Navistar International Corp. announced it has appointed Bill Osborne as senior vice president of global quality. Osborne, 53, most recently served as senior vice president of the Lisle, Ill.-based company’s specialty business, including Navistar RV.
Navistar’s RV unit built motorhomes under the Holiday Rambler and Monaco badges along with R-Vision and Holiday Rambler towables. Navistar announced May 16 the sale of its RV assets to Allied Specialty Vehicles, parent to Fleetwood RV Inc.
Osborne spent 20 years of his career at Ford Motor Co. serving in a number of senior-level positions, including president and chief executive officer of Ford Australia as well as of Ford Canada. He also spent two years as executive director for pickup trucks and commercial vehicles, responsible for the engineering design, development and release of these high-quality products. His earlier assignments at Ford included a variety of roles with increasing responsibility in product design, development and engineering, during a time when Ford significantly improved its quality performance.
“Bill played an important role in helping transform Ford into a quality leader in the automotive industry,” said Eric Tech, Navistar president of global truck and engine. “I have every confidence that he will be able to use the same skills and rigor he demonstrated at Ford to oversee Navistar’s quality transformation and improving customer satisfaction.”
Osborne, who will report to Tech, will head up quality and reliability for all Navistar products worldwide.
“We have come a long way in quality with our new Class 8 products,” Osborne said. “I am confident we are investing in the right technologies and capabilities across our enterprise to ultimately be the quality leader in our industry.”
Navistar Inc. confirmed today that Allied Specialty Vehicles (ASV), a $1 billion sales producer of specialty vehicles and parent to motorhome builder Fleetwood RV Inc., has purchased certain assets of Navistar RV.
According to a news release, the deal was structured as a purchase of all of the equity interests of Navistar RV and includes the 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 has also entered into a multi-year leasing agreement for Navistar RV’s Elkhart, Ind., facility. The sale does not include Bison Coach, Navistar’s horse trailer manufacturing business.
“ASV is honored to welcome all of the existing Monaco, Holiday Rambler, R-Vision, Beaver and Safari customers and an exceptional network of dealer partners to the ASV family,” said Peter Guile, CEO of Orlando, Fla.-based ASV. “The ASV team is committed to providing our customers and dealers with exceptional product, service and support, and we are fully committed to re-establish the product leadership and extraordinary reputation for innovation, quality and service for which the Monaco family of brands has been known.”
ASV also announced that Mike Snell has been named as president of Monaco and Holiday Rambler. Snell has logged over 20 years with Monaco, serving as a longtime executive for Monaco Coach Corp. and most recently as vice president of sales for Monaco RV under the Navistar umbrella.
“ASV is pleased to welcome Mike Snell as president of Monaco and Holiday Rambler,” said Guile. “Mike has made an invaluable contribution to the Monaco brands and the industry over his 20-year career with Monaco RV, and we look forward to his leadership during this new, exciting phase of growth.”
“We join the ASV family fully energized with worthy goals and high hopes as we jointly work to rebuild our iconic and proud RV industry brands,” commented Mike Snell. “With the commitment and support of ASV we’ll focus on developing innovative, distinct and aspirational products in keeping with the long and rich tradition of our brands. I look forward to working with our team, our dealers and our customers to make this vision a reality.”
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 International Corp. officials said Wednesday (Feb. 14) they are looking into selling the company’s Navistar RV unit based in Wakarusa, Ind.
According to a report by WSBT TV, South Bend, Navistar is in the preliminary stages of its effort to possibly sell the company. In a statement, Navistar representative Steve Schrier said:
“Navistar is conducting a comprehensive review of all of our non-core businesses — including our Navistar RV business — to evaluate their potential to drive long-term profitability and significantly improve our return on invested capital (ROIC).
“As a result of our ROIC analysis, Navistar is listening to offers for the sale of its RV business and the sale of the business is a possibility. However, we are still early on in that process and not accepted any offers at this time.”
Schrier added that Navistar is not in a position where it has to sell the RV portion of the company.
“We have a credible turnaround plan for the RV business under way and sufficient cash to continue funding operations, so we have the option to reject any offers that don’t have value,” Schrier told WSBT, emphasizing the company was not cash-strapped.
The company laid off 29 temporary workers in September. At that time, Schrier said that there were no plans to lay off any of the 500 permanent employees who work at the Wakarusa motorized manufacturing facility.
