Jayco Inc.’s recently completed 2012 Dealer Homecoming in Myrtle Beach, S.C., offered the Middlebury, Ind.-based company a chance to mark its 44th year of operation while giving dealers a broad look at initiatives and programs designed to give them a competitive edge in today’s marketplace.
Topping the list, according to President and COO Derald Bontrager, is a continued emphasis on an aggressive and innovative approach to product development.
“We’re extremely proud of the product lines being unveiled at this meeting – they are a reflection of our resolute commitment to provide our customers with the best value in the marketplace,” Bontrager said to attendees representing 145 dealerships during his keynote address at the Sheraton Resort Hotel and Convention Center. “And, they are a demonstration that the commitment to product engineering that we have promised you is beginning to pay off. We are quicker to market, we are innovative, and we are adding value for our customers.”
Dave Eash, vice president of sales and marketing, reinforced Jayco’s ability to offer product that stood out on dealers’ lots, noting, “For the most recent periods reported this year by Stat Surveys, Jayco’s market share is up in every category. And we are on track to ship more than 27,000 units.”
Newly named Director of Product Development Amy Duthie, taking over for veteran Paul Gardner who moved into a regional sales manager role, added, “In today’s economic and competitive environment, product innovation is more important than ever before. It is a process and a culture that must be continually refueled by Jayco. It is what fundamentally drives economic growth, it increases productivity and, therefore, lowers cost. It adds value to the products and, therefore, increases market share.”
Several all-new lines along with new generations for existing products were unveiled during the June 18-20 meeting. Highlights included:
• Jayco introduced a revamped lineup in its long-standing Eagle towable brand. The Eagle HT fifth-wheel series now features an aerodynamic front cap design, all-new exterior graphics and an exclusive Magnum truss roof system. The interior is set off by decorative wall and ceiling board panel, upgraded carpeting, hard-top valance window treatments and a new slide fascia design. The company’s Eagle line, which replaces the Eagle Super Lite, shares many of the HT’s key features while sporting a chocolate glazed front cap and metal skirting, black extrusion accents and new G20 dark-tint windows. For 2013, Jayco also added the Eagle Premier fifth-wheel, featuring a new deluxe graphics package, accented by chocolate glazed skirting and radius roof metal, and a new clay glazed accent cap. Interiors offer fresh window treatment styling, a slide fascia design that features hardwood, a rear living overhead cabinet design and decorative interior wall and ceiling board panel.
• During the dealer meeting, Jayco unveiled its new Jay Flight DST destination travel trailer to complement its Jay Flight Bungalow line. The new DST is equipped with an atrium-style, gelcoat front cap, 60-inch sliding patio door and a detachable hitch. The full-featured kitchen includes an 18 cubic foot residential-style refrigerator with icemaker, large 60/40 deep-bowl sink with high-rise faucet and glazed Concord Cherry cabinetry. The interior also sports 90-inch interior height, standard ceiling fan, hidden switch command/charging center, Diamondflor vinyl flooring, residential-grade carpeting with padding, and a J-steel jack-knife sofa.
• Jayco’s 2013 Seismic toy hauler “redefines the category,” according to the company, packaged with amenities and styling normally found in traditional fifth-wheels. Interiors include three optional paint schemes, standard frameless windows, curved walls and a full-featured kitchen set off by Washington Glazed Maple stained cabinetry. The Seismic is equipped with extra tall slideouts and extendable dinettes. The garage, accented by charcoal-stained cabinetry, converts into another bedroom, giving the Seismic an additional four-person sleeping capacity. There is also a rear party deck for entertaining.
Management also elaborated on the Jayco Motorhome Group that was formed earlier this year by combining Jayco Class C motorhomes with the Entegra Coach Class A luxury lineup that includes the Aspire, Anthem and Cornerstone brands. Jayco started its Entegra Coach division in 2008 as a result of its acquisition of the assets of the former Travel Supreme Corp.
“We made this move because we believe the time has come to leverage our strengths in the market and to intensify our focus on each product segment,” stated Sid Johnson, director of marketing. “We are convinced this strategic change will enhance both the Jayco towable and the Jayco Class C products, and it will allow the management and staff of each group to focus on the needs of the marketplace for that segment.”
Tadd Jenkins, national sales manager, emphasized that the realignment “affords many opportunities for dealers,” including increased sales training.
“We have increased the frequency of dealer visits, making sure we have the confidence of your sales crew,” he said. “Honestly as we have been out visiting dealerships, and fielding phone calls, responding to both dealer requests and customer questions, I am in awe at the current Jayco sales group and the professional manner in which they have handled all that they have for so many years.”
