nappanee, IN 46550, (800) 289-8787, or visit www.gulfstreamrvtrailers.com.
Eight months after unemployment in Elkhart County, Ind., hit 18.9% and helped make this middle America spot a symbol of the economic meltdown, people are starting to go back to work.
In November the unemployment rate in the county fell to 14.5%, the lowest since November 2008, when it was 13%. A big reason for the turnaround is the rebound in the recreational vehicle industry, which is responsible for about a quarter of the county’s annual economy, according to the Wall Street Journal.
As a result, Elkhart RV makers that were laying off workers last year are now hiring. The Keystone RV division of Thor Industries Inc. is one of them, adding about 500 workers in recent months. “It’s a very positive thing for our community,” said Ron Fenech, Keystone president and CEO.
Keystone laid off 1,000 employees as the recession took hold, cutting the staff from 3,100 to 2,100 before the recent reversal. The turmoil in the marketplace last year created a lot of uncertainty, Fenech said, but that began easing earlier this year and the buying trend has continued through the summer and fall. “I think things are positive and heading in the right direction, but we certainly are not all the way back,” he said.
Nationally, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) projects that shipments to dealers from manufacturers will increase 27% in 2010, rising to 203,000 units from 159,500. RV sales nose-dived in 2008 as gasoline prices soared and consumer credit contracted.
At one point Elkhart County had 71 manufacturing facilities that produced about 65% of all recreational vehicles made in the U.S.
For years, employment in Elkhart and the surrounding area was stable, rising from 3.3% in 1997 to 4.6% by the end of 2007. In 2008 high gas prices and the downturn accelerated that, and unemployment in the county tripled to 16% in one year. The two hardest-hit industries were construction and manufacturing.
Earlier this year, when unemployment was at its peak, many restaurant and shopping center parking lots were virtually empty.
President Obama visited in February, pointing to the problems in the area to support his argument that Congress should pass a stimulus bill.
Things have improved significantly since then. Jayco Inc., another Elkhart RV company, has hired 250 employees in recent months, bringing staffing levels to 1,450 people. During the downturn it let go 900 employees and cut its daily production from 30 units to 15 on some assembly lines. Those assembly lines are now producing about 23 units per day, said Sid Johnson, the company’s director of marketing.
The company now has back orders, Johnson said, adding there was “a certain amount of optimism, albeit pretty cautious, as to what we think next year will be like.”
Dorinda Heiden-Guss, president of the Elkhart County Economic Development Corp., said a positive aspect of the notoriety from Obama’s visit was business interest. She said she was hoping to get 25 companies to tour the county this year and consider locating there. Through early December 59 had come, looking at buildings, meeting with local officials and, in some cases, exploring financing.
The county has more than $134 million in new projects going on from outside companies that are investing in property, equipment, buildings and other improvements. That equates to about 3,300 new jobs, Heiden-Guss said.
Electric Motors Co. hired Ed Neufeldt, a laid-off RV plant worker who introduced Obama during a presidential visit. Now the 62-year-old father of seven is helping the company, which partnered with Gulf Stream Coach, to build a prototype truck modeled on the Ford F-150 pickup truck but with an electric engine.
Neufeldt made cabinets for Monaco Coach Corp. for 32 years before he was laid off in September 2008, along with 1,400 other workers. He was volunteering with several out-of-work RV plant employees at a local shelter when he was asked to introduce Obama during one of his visits to the community. He got a part-time job delivering bread afterward and is now working both jobs. “I’m still not making what I made on unemployment, but I am blessed,” he said.
Phil Penn, president of the Greater Elkhart County Chamber of Commerce, said stimulus money — through October Indiana received $848 million, according to the federal government — has to be credited with helping keep some people in the area employed and accelerating work on some local infrastructure projects.
“But that’s not what our economy is built on. We certainly welcomed the stimulus dollars to our community, but as far as direct job creation, quite frankly, that will come from the private sector.”