In 2008, Monaco laid off nearly 1500 people and filed for bankruptcy. Then Navistar bought Monaco Coach in 2009. When Navistar acquired Monaco, there were only 20 employees left.
In August of 2011, Monaco decided to consolidate its Oregon factory with the factory in Wakarusa. That brought about 400 new jobs to Elkhart County. There are currently about 600 workers between the Elkhart and Wakarusa plant.
Navistar RV, a subsidiary of Navistar International Corp., announced that it will now offer the Cummins ISX15 engine on certain recreational vehicle coaches. According to a press release, the new engine option is a result of an engine supply agreement signed recently between Navistar RV and distributor Cummins Crosspoint LLC.
“The ISX15 is one of the most popular heavy-duty engines in North America, and we are delighted to add it to our power portfolio,” said Bill Osborne, president, Navistar RV. “These big-bore engines will allow us to offer high-end diesel products with more horsepower, meaning we can introduce larger vehicles with unprecedented levels of luxury and performance.”
Highly adaptable to a wide variety of needs, the ISX15 is available for RV applications with 550 and 600 horsepower ratings and up to 1950 lb. ft. of torque. Its fuel system delivers maximum performance, regardless of engine RPMs, and multiple injection events improve fuel efficiency and enable a smoother, quieter ride. With a standard engine brake and impressive power, the ISX15 is a proven and compliant engine for RV usage.
The release of the first Navistar RV with the Cummins ISX15 engine is timed for dealer debut later this year.
“We had a limited amount of ISX engines that we used to build some previous Monaco coaches, and those were the best retail turns we’ve ever had in the field,” said Mike Snell, vice president sales, Navistar RV. “That reaction demonstrates a true sign of demand, and we expect our new ISX-powered vehicles to help us create a new level of high-end diesel units for the brand.”
Navistar International Corp. today (Dec. 19) announced a fourth-quarter 2012 net loss of $2.8 billion, or $40.13 per diluted share, compared to fourth quarter 2011 net income of $255 million, or $3.48 per diluted share. Current quarter results included increased non-cash tax expense of $2 billion, or $28.59 per share, for the increase in deferred tax valuation allowance on U.S. deferred tax assets.
Fourth-quarter results also included pre-tax charges of $149 million in additional pre-existing warranty expenses primarily related to EPA 2010 big bore engines, $73 million for cost reduction actions, $16 million in charges for the restructuring of North American manufacturing operations and engineering integration and $14 million in non-conformance penalties (NCPs).
The company, which produces recreational vehicles through its Navistar RV division, reported a pre-tax loss of $566 million in the fourth quarter 2012 versus a $275 million pre-tax profit in the fourth quarter 2011. Revenues in the quarter were $3.3 billion, down 24 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011. The loss was reflective of lower sales, as well as the adjustments to pre-existing warranties and the charges related to the cost-reduction actions.
The company exceeded its fiscal year 2012 guidance with $1.5 billion in manufacturing cash and marketable securities. Contributing factors in the fourth quarter included $363 million improvement in working capital and net proceeds of $192 million from an equity offering.
“We continue to make significant progress on our turnaround and the complexity of this quarter’s results is reflective of the actions necessary during this time of transition,” said Lewis B. Campbell, Navistar chairman and CEO. “The team has delivered numerous successes, including exceeding our cash guidance, launching the ProStar with the ISX 15-liter ahead of schedule and moving forward with several opportunities identified during our ROIC-focused business reviews. Additionally, with the improvement to our manufacturing footprint by closing our Garland, Texas, manufacturing plant and the completion of work force reductions in North America and South America, we are positioned to exceed our goal of reducing structural costs by $175 million.
“Unfortunately, we saw a spike in warranty spend in late October and early November for the few remaining engine issues and the cost to take the proactive actions to support our customers and fix those items is higher than we anticipated,” Campbell continued. “However, the fact is that customer feedback and positive three- and nine-months-in-service data show today we are delivering the highest quality trucks since the 2010 launch, and quality will continue to be our top priority.”
The net loss for fiscal year 2012 was $3.0 billion, or $43.56 per diluted share, versus net income for fiscal 2011 of $1.7 billion, or $22.64 per diluted share.
To view the entire report click here.
Navistar RV, a subsidiary of Navistar International Corp., announced its top dealers for 2012 at a special luncheon held on Nov. 27 during the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky.