While acknowledging the need to keep pace with the industry’s rapidly evolving landscape, Jayco Inc. officials equally stressed the importance of its family-grown roots and adherence to “our core values” as the company opened its 2012 Dealer Homecoming Monday (June 18) in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
“Businesses throughout the world spend a lot of money every year trying to find the winning formula for improving their performance and competitive advantage,” stated Derald Bontrager, president and COO of the Middlebury, Ind.-based company, while delivering the keynote speech to attendees representing 145 Jayco dealerships at the Sheraton Resort Hotel and Convention Center. “What many organizations often fail to realize, in my opinion, is that lasting success comes from having a team that recognizes that people and values are their most important assets.”
Tying into the meeting’s theme of “One Family, One Future,” Bontrager noted, “Yes, we’re a family business. And we have included you in our extended family. And that means we’re all in this journey together. That’s where we’re different from most of the others.”
That journey includes, according to Bontrager, staying in step with an often-fickle and increasingly technologically-savvy consumer. “Our future depends on our ability to satisfy the passions of a shifting marketplace,” he said. “Today we are operating under a whole new set of wants, needs and desires on the part of our customers. That, and the economic realities which periodically cycle through our industry, have altered our business.
“The simple fact of the matter is that, out of necessity, Jayco has changed, is changing, and will continue to change.”
To reinforce the point, Bontrager reported that the company’s retail sales were up 16% year-to-date compared to the previous year. “That is an outstanding achievement, even in an improving economy,” he said.
He added that Jayco’s new generation of product, prominently displayed for dealers in Myrtle Beach, also offered evidence that the builder was in tune with today’s consumer.
“One of the worst business clichés, in my opinion, is, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’” Bontrager said. “The moment we have a product or service that is innovative or hot in the market, someone else is trying to figure out how to do it faster, cheaper and better. So our goal in product management is to obsolete our own products before someone else does. So, if it ain’t broke, we’ll break it.”
Bontrager also related that Jayco’s Twin Falls, Idaho, facility will play a key role in future plans, noting, “Expansion of our offerings out of our western facilities remains a high-priority item as we plan our strategy for the future.”
Following Bontrager’s opening remarks, several awards were presented to dealers, including:
• The Jayco Founders’ Award for 2012 was presented to RV City based in Morinville, Alberta, owned by Ross and Jean Hodgins. The dealership, founded in 1968, was first named to Jayco’s Gold Circle in 1991. The retailer currently operates on a 15-acre site and employs 60 employees.
• The top five Jayco motorhome dealers in North America were: No. 5, Vogt Motorhome Center, Ft. Worth, Texas, Danny Vogt and Aaron Vogt; No. 4, Camping World RV Sales, Albuquerque, N.M., Dane Wyatt and Nora Rashid; No. 3, K & C RV Centers, Longmont, Colo.; No. 2, Terry Town Travel Center, Grand Rapids, Mich.; and No. 1, Richardsons RV Centers, Riverside and Menifee, Calif., Steve Richardson.
• The largest towable dealer award and the No. 1 combined award were presented to Happy Trails RV Inc., Grande Prairie, Alberta and Prince George, British Columbia, Peter and Susan Teichroeb, and Neal Stranaghan and Madonna Reardigan.
• Gold Circle awards went to dealerships marking milestones with Jayco, including: 40 years, Thompson Family RV, Davenport, Iowa, Brad and Brandy Thompson, Ayton and Dalton Thompson; 30 years, Town & Country RV Center, Clyde, Ohio, Dale and Holly Tea, and Bill Tea; 25 years, Miles Motors, Swannanoa, N.C., Miles and Colene DeBruhl; Steve’s RV Center, Lacombe, La., Steve and Josh Bordelan; Crestview RV Center, Buda, Texas, Mike and Vickie Regan, Lindsey and Kelsey Regan; Hope’s Camper Corner, Monroe, La., Lloyd and Beverly Sivils; RV City, Huachuca, Ariz., Ron, Vi, Daniel, Daniella, Sadie and Torrie Hoffman.
Jayco Inc. announced it has begun production of its all-new 2013 Seismic toy hauler, which recently earned a spot in the RVBusiness “Top 25 Debuts” list.
“We recognize the market for sport utility trailers is more sophisticated today than ever before,” said Sid Johnson, director of marketing for Middlebury, Ind.-based Jayco. “Consumers want more than a garage attached to a sleeping area. Our goal is to provide a fifth-wheel which offers top-level amenities yet still provides room enough to carry whatever toys a family might want to bring along.”
The spacious, versatile on-board garage can convert into a bunkroom, patio deck or dining space. In addition to hauling ATV’s and motorcycles using the in-floor mounted D-rings, families can pack bicycles, games, canoes and other traditional outdoor gear. The garage can also be converted into workspace for crafters who sell their wares or dog show owners who need a grooming station.
