Allied Specialty Vehicle Inc.’s (ASV) rollout at last week’s Louisville Show of two iconic motorhome brands – the Monaco Dynasty and Holiday Rambler Vacationer – represents the next stage in a purposeful, calculated restructuring for the Orlando, Fla.-based company underscored by the recent formation of the Allied Recreation Group (ARG).
The business unit effectively packages ASV’s motorized interests under the ARG umbrella that includes Fleetwood and American Coach – divisions headquartered in Decatur, Ind., that ASV has overseen since 2009 – along with the Monaco, Holiday Rambler and shelved Beaver and Safari brands acquired through ASV’s buyout of Navistar Inc.’s RV assets last May.
John Draheim, CEO of ARG, stressed that the Louisville display units were prototypes and input from the show would be incorporated when production begins next spring for the 2015 model year.
“Right now our plan is to launch the new Dynasty and Vacationer at the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) rally scheduled for late March in Perry, Ga.,” Draheim said. “We will take feedback from Louisville and tweak product if necessary. After that we are planning to roll out new products each quarter, including the Monaco Windsor and Diplomat along with the Holiday Rambler Ambassador and Endeavor. As with the Dynasty and Vacationer, they are well-recognized brands with consumers, and will feature very distinctive looks.”
He added, “We are taking a long-term approach with regard to Monaco and Holiday Rambler. The fact that our Fleetwood and American Coach plants are running strong allows us to stay on a very focused path.”
Draheim said the decision to form ARG was based on a need to address potential perception issues with dealers and consumers.
“We thought there would be confusion among dealers and consumers about having a Monaco or Holiday Rambler motorhome built in a Fleetwood plant, or having service and parts fulfilled by a Fleetwood facility,” he said. “It was important to restructure the different divisions under one unified brand. The Decatur facility, which will handle production of all four lines, will now be an Allied Recreation Group plant as will our service and parts facilities. In addition, the ARG brand ties into our parent company, which was important.”
Also key to the rebranding efforts is ASV’s intent to differentiate the Holiday Rambler and Monaco brands from the Fleetwood badge, eliminating any perception of “cloning” while also leveraging strong consumer awareness.
“The Navistar buyout was a big investment for ASV,” said Draheim. “We didn’t make the acquisition to produce badge-engineered products, which was the route that Navistar took. Monaco and Holiday Rambler are great brands with great reputations – as are Fleetwood and American Coach – and we want to build on those assets. Research showed that the four ARG brands represent 35% of the motorhomes that are on the road today, so we believe there is a lot of pent-up demand for Monaco and Holiday Rambler product.”
To further differentiate product lines, Monaco and Holiday Rambler’s product management and engineering teams are operating out of a dedicated facility in Elkhart, Ind., while sales, marketing and product direction fall under the oversight of President Mike Snell – a veteran manager who has logged over 20 years with Monaco. Draheim, who is currently filling a dual role as president of Fleetwood/American Coach in Decatur, noted that “we will be looking to fill that spot in the near future.”
“Mike has done a tremendous job integrating Monaco and Holiday Rambler,” Draheim said. “He understands the client base, and he also understands Allied’s vision for the brands.”
While ASV formulated the launch of ARG, it has also been diligent in handling the carryover from Navistar’s withdrawal from the RV market – a move Draheim said is vital to reviving trust in the marketplace.
“We made the decision to cover warranty issues and pay back the dealers,” Draheim said. “It’s the same strategy Allied used when Fleetwood was acquired. We just believe that’s the right way to do business, and again, fits into our long-term goals.”
Editor’s Note: To view a video on Monaco’s ‘Return To Power’ click here or scroll down the right side of the RVBUSINESS.com home page.
Six months after acquiring the Monaco and Holiday Rambler motorhome lines from Navistar International Corp., Allied Specialty Vehicles Inc.’s (ASV) motorized RV operations — now doing business as the Allied Recreation Group (ARG) instead of Fleetwood RV Inc. — is preparing to roll out its first motorhome at the Recreation Vehicle Industry’s Association’s (RVIA) 51st Annual National RV Trade Show, Dec. 3-5 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.
And while its designed to signal the company’s future product directions, the all-new, top-end, $620,000 (retail) 2015 Dynasty, based on extensive surveys of veteran Dynasty owners, embraces some of the design and engineering elements that once made the Dynasty one of the industry’s most popular diesel pusher brands, reports Mike Snell, president of the Monaco and Holiday Rambler brands.