“Our dealers play a critical role in our success, displaying an outstanding commitment to the partnership between manufacturer, dealer and consumer,” said Mike Snell, vice president of sales for Navistar RV, in a press release. “We’re very proud of all our dealers. This year, a few dealers in particular stood out based on sales, service and customer satisfaction, and we’d like to recognize their achievements.”
Navistar RV’s top dealers for 2012 include:
• Paul Evert’s RV Country – Fresno, Calif.
• Alliance Coach – Wildwood, Fla.
• La Mesa RV – San Diego, Calif.
• McMahon’s RV – Westminster, Calif.
• Motorhome Specialist – Alvarado, Texas
• McMahon’s RV – Westminster, Calif.
• Alliance Coach – Wildwood, Fla.
• Lazydays – Seffner, Fla.
• Motorhome Specialist – Alvarado, Texas
• Paul Evert’s RV Country – Fresno, Calif.
Paul Evert’s RV Country, the top dealer for Holiday Rambler and a top performer for Monaco Coach, serves customers out of its flagship store in California and locations encompassing every West Coast state (Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona and Nevada). The Evert family has been in the RV business for more than 50 years and has applied its extensive experience to create full-service facilities that offer daily sales specials, maintenance and repair, master certified technicians, and a dedicated and caring staff.
“RVing is one of the most wholesome and family-oriented activities I can think of, and it has been my pleasure to be involved in this rewarding business,” said Paul Evert, owner. “We love the customers, the products and the special relationships we’ve forged with the Navistar RV staff – and the overall reputation. The floorplans, color schemes, driveability and reliability are all top notch, and we couldn’t be happier.”
McMahon’s RV, the top dealer for Monaco Coach and a top performer for Holiday Rambler, has been in the RV business for more than 12 years and quickly became the top-selling Monaco dealer after taking on the brand in 2004. The company currently has five locations in California and Arizona, with additional seasonal stores at Parker, Quartzsite and Yuma, Ariz. McMahon’s offers a variety of incentive programs such as Thousand Trails, which gives customers a year of free camping at participating campgrounds.
“We strive to deliver the highest levels of satisfaction, so our customers drive away completely satisfied and ready to see our great country. Whether their needs are to buy, consign, trade or service an RV, we want to provide the best possible experience,” said Brent McMahon, president/CEO. “At McMahon’s, we know RVs are vessels for adventure for families and friends, and we’re excited to help get people on the road.”
For more information visit www.navistarrv.com.
The 2013 model year may well be one of the more impressive cycles in terms of market-ready and eye-catching new RVs from the North American recreational vehicle business. For that reason, however, the RVBusiness staff faced an intimidating task in selecting one unit over and above the rest this week (Nov. 27-29) at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., to best exemplify the industry’s 2013 lineup as our “Best of Show” designee.
In other words, there were no units so novel or preposterously different — no reinvention of the wheel, so to speak — that the show buzz dictated their selection.
So, we had to really step back and choose a unit that we felt best symbolized the general progressive sophistication of the industry’s product design, a unit that projects the overall spit-and-polish of the North American RV industry. And, long story short, we rather quickly reached a consensus on a fifth-wheel unit that is not only impressive for its design and elegant looks, but also for the revered high-line brand name it is reintroducing to the market after a hiatus of several years: the 32- to 40-foot Holiday Rambler Presidential fifth-wheel from Elkhart, Ind.-based Navistar Towables.
“Presidential is a venerable name in the business,” noted Matt Buckman, director of sales and product development for the Navistar division. “It is the name that most personifies Holiday Rambler in the towable market over the years. It’s been off the market for the past several years and we are reintroducing the Presidential back to its glory in the business as a luxury high-end fifth-wheel. We worked to refine the premium feel and look.”
Indeed, the Holiday Rambler Presidential brand harkens back to a day when Holiday Rambler was a towable leader and a signature brand of Richard Klingler’s privately held Holiday Rambler Corp. in Wakarusa, Ind., long before the brand was marketed by Harley-Davidson Inc. and, now, global truck-and-engine-builder Navistar International Corp.
But it’s not just the name that made the difference for us with regard to the Presidential, which, with MSRPs of $79,000 to $125,000, retails for much less than pre-recessionary, luxury class high-lines. As one of an elite group of chic new U.S.-built fifth-wheels led by Keystone’s Montana, Jayco’s Pinnacle, Heartland’s Cyclone, Gulf Stream’s Canyon Trail, CrossRoads’ Rushmore, Dutchmen’s Voltage, Evergreen’s Bay Hill, DRV’s Mobile Suites and Forest River’s Trilogy, among others, however, Navistar has done a lot of things right with its reprise of the Presidential fifth-wheel.