Gulf Stream Coach’s EnduraMAX toy haulers is debuting its re-designed lineup of Crossover toy haulers with an all new look at the 47th Annual National RV Trade Show this week in Louisville, Ky. The Track & Trail (shown at left) has been completely re-designed with all new floorplans that are all half-ton towable geared for the entry-level buyers’ market, said A.J. Jones, national sales manager. “We have cut the prices while featuring many new amenities never seen before.” The unit will feature two-tone painted exteriors and two-tone wood cabinetry. The Track & Trail will also feature a 24-foot model with a walk around front bed and 12 feet of garage space with MSRP starting at $15,113. The company also is releasing its new lightweight EnduraMAX Sport. This product will be built using ENDURA LITE composite laminated construction that helped to eliminate a lot of unnecessary weight. The Sport will feature the first 7½-foot tall full wall slideout that gives the look of a double slide at a single slide cost. It will also feature the patent pending removable vapor wall with a 12-foot temperature controlled garage space that doubles as living space or a bunk house, solid hardwood cabinetry, walk around front beds, side isle bathrooms, huge entertainment systems, huge sound systems and the first-ever drop down front bedroom. MSRP starting at $24,367. The company also will display a new EnduraMAX luxury fifth-wheel with ENDURA LITE composite laminated construction. The product will have the industry’s first upper deck kitchen floorplan in a toy hauler. It will have a 20-foot full wall slideout that is 7½ feet tall.
Gulf Stream Coach motorized division is introducing the all new Conquest Class C Sport series from the brand that has been a mainstay in the Class C market for over 20 years. “Conquest Class C is known for industry firsts such as wide body construction, basement design and the first to have a slide-out,” said Claude Donati, vice president motorized division. The Conquest Sport will be available on a Ford chassis with V-10 engine and come in four floor plans: 23-foot, 28-foot, and two 31-foot units with slides; one with bunk beds. Standard features include 7-foot ceiling, Cradle of Strength construction, hardwood stiles and cabinets, microwave, awning, galvanized steel storage compartment, generator and a large overhead bunk. “With the development of the Conquest Sport series, we will give customers the best priced Class C in the market. There is a time to innovate, and there is a time to make things simple. In 2010, we believe price is king,” said Donati. MSRP $64,632.
Gulf Stream Coach will unveil the all new Visa lightweight travel trailer at the 47th Annual National RV trade Show Dec. 1-3 in Louisville, Ky. The 23-foot model has a dry weight of 2,586 pounds. Gulf Stream’s goal was to provide amenities like walk-around queen beds and full baths for the 3,500-pound tow vehicle, according to a news release. Visa also utilizes state-of-the-art composites inside and outside. Its unique profile decreases wind drag, while providing good interior head room.
Gulf Stream Coach reported this week that retail sales for its travel trailer and fifth-wheel combined brands in September ranked No. 1 in the latest report from Statistical Surveys Inc.
“The entry level and lightweight products have done particular well this year,” according to Phil Sarvari, executive vice president. Gulf Stream moved up from No. 6 in September 2008. Gulf Stream’s combined brand beat out the next best selling brand by 34 units in that month, according to a press release.
“There has been a year of many achievements at Gulf Stream and we are very excited about the new ‘value packed’ and innovative products we are introducing at Louisville this year,” added Sarvari. “We want to thank all of our dealers over this past year and the 32 new dealers that have joined our team recently.”
Meanwhile, Gulf Stream is reintroducing its Sun Voyager Class A motorhome at a lower price point than ever offered before, according to a news release.
“We believe this coach will actually kick start the 2010 selling season by giving dealers an extremely affordable and bankable product,” said Brian Shea, president Gulf Stream Motorized Division. “With unique product design and high-end features at an affordable retail price, the Sun Voyager is sure to create the sales opportunities all dealers need right now.”
The 2010 Sun Voyager will be available in three models: 30-foot with three slides and an atrium room, 34-foot with bunk beds and 32-foot double slide. The starting price point is $93,219 MSRP with many upgraded features considered standard. The Sun Voyager will have 7-foot interior ceilings; hardwood cabinets, doors and stiles; basement storage; and bus-style storage doors.
The chassis on this feature-rich motorhome is a 20,500-pound GVWR Ford F-53 with a V10 engine. “The market is looking at price and features. The Sun Voyager has been designed to turn quickly for the dealers and create a lot of gross margin,” said Claude Donati, vice president, Gulf Stream Coach. “Customers are looking for those products that can easily be financed and will not break the bank. The Sun Voyager is that product in 2010.”
Gulf Stream Coach will showcase the all-new Sun Voyager during the 47th Annual National RV Trade Show Dec. 1-3 in Louisville, Ky.