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Newell Adds EasiSteer System to ‘12 Models

December 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Newell Coach Corp. announced that its new EasiSteer steering system will be standard on all new Newell motorcoach deliveries beginning in July 2011. According to a release from the Miami, Okla.-based luxury coach manufacturer, the new system also will be available as a retrofit option on all 2012 models delivered before July 2011.

Developed by Newell Coach in partnership with TRW Automotive, EasiSteer not only improves the steering ease and handling of the Newell but it also offers a level of comfort, stability and safety that was previously unobtainable in motorcoaches of this size.

“EasiSteer is the most significant advance in large-vehicle steering precision and driver comfort since hydraulic power steering was introduced decades ago,” said Newell President Karl Blade.

The new system achieves its advanced effects by continuously adjusting pull compensation for the road’s crown and side winds. It significantly reduces the amount of steering effort required while increasing the amount of self-centering feedback that is provided to the driver. The result is a new combination of very low steering effort and increased straight-line stability. The system is said to give the Newell a feel that is comparable to a luxury car.

“EasiSteer is used in combination with Newell’s state-of-the-art steering tag axle and rear-axle steering,” said Pete Peterson, Newell’s EasiSteer project engineer. “This enables the vehicle to execute tight turns easily and with a high degree of driver comfort that other vehicles of similar size can’t match. We’ve achieved a new level of driving ease and handling in the luxury motorhome industry.”

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OEM Showcase: Oklahoma-Based Newell Coach

July 8, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

2011 Newell Coach models were freshened up with upgrades to the front caps, rear body trim, taillights and interior decor.

2011 Newell Coach models were freshened up with upgrades to the front caps, rear body trim, taillights and interior decor.

Along with the rest of the American economy, the niche occupied by Newell Coach Corp.’s high-end motorhomes is emerging from the economic maelstrom that has enveloped the RV industry the last two years.

And it’s emerging as an even narrower slice of the U.S. economy than it was prior to the Great Recession.

“The high-end market definitely is coming back,” said Newell President Karl Blade. “We have a relatively healthy order bank coming out of the debacle that has been this economy.

“Interestingly, from what we’ve seen, the biggest change in recent months has been our late-model pre-owned (coach buyers) filling the void left by others (manufacturers) that have exited the market,” said Blade.

A legendary brand in the motorhome business, Newell was founded in 1967 by L.K. Newell who purchased the motorhome division of California-based Streamline Trailer Co. and moved it to Oklahoma. Blade purchased the company in 1979.

“Mr. Newell’s innovation at the time was radical,” Blade said. “We take it for granted now, but he built the first rear-engine motorhome in 1969 and the first diesel-powered motorhome in 1970. He also designed the first basement storage. It took years for the rest of the industry to adopt those things.”

Newell coaches, whicht sell for more than $1.4 million, are retailed factory-direct from the company’s headquarters in Miami, Okla., where Newell also has an extensive service facility.

Although the company offers floorplans in 38- to 45-foot lengths, the vast majority of customers want 45-footers. “The price savings aren’t significant if you build a smaller coach,” Blade said. “And people won’t buy small stuff unless they can save a lot of money.”

Selling expensive motorcoaches requires a personal approach to marketing and that’s among the reasons Blade spends the winter at Motorcoach Country Club in Indio, Calif.

“I spend three months every winter in Indio to show the product and cultivate relationships with our existing customer base,” Blade said.

With dealer inventories of other high-end motorhomes limited by the current economic situation, Newell is seeing new customers who previously might not have considered buying a coach factory-direct.

ABOUT THE COMPANY

  • Company: Newell Coach Corp.
  • (www.newellcoach.com)
  • Location: Miami, Okla.
  • Founded: 1967
  • Products: Luxury Class A motorhomes
  • Key personnel: Karl Blade, president; Boyd Vanover, vice president of engineering; Scott Lawson, vice president of manufacturing; John Clark, vice president of service
  • Facilities: 150,00-square-foot factory in Miami, including a 40,000-square-foot service department manned by 20 technicians.
  • Employees: 150
Karl Blade, Newell Coach president

Karl Blade, Newell Coach president

“Too often, prospects would go to their nearest local dealer and look at a new high-end Class A and that’s what they’d buy,” Blade said. “We never saw them. Today you don’t see many new or used high-end Class A’s on dealers’ lots in California. It’s (the economy) expanding the market dramatically for us.”

Newell, in turn, has become popular among motorsports participants. “The motorsports people understand the premium nature of the components in Newell coaches and appreciate it,” Blade said. “The first Newell motorhome that we sold into the motorsports area was to (Indy 500 driver) Al Unser Sr. Al Unser Jr. came along a few years later and, in 1984, Roger Penske bought one. That started a trend in IndyCar and NASCAR.”

Sales of pre-owned coaches are an important part of Newell’s business, according to Blade.

Typically, Newell will take a two- or three-year-old coach in trade and refurbish it before resale. “It’s very similar to the way we sell a new coach,” Blade said. “It’s not custom, but we’ll make modifications, depending on financial factors. We might add closets or entertainment centers or pull a desk out and change it to a sofa. It’s limited by the fact that if you get very deep into it, it gets expensive.”

Blade said that in-house service that Newell provides at its headquarters “is key to this business.”

“We pioneered having a 24/7 service telephone number,” Blade said. “We can handle most emergencies on the phone, and if we can’t fix it, we can usually design a work-around. Our average response time from when the tech gets paged and gets back to the customer is 20 minutes. In a product of this price range and this complexity, a direct relationship with the customer makes for a much better experience.”