“We went to five Holiday Rambler RV Owners Club rallies and sat down with existing Presidential owners to find out what amenities and design elements they wanted to see in the new Presidential,” explained Craig Swisher, vice president, operations, for Navistar Towables. “You can see evidence of their influence throughout the coach, even in details like a rubber glove dispenser in our outside utility center/docking station and in the storage drawers under the bed in the front bedroom so that you don’t have to lift the bed up to access everything underneath.”
Other aspects of the Presidential drawing praise from RVB:
• A unique chassis engineered by Navistar and built by Lippert including a custom rounded, welded front end affording tighter turning radiuses, an unusual aerodynamic front cap and incredible outside storage.
• A standard MOR/ryde RE 4000 suspension with an optional MOR/ryde IS independent suspension with hydraulic disc brakes.
• Aluminum-framed, full-body painted sidewalls featuring an additional foam insulation layer all the way around, creating an extra sound and temperature barrier.
• Elegant interiors with stained maple cabinetry, an island kitchen and padded, radius living area ceilings providing 8 feet, 11 inches of headroom. “There’s no wasted space,” said Buckman, adding that interiors feature a custom kitchen that looks like a luxury hotel, a bathroom with tiered countertops and a 60-inch-tall, two-person shower plus a multi-level living area housing a 46-inch LED TV and Lane residential furniture. “It feels like a high-end diesel motorhome when you walk in there,” Swisher said.
Again, however, it wasn’t any one thing — but the entire package — that led to our naming Navistar’s impressive Holiday Rambler Presidential as our “2013 Best of Show.” Also capturing our attention was:
• Canadian builder Pleasure-Way Industries Ltd.’s first B-Plus style Class C motorhome, the Pleasure-Way Pursuit, built on Ford E350 dual rear-wheel cutaway chassis with a number of “special features,” including its 22-foot length.
“Building a B-plus was the next natural progression for us,” said Dean Rumpel, CEO of Saskatoon-based Pleasure-Way. “We received a lot of feedback from customers who love what we do but wished the Class B motorhome was just a little larger. The Pursuit is going to meet the needs of the consumer who doesn’t want to go up to a 24-foot motorhome but wants a little more than a traditional Class B.”
The Pursuit is constructed with a full-steel cage that is welded together along with a one-piece seamless fiberglass roof. All fiberglass is bonded directly to the steel which eliminates the need for additional screws and moldings.
The interior of the coach is set off by the use of rich hardwood maple throughout, including the fluted molding, custom solid wood cabinet doors and hand-fitted crown moldings. Rich ultraleather encompasses the rear lounge, while the spacious bathroom showcases a beautiful Corian and glass curved corner shower and also features a skylight, maple cabinetry with crown moldings, a Corian vanity with matching Corian backsplash, porcelain toilet and a stainless steel sink complete with a waterfall single lever faucet.
• Airstream’s newest concept trailer, the Land Yacht, featuring a high-luster teak and white wood inlay boat deck flooring, LED panel lighting elements, Corian solid surfaces and plush Ultraleather. The unit, capable of sleeping up to five people, has a bedroom in the front, a bathroom amidships and a rear social space, which includes a galley that can be hidden when not in use. The Land Yacht’s powered bed lift reveals access to hidden storage. The contemporary look was created by Tecnoform’s engineering department in partnership with Mauro Micheli, the long-time designer for Riva Yachts.
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.”
Navistar RV, a subsidiary of Navistar International Corp., will mark the 60th anniversary of its Holiday Rambler brand at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) National RV Trade Show, Nov. 27-29 in Louisville, Ky.
According to a press release, the companywill also introduce three model-year 2014 vehicles. The new Presidential will reestablish Holiday Rambler’s presence in the luxury fifth-wheel category while the company will continue to build and sell motorhomes with the reintroduction of its Augusta Class C B-plus style coach and the new Vacationer, an entry-level class A gas coach.
“We are very pleased to mark the 60th anniversary of Holiday Rambler, a preeminent brand in the history of recreational vehicles,” said Bill Osborne, president, Navistar RV. “Throughout its long life, Holiday Rambler’s success has been fueled by its pioneering spirit, including countless innovations that helped create a new way for families to go exploring and enjoy a rich, rewarding life.”