Snell said consumers are to get their first look at the new Dynasty at the “Monaco 2015 Return to Power Preview Rally” taking place Jan. 7-9 at the Camping Resort at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, with dealer deliveries in the first quarter of the year.
“Now, as you can see from the videos, we’re going back to the golden years, you know, the sweet looking, subtle, seamless fiberglass Monaco designs,” Snell told RVBUSINESS.com. “Essentially, we’re going back to our roots. That’s really kind of the theme here. Interiors are elegant and warm and include the most well-thought-out kitchen and bathroom in any motorhome we’ve ever produced. There’s not a kitchen in the industry that a woman’s going to like better than this one.”
At the same time, Snell and other ARG spokesmen claim their new 45-foot Dynasty is also living proof that ASV’s personnel, including 52 dedicated design and engineering staffers now stationed on Indiana 19 across from ARG’s towable RV operations on the west side of Elkhart, are committed to developing coaches that are distinct from those designed at the company’s Decatur, Ind., headquarters for the American Coach and Fleetwood brands.
“These four brands stand on their own and have separate product development and sales teams, but they share manufacturing facilities as well as parts and service organizations in Decatur,” reported Steve Hileman, director of marketing for ASV’s motorized division. “Fleetwood RV Inc. technically no longer exists. It’s now Allied Recreation Group, although the Fleetwood RV brand still exists, not unlike the Chevrolet brand exists under General Motors.”
One example of unique R&D is the Dynasty’s proprietary Roadmaster chassis, a “bridge” platform equipped with a standard 500-hp or optional 600-hp Cummins power plant that’s co-engineered by ASV’s ARG division and South Carolina-based Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. (FCCC). It includes an independent front suspension, side exhaust and shocks tuned to simulate the ride of a traditional Monaco Roadmaster chassis.
“The all-new Roadmaster is a collaboration with Freightliner and Monaco that’s actually a modular bridge-style chassis not unlike what you’ve seen on a Liberty chassis at American Coach, but unique at that,” Hileman explained. “There are some exclusive components that we’ve worked with Freightliner to design especially for this new Roadmaster, which includes custom-tuned shocks specifically for Roadmaster volumetric airbags that will give the coach a more stable ride and a little more aggressive turn-in, which is what legacy (long-term) customers were used to with the Roadmaster — a little firmer ride.”
Monaco is inviting show attendees to stop by the company’s Louisville exhibit next week to see what ASV’s emerging ARG unit has got in mind with its back-to-the-future Dynasty as well as a work-in-progress, the 36-foot Holiday Rambler Vacationer gas A-body that will retail for about $135,000.
“A lot of our dealers and owners thought that by moving our production facility down to Decatur, we would just have cloned products,” added Snell. “When you see this Dynasty, you’ll see that we held to our word and that this product is totally different than any product that’s been built down in Decatur.
“And it clearly shows the characteristics and features that Monaco has always been known for and successful for in the past,” he continued. “I am so proud of this coach – I mean I am. It’s been a great collaboration between our owners, our separate engineering and design team up in Elkhart and the production team in Decatur. They did a great job, and it’s a great way to relaunch the Dynasty brand into the marketplace.”
Navistar RV, a subsidiary of Navistar International Corp., announced the extension of an aggressive sales promotions to move Holiday Rambler and Monaco Coach motorhomes in dealer inventory to make room for new model year units.
“Due to popular demand by both our dealers and our customers, we decided to extend the promotion dates another month,” said Mike Snell, vice president sales. “The Big Payback Sales Event promotion has been great for everyone. Our factory-sponsored promotion to assist our dealers with moving older model years out of their inventory has been an overwhelming success.
“The timing for this promotion could not have been better. That’s because our customers are getting substantial rebates on select products just in time to combine with their tax refunds.”
With the extension of the promotion now going through May 15, customers taking retail delivery of an eligible new, untitled 2012 or 2013 Monaco or Holiday Rambler motorhome from a participating dealer’s inventory will receive a corresponding rebate from Navistar RV. To qualify for a rebate of up to $15,000, the customer must purchase and take retail delivery between Feb. 15 and May 15. Incentives are in U.S. dollars and the offer is void where prohibited.
The following 2012 and 2013 Monaco Coach and Holiday Rambler models are eligible for these generous rebates:
Aluma-Lite A $5,000
Navistar RV, a subsidiary of Navistar International Corp., announced the addition of Bend, Ore.-based Beaver Coach Sales & Service to its dealer network.