Johnson also noted the list of “set-apart” features built into the Seismic, stating, “Everything about the look of the Seismic is different.”
Innovative features include a contoured front cap, three premium paint schemes, contemporary modern décor and residential-style furniture. “The unit has a modern feel to it and features many contemporary conveniences,” Johnson said. “We believe today’s consumer will appreciate the styling.”
Blending form with function, Seismic’s deluxe kitchen offers toe-kick lighting, high-end vinyl flooring, pendant lighting and high-gloss, solid-surface kitchen countertops with undermounted stainless-steel sink. Owners will enjoy a good night’s sleep in Seismic’s main bedroom with a 312-coil, 60-inch by 80-inch deluxe mattress with 2-inch top-side pad. A decorative headboard, added air conditioning ducts, 22-inch LCD HDTV and walk-in closet complete the suite.
The Seismic is equipped with a 102-inch wide-body construction on Jayco’s I-Class cambered structural-steel I-beam frame. The unit also has a one-piece underbelly cover with exposed fuel tanks and a one-piece seamless rubber roof with 3/8-inch plywood roof decking. Reflective foil insulation in the living room, bedroom and slideout floors, combined with Jayco’s Polar Barrier insulation package, help Seismic maintain interior temperatures for the ultimate stay.
“We wanted to make the entire experience more enjoyable for the owner,” Johnson said. “From towing to set up to take down, we made sure Seismic delivers.”
For more information visit www.jayco.com/seismic.
The Go RVing and MLB Network’s “Home and Away Tour” Jayco Seneca Class C motorhome stopped by Jayco Inc.’s headquarters in Middlebury, Ind., Wednesday (May 30) on its way from a St. Louis Cardinals’ game to the Tigers’ stadium in Detroit.
Wilbur Bontrager, CEO of Jayco Inc., and Derald Bontrager, president of Jayco, were there to greet James Ashurst, vice president of public relations and advertising for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), and Stephen Connors, director of Midwest Advertising Sales for the MLB, as the Seneca rolled into the parking lot.
“We’re always happy to help promote Go RVing’s message and this opportunity was a fun way for us to participate.” said Derald Bontrager. “It was a win for Go RVing, the industry and Jayco.”
Since April 12, the Jayco Seneca 37RB Class C motorhome has been visiting the nation’s ballparks as a touring studio broadcasting features during the MLB Network’s Game of the Week. The Jayco Seneca was used inside and outside for on-air reports and interviews with players during the On Deck Circle, the network’s signature show featuring major league baseball highlights and analysis.
There were also teasers and promotional mentions of Go RVing and the “Home and Away Tour” on The Run Down and the MLB Network Game of the Week. This special promotion was inserted as a value-added element to Go RVing’s 2012 agreement with the MLB Network.
The Jayco Seneca, wrapped with visuals from the new Go RVing “Away” national advertising campaign as well as logos for GoRVing.com, MLB Network and Jayco, will end its tour at the Detroit Tigers’ game this Friday against the Yankees.
Jayco Inc. announced the initial results from its industry-leading EcoAdvantage sustainability program — the company’s long-term commitment to environmentally-sensitive use of resources.
According to a press release, through the companywide sustainability initiative Jayco and its three operating divisions – Jayco Inc., Starcraft RV Inc. and Entegra Coach Inc. – are “creating better ways to build better RVs using fewer or renewable natural resources.”
The EcoAdvantage program is a collaborative effort launched in 2011 among Jayco employees and suppliers, and it has produced measurable results. During 2011, Jayco conserved:
• Enough electricity to power 980 homes in a year.
• Enough landfill space to accommodate the disposal needs of a community of 31,330 Americans for a year.
• Enough water to fill 111,020 kiddie pools.
• Enough gas to make 21.4 trips around the earth in a car.
Additionally, through aggressive recycling efforts, Jayco saved 41,217 trees.
The 44-year-old company also cited the initiative’s long-term prospects. Among its sustainability goals over the next five years, Jayco has pledged to:
• Be 100% landfill free by the year 2015 by eliminating or recycling all manufacturing and office waste.
• Significantly reduce fresh water use in product testing and other processes around the complex by increasing use of reclaimed rainwater.
• Conserve energy with a 40% reduction of utility use by 2014.
• Improve overall efficiency by streamlining. administrative paperwork, production processes and construction methods.
• Remain the sustainability leader within the RV industry.
Wilbur Bontrager, Jayco chairman and CEO noted, “At Jayco, sustainability means meeting our current manufacturing and resource needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. We build products that allow our customers to enjoy the outdoors, so it only makes sense that we should strive to be a good corporate citizen and a good steward of the environment.”