The first Holiday Rambler was a travel trailer introduced to the public in 1953. In 1961, the brand’s introduction of aluminum body framing ushered in an era of lighter, stronger and more durable RVs. Alumaframe became the standard for RVs for 40 years. Holiday Rambler was also responsible for many firsts, including built-in refrigerators, holding tanks and aerodynamic radiused corners. As Holiday Rambler moved into motorhomes, it was the first with tag axles, and its kitchen slideout revolutionized interior engineering in the field. Holiday Rambler was sold to the Monaco Coach Corp. in 1996, now a part of Navistar.
“While we are proud of Holiday Rambler’s rich history, we aren’t stuck in it,” Osborne added. “We continue to introduce new designs, exciting new options and features, and wonderfully realized floorplans that can accommodate the changing needs of consumers.”
The new Presidential is a maneuverable and roomy fifth-wheel that offers the appointments of a luxury motorized RV. A widebody design, combined with a unique chassis platform, provides industry-leading exterior storage with both front and rear pass-through storage. Premium construction methodologies include a 100% gel-coat exterior (no metal skirt), thicker laminated walls, composite structure panels, frameless windows and arched roof trusses.
Notable interior features include Lane-brand leather furniture, a fireplace and pull-out desk, flatscreen TVs in the living room and bedroom, a walk-in shower and tiered bathroom vanity with vessel sink, and available dishwasher and stack washer/dryer. Storage is plentiful, with a full-size pantry, and custom dinnerware and glassware drawers.
The new Vacationer SE offers customers the high-end features of a diesel coach — Smart Structure chassis system, ergonomically designed cockpit, soft-touch ceiling and generous pass-through storage — at the lower price of a gas vehicle. The new Augusta is a maneuverable and compact motorized RV with maximum space and inventive design features including a Murphy bed that folds away to allow for a larger living area.
“These new vehicles are proof positive that Holiday Rambler continues to expand its product line and create models that aim at fulfilling the needs that are seen amongst today’s RV consumer community,” said Osborne.
To address a number of topics prior to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) 50th Annual National RV Trade Show, Nov. 27-29 in Louisville, Ky., Navistar International Corp. President & COO Troy Clarke agreed this week to field an array of questions on behalf of the Lisle, Ill.-based company, a global truck builder and parent company of Navistar RV. Clarke, a former GM executive like Navistar’s new chairman Lewis Campbell, joined Navistar in 2010 and assumed the reins of the company’s top day-to-day job in late August during rather turbulent times for the legendary Chicago-based firm. Here’s the highlights of that RVBUSINESS.com conversation:
RVBUSINESS.com: There have been quite a few changes for Navistar over the past several months and plenty of news reports in recent weeks about the company. What, in your view, is going on at Navistar these days?
Clarke: Yes, you’re right, we’ve had a good amount of change these past several months. One of the major announcements was the change in our engine strategy. For our commercial trucks and engines, we’ll begin to use the same emissions technology, a system called Selective Catalytic Reduction, or SCR, the same one used by our competitors. With this change in strategy, we’ve made several other important changes and announcements, including bringing on our new CEO, my boss, Lewis Campbell.
Together, Lewis and I have been working with the Navistar leadership team on a plan we call “Drive to Deliver,” which provides a renewed emphasis on our company’s North American truck and engine business and doing the things that need to be done to quickly turn the company’s performance around and drive shareholder value.
RVB: So, what are some of these things you’re doing to improve the performance of the overall company?
Clarke: Well, as we move to our new emissions technology, we’ve really tried to take some noise out of the system, address some of the criticism head-on and make some decisions that will help make this a smooth, swift and high-quality transition. We’re bringing back the Cummins ISX15 in our trucks and will use the Cummins SCR aftertreatment system for our heavy-duty engines.
We believe we have sufficient liquidity to make this transition, and we expect to end our 2012 fiscal year at the high end of our guidance of $875 million to $1.25 billion in operating cash. And, just last week we announced a public offering of stock that generated upwards of an additional $200 million to enhance our balance sheet. We did this to put to rest yet another uncertainty — the question of whether Navistar will have enough available liquidity to manage through the current industry downturn and bridge us through our new product launches throughout the year.
RVB: And how about your Navistar RV business? How will it be impacted by these developments?