“Our dealers play a critical role in our success, displaying an outstanding commitment to the partnership between manufacturer, dealer and consumer,” said Joshua Ciernia, national sales manager for the Monaco brand, in a press release. “We’re very proud to partner with a quality RV dealer like Beaver Coach Sales & Service and look forward to adding their 18 years of experience to the Navistar RV team.”
Beaver Coach Sales & Service will represent Navistar RV as a full-line Monaco Coach dealer serving the greater central Oregon area, selling and servicing Monaco’s line of Class A motorhomes from its spacious, state-of-the art climate-controlled showroom in Bend.
The dealership was established in 1988 and owner, Ty Kelly, has been in the RV industry since 1995. In addition to sales and service, the facility offers collision repair, maintenance and repair, financing and special parts requests.
“We are delighted to join the Navistar RV division family,” said Kelly. “We look forward to helping the brand make RV dreams come true and are committed to offering the exceptional sales and service experience their customers expect and deserve.”
More information about Beaver Coach Sales & Service can be found at www.beavercoachsales.com.
Navistar RV LLC, a subsidiary of Navistar International Corp., launched one of their most aggressive sales promotions in recent years to move Holiday Rambler and Monaco Coach motorhomes in dealer inventory and make room for their new model year units.
“The ‘Big Payback Sales Event’ promotion is great for everyone,” said Mike Snell, vice president sales, in a press release. “The dealers have a factory-sponsored promotion to assist with moving older model years out of their inventory, our customers get substantial rebates on select products just in time to combine with their tax refunds, and our employees are kept busy in our plants making new product to ship to dealers.”
For a limited time, customers taking retail delivery of an eligible new, untitled 2012 or 2013 Monaco Coach or Holiday Rambler motorhome from a participating dealer’s inventory will receive a corresponding rebate from Navistar RV.
To qualify for a rebate of up to $15,000, the customer must purchase and take retail delivery between Feb. 15 and April 15.
Navistar RV, a subsidiary of Navistar International Corp., announced the introduction of its 2014 Monaco Dynasty, a Class A diesel model designed for the full-time enthusiast that returns the company to its roots as a luxury coach builder.
“Our new Dynasty represents a reentry into the luxury market for Monaco,” said Bill Osborne, president, Navistar RV. “For much of its existence, Monaco has been known as a luxury coach brand. In recent years, we’ve focused on more of the middle market. Now, we’re expanding at both ends to satisfy the needs of the entry-level and the top-end customer, with even more luxury and sophistication planned for the coming year.”
In addition to the Dynasty, Monaco also recently launched the Monarch SE and Montclair Class C B-plus style motorhomes, which offer leading-edge design, styling and value for today’s diverse RV consumer. Monaco will release another top-of-the-line luxury model this coming calendar year.
Like a fine residential home, the Dynasty is equipped with all the modern amenities an owner needs to be confident and comfortable. Distinctive LED lights decorate the signature front chevron design, and the streamlined body is fully covered by five-color paint with a Durashield front mask and integrated roof mounted awnings. The air-sealed entry door has an illuminated handle with numeric key pad while the exterior mirrors are heated, power controlled and feature cameras. There’s also an available exterior entertainment center with 40-inch Sony LCD TV and DVD player.
The living room boasts a 40- or 46-inch Sony LCD TV and Blu-ray home theater system, along with rich cherry wood cabinetry, crown molding, porcelain flooring and ornamental ceiling details. An optional iPad controller can run the entertainment system and lighting. The cockpit is ergonomically designed for unmatched visibility, reach and legroom, while the chairs, beds and décor extend the residential feel. Solid-surface countertops with LED accent lighting and stainless-steel appliances in the kitchen, plus an oversized shower and tile inlays in the bathroom, provide even more at-home luxury.
The Dynasty is powered by a 475-hp MaxxForce 13 engine providing 1,700 lbs./ft. torque, three-stage engine brake and aluminum side mount radiator. The coach rides on a custom built Roadmaster chassis with 10 airbag Cushion Air Glide suspension system, adjustable tag and lifting tag axle, all standard.
“The Dynasty aims to help customers realize their retirement or recreational dreams of exploring the country through a luxury RV experience,” said Osborne. “Along with our other new Monaco introductions, and planned future launches, this coach proves that we continue to innovate for tomorrow and provide our customers with the best possible RV experience.”