Tennessee-based Dunlap RV Center, with locations in Dunlap and Lebanon, recently opened its third RV dealership in Ringgold, Ga., just off I75 at exit 348.
“We are proud to see Dunlap RV Center expand its operations,” said Sid Johnson, director of marketing for Middlebury, Ind.-based Jayco, in a press release. “They operate with the same commitment to customer satisfaction and excellence as Jayco, and have been a great asset to not only Jayco, but also to Jayco customers.”
The new Ringgold location will be open seven days a week. Dunlap RV Center carries every product produced by Jayco, including camping trailers, travel trailers, fifth-wheels, toy haulers and motorhomes.
In addition to RV sales, the dealership offers a certified service department with five 100-foot service bays and a fully-stocked parts department.
Middlebury, Ind.-based Jayco Inc. today (April 25) announced that John Ganyard has been named vice president human resources, according to a news release.
In making the announcement, Wilbur Bontrager, Jayco chairman and CEO, said Ganyard will have corporatewide responsibility for employment, employee relations, occupational safety and health, and environmental affairs.
Ganyard joined Jayco in February of 2011 as director of human resources. Prior to joining Jayco, Ganyard has more than 25 years experience in human resources and manufacturing management, holding management-level positions with RCA, Johnson Controls, Teepak, RR Donnelly, Welch Packaging and Keystone RV.
He is a graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington, and holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification.
ARI Network Services Inc. announced that Jayco Inc. has licensed its FootSteps Channel Connect management solution product. According to a press release, Channel Connect will be used by the builder’s three operating divisions, Jayco Inc., Starcraft RV Inc. and Entegra Coach Inc., along with its more than 400 dealers.
ARI said that FootSteps Channel Connect enables OEMs to consolidate, monitor, measure and manage lead activities across distribution channels. With FootSteps Channel Connect, an OEM’s dealers are provided with a free, easy-to-use lead management solution that connects to the channel. This approach is designed to “help the OEM and its dealers convert more opportunities into sales by automating a consistent lead nurturing and communications strategy and efficiently managing the sales process,” according to the release.
“Jayco is committed to providing the greatest degree of customer satisfaction possible,” said Sid Johnson, director of marketing for Middlebury, Ind.-based Jayco. “To accomplish that, we needed to provide our dealerships with a lead management solution that makes it easy for them to capture, follow up and nurture leads through the sales process and beyond. FootSteps Channel Connect does that and more.
“Not only does FootSteps Channel Connect automate the followup process for us and our dealers, we believe it will help our dealers convert more leads into sales and build lifelong relationships with customers.”
Go RVing and MLB Network have partnered to present on-air baseball reports this spring from a motorhome from Jayco Inc., which will travel to ballparks around the nation to cover the MLB Game of the Week.
According to a press release, a Class C Seneca 37RB was offered by Jayco in response to a Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) member lottery invitation. The motorhome will be used as the touring studio for a series of eight to 10 two-minute interviews to be conducted inside and outside the RV from April through June. The segments will air during On-Deck Circle, MLB Network’s signature show featuring major league baseball highlights and analysis.
The “Home and Away Tour” motorhome will be wrapped with visuals from the new Go RVing “AWAY” campaign as well as logos for GoRVing.com, MLB Network and Jayco.
“The sports category has been successful for Go RVing over the years, and this expanded promotion with MLB Network provides an interactive, hands-on RV experience for consumers centered around our national pasttime,” said RVIA Vice President of Public Relations and Advertising James Ashurst.
Jayco Inc. recently launched a new “mobile website” making product information and owner resources accessible from anywhere.
Featuring easy-to-use navigation and an optimized layout, the site provides the same important information about Jayco products and services as the company’s website, www.jayco.com, but in an all-mobile package, according to a press release.
Customers can access the site by visiting jayco.com on their mobile device with the site immediately redirecting traffic to the new mobile site.
“We are excited to launch a tool that allows customers to connect to the Jayco brand from anywhere,” said Sid Johnson, director of marketing for Middlebury, Ind.-based Jayco. “We want to provide our customers with easy access to information about our products and our dealers. The Jayco mobile website will be powerful in enhancing the digital Jayco experience.”
The mobile site showcases Jayco’s extensive product line of RVs with its organized list of features, specifications, floorplans and photos. Allowing for easy product research, the site allows customers to easily shop Jayco’s camping trailers, travel trailers, fifth-wheels, motorhomes and toy haulers, all on a mobile device.
Other key features of the site include: A dealer locator with mapping feature; roadside assistance information; a campground locator; towing guidelines; and an RV glossary.