Clarke: We are currently evaluating all parts of our non-core business, which we define as businesses outside our core North American truck, engine and parts businesses. We are making an assessment as to both their strategic fit and their current and anticipated return on invested capital – ROIC — using a disciplined process. We are moving quickly, and we will communicate those decisions when appropriate.
RVB: So, for the benefit of all those who regularly visit RVBUSINESS.com and generally follow the industry, the question looms: Do you consider Monaco, Holiday Rambler and R-Vision brands part of Navistar’s “core business?”
Clarke: Our focus is on restoring our North American truck, engine and parts businesses to their market leading positions. While we view our RV business as an important part of our what we do, we do not consider Navistar RV and our Monaco, Holiday Rambler and R-Vision brands to be a part of our “core” North American commercial truck, engine and parts business. So, RV is under review.
RVB: Then, if Navistar RV is under review, what does that mean for the Navistar RV business moving forward?
Clarke: It’s important to note that Navistar RV is not being singled out; all aspects of our business are on the table for review. As you know, there’s been some steady growth over the past few years in the RV industry, and we’re committed to the long-term viability of the RV business.
Navistar RV President Bill Osborne and the entire Navistar RV team are excited about the great new products we’re introducing at next month’s Louisville RVIA show and we are well positioned to take advantage of the growing RV industry.
RVB: What, specifically, are some of the things the company is looking to improve on the RV side of the business?
Clarke: When Navistar acquired Monaco out of bankruptcy a little more than three years ago, we implemented many changes to enhance the business. We recently completed a number of actions to improve our quality, increase efficiencies, reduce costs and better leverage the significant RV supplier base in northwest Indiana. So, many improvements have already been made.
RVB: And you closed down your Coburg, Ore., operations.
Clarke: Yes, in August of 2011, we announced the consolidation of our manufacturing operations from Coburg, Ore., to Wakarusa, Ind. and those actions are complete. Since January of this year, we have added more than 500 manufacturing employees to ramp up production in our Elkhart and Wakarusa facilities. In fact, our 2014 model year lineup and the RVs we’ll be showing next month at the Louisville Show represent the first RVs produced through our streamlined manufacturing processes. As a result, we’ll be able to provide our customers with the best combination of quality, comfort and affordability in the industry.
We’ve done some other things as well to improve the business. We’ve leveraged the sourcing and engineering strengths of Navistar to achieve improved scale, higher quality standards and improved costs. And, we also closed our Union City, Ind., RV chassis operations and have idled production of our Workhorse RV and step van chassis operations.
RVB: So, realizing that your evaluation is currently underway and looking in your crystal ball, what, realistically, does the future hold for Navistar RV? Is there a chance Navistar could sell or close its RV business?
Clarke: We are committed to the long-term viability of our RV business. With that said, there are really three potential outcomes for our RV business — close the business, sell the business or continue to invest in and grow the business.
Well, I can tell you, we have no plans to close the business and have not studied a closure scenario. It is not our plan to do so. In the last three years, we’ve made significant investments and have taken actions that have delivered improvements in the performance of the business. Right now, we are simply evaluating all of our businesses to ensure they are delivering the appropriate “Return on Invested Capital” and have the right strategic fits.
Selling the business is a realistic potential outcome and would support our efforts to maintain the future viability of the business. If a sale were to occur, Navistar would be looking to sell to a buyer who can create more value in the RV business than we can.
If someone else can maximize its value, that is ultimately best for all stakeholders. That’s another option and one that we are closely evaluating. Now, this would not be a distressed sale. We don’t have that need. As I said, we have the cash necessary to manage our emission transition plan. And, we have already made investments in the business and have taken actions that are driving improvements in the business.
RVB: Any other closing comments, Troy, or anything else you’d like our readers to know?
Clarke: Let me end with where I began. When evaluating our businesses, and in this case, Navistar RV, we are using a disciplined process to assess both return-on-invested capital and strategic fit and the close/sell/grow options. We want to make these decisions in a timely manner to address the uncertainties for our employees, customers and dealers, but we won’t sacrifice performing the due diligence that’s required. My commitment is that when we have made a decision and are ready to announce that decision, these key stakeholders will hear about it first from us.
Navistar RV, a subsidiary of Navistar International Corp., will showcase a number of new products at this year’s National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 27-29. The display will include the model-year 2014 Monaco Monarch SE, as well as the new Holiday Rambler Vacationer SE and Augusta B-plus style Class C motorhome.
“These ambitious products represent the next generation of RVs from Navistar and our brands,” Bill Osborne, president of Navistar RV, said in a press release. “We’re excited to have our industry unveiling at the RVIA show, then to roll the models out to the public at events later this year and next.”
As part of its product development process, Navistar keeps a close eye on market trends and the desires of RV dealers and customers.
“The overall mix of products in the market has shifted, with a larger preference for gas as compared to diesel in Class As,” Osborne said. “Also, amenities that were previously only available in diesel have now made their way into gas coaches.”
The Monarch SE and Vacationer SE address these changes by delivering the high-end features of a full-size diesel coach — Smart Structure chassis system, ergonomically designed cockpit, soft-touch ceiling and generous pass-through storage — at the lower price of a gas vehicle. The RVs also emphasize the company’s striking new exterior style and incorporate new floorplans to suit individual needs.
“Our gas products were previously on the higher end of the price segments,” said Osborne. “These new products allow us to offer customers a gas Class A unit with deluxe amenities, and because they’re affordable, first-time buyers and part-time enthusiasts can now enjoy a great, luxury coach.”
During its product line evaluation, Navistar also determined there was an opportunity to add a B/C category unit to its portfolio, addressing the needs of first-time buyers and enthusiasts who want to be in a small but self-contained motorized RV.
“Holiday Rambler hasn’t introduced a new vehicle in this product class for some time,” Osborne added.
The new Augusta is a maneuverable and compact motorized RV with maximum interior space. Inventive design features include a Murphy bed that folds away to allow for a large living area with skylight, plus a pop-up TV for enhanced counter space and work area. Storage is plentiful, with a mega-locker that can be accessed from the inside and outside. The vehicle is available on a gas Ford E-350/450 chassis.
“These new vehicles reflect the vision of Navistar RV to be the most innovative quality product in the industry,” said Osborne. “We anticipate the RVs will be very well received, as they provide superior luxury, styling and features at an attractive price point.”
Editor’s Note: The following is a column authored by Navistar RV President Bill Osborne that appeared in the company’s monthly newsletter reaffirming his commitment to product quality and customer service.
Let me begin by telling you that my vision is for Navistar RV to be one of growth and success founded on “three key elements” – product quality, innovation, and a renewed focus on customer care.
Our intent is to build the finest coaches in the industry, period. This isn’t going to be accomplished by launching some special initiatives. We will accomplish it by organizing ourselves to do it, setting higher standards for ourselves, and living up to those standards. It simply has to become part of our DNA and we have to improve on it every day.
At over a year in my role as President, I am still a newcomer, but my 30-plus years in the global and domestic auto sectors have uniquely prepared me for my job. Some of my past experiences include president of both Ford Australia and Ford Canada, as well as heading up Ford’s North American Truck Engineering group, where I led the development of award-winning products like the F150 and Super-duty line of pickup trucks. Previously I also served as the CEO of Federal Signal Corp. and as a member of the board of directors at Navistar.
Of course, none of my past roles makes me an expert in the RV business. But I do bring a wealth of experience and some fresh thinking to the table that I leverage as we build the RVs our customers want to own and enjoy.
I’m sure you expect an ex-Ford guy to talk about improving quality. And you’re right! That means that I’m not going to tell you that it will be done quickly or that we will be an overnight success. It is hard work and it is going to take time. But we have established the culture, processes and commitment to make it happen. With regard to service, I know that our customers want a no-hassle, worry-free experience with our products. Along with quality we have enhanced our service capabilities by reopening our Wakarusa, Ind., service center which joins our Coburg, Ore., service center. I have tasked my team to build upon our great service to define and deliver the optimal service experience through our world-class service centers and our dealer partners.
A great example of the direction we’re going in the future is the expansion of Navistar RV’s service capabilities in the Southeast region. In March, I was proud to announce Alliance Coach in Wildwood, Florida joined our family as our first Platinum Sales and Service Center. This new center is a welcome addition to our dedicated regional service locations in Wakarusa, IN and Coburg, OR. The Platinum Service Center is part of my long-term commitment to establish a network of elite sales and service centers to provide our customers with superior regional product support.
As we raise the bar for ourselves, on quality, on innovation, and on service, we wouldn’t be doing justice to our customers if we didn’t ask the same commitment by our dealer network. We continue to work together to define how our dealers should market, sell and service our next generation of Navistar RV customers. As we grow our dealer network, I can promise you, we are focusing on dealership quality and not quantity.