PRODUCT PROFILE

Custom-built Newell motorcoaches retail for upward of $1.4 million in 38- to 45-foot floorplans built on the company’s own 63,300-pound GVWR “bridge-truss” diesel pusher chassis powered by 650-hp Cummins ISX engines.

Modifications to the 2011 welded-steel-and-aluminum Newell motorcoaches are the first since the 2006 model year. They include upgraded front caps with bright-white “string-of-pearl” LED running lights that outline the outer edges of the headlights plus rear-body trim and redesigned side moldings. Interiors feature wood windowsill trim bordered with seamed leather, carbon-fiber instrument panels and automated air conditioning and heating.

Interiors sport high-pressure laminate cabinet finishes, European-style concealed hinges, deluxe drawer glides, positive drawer latches with flush drawer fronts, pull-out pantries in most floorplans, rectangular integrated kitchen sinks, California king side-island beds and Villa convertible sofas and reclining chairs.

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Newell Coach Displayed at Signature RV Resort

June 25, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Interior of a Newell Coach

Interior of a Newell Coach

From now through the end of August, Newell Coach Corp. will be showcasing its $1.5 million, 2011 “show coach” at the exclusive Signature Motorcoach Resort at Bay Harbor, Mich.

“Weʼre very excited to team up with Signature RV Resorts to showcase what we believe is the ultimate motorcoach in terms of luxury, form and function,” said Newell’s president, Karl Blade, in a press release. “Signatureʼs Bay Harbor Resort is the ideal venue for folks to experience the finest luxury RV products and resort facilities our industry has to offer.”

“Newellʼs 2011 show coach is truly a remarkable achievement,” states Randall Henderson, president of Signature RV Resorts. “It would be difficult to imagine a more beautifully designed or more lavishly appointed rolling residence.”

With four huge slides, all granite floors and a floorplan that boasts a stunning bedroom suite and 1 1/2 baths, this coach knows no compromise. Complementing the exquisite interior features are exotic Makori UltraWood cabinets and state-of-the-art home theater electronics linked to a MotoSat Satellite Television System.

A view of the Signature RV Resort in Michigan.

A view of the Signature RV Resort in Bay Harbor, Mich.

Representatives from Holland RV will be onsite at Signatureʼs Motorcoach Resort at Bay Harbor to walk visitors through the Newell show coach and demonstrate its dazzling array of luxury living features.

Luxury RV travelers are invited to sign up online for a free, three-day, two-night guest pass to Signatureʼs Motorcoach Resort at Bay Harbor in northern Michigan. Itʼs a perfect opportunity to experience one of the finest, most feature-rich RV resorts in the nation and view a demonstration of the magnificent $1.5 million Newell Show Coach.

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Newell Coach Adds Fresh Look to 2011 Model

February 8, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

An artist's rendering of the 2011 Newell Coach.

An artist's rendering of the 2011 Newell Coach Corp. motorcoach.

Oklahoma-based Newell Coach Corp. is ”freshening” the look of it’s 2011 ultra high-end custom-made motorcoach for the first time since the 2006 model year with upgrades to the Newell’s front caps, rear-body trim, taillights and interior decor.

”It’s a refinement, an update,” said President Karl Blade. ”We wanted to bring a fresh product to the marketplace for those people who follow big coaches. The changes are distinctive, but not radical.”

The 2011 modifications include bright-white ”string-of-pearl” LED running lights that outline the outer edges of the headlights and redesigned side moldings. Interiors feature wood windowsill trim bordered with seamed-leather, carbon-fiber instrument panels and automated air conditioning and heating.

The first 2011 Newell came off the production line in mid-January and debuts Feb. 12-13 during the grand opening of Signature Resorts’ new Naples (Fla.) Motorcoach Resort.

A legendary brand in the motorhome business, Newell was founded in 1967 by L.K. Newell who purchased the motorhome division of California-based Streamline Trailer Co. and moved it to Oklahoma. Blade purchased the company in 1979.

”Mr. Newell’s innovation at the time was radical,” Blade said. ”We take it for granted now, but he built the first rear-engine motorhome in 1969 and the first diesel-powered motorhome in 1970. He also designed the first basement storage. It took years for the rest of the industry to adopt those things.”

Interior of a Newell motorcoach

Interior of a Newell motorcoach

Newell currently employs 150 people at a 150,00-square-foot factory that includes 40,000 square feet of service area manned by 20 technicians.

Newell motorcoaches usually retail upward of $1.4 million factory-direct sales from the company’s headquarters in Miami, Okla.

Along with the rest of the American economy, the e niche Newell occupies appears to be exiting the economic maelstrom that has enveloped the RV industry for the last two years.

”The market definitely is coming back,” Blade said. Interestingly, from what we’ve seen, the biggest change in recent months has been our late-model pre-owned (coach buyers) filling the void left by others (manufacturers) that have exited.”

Among the casualties of the recession were Coachworks Holdings Inc., converter of the high-end Blue Bird motorcoach, and Country Coach Holdings Inc., Junction City, Ore.

”There have been big changes in the conversion industry,” Blade said.

Newell entered the recession with little inventory, and all of its 2009 and 2010 coaches have been sold. ”That is allowing us to put fresh 2011 product out there that no other (consumer) has,” Blade said.

Typically, Newell will take a two- or three-year-old Newell in trade and refurbish it for resale. ”It’s very similar to the way we sell a new coach,” Blade said. ”It’s not custom, but we’ll make modifications, depending on financial factors. ”We might add closets or entertainment centers or pull a desk out and change it to a sofa. It’s limited by the fact that if you get very deep into it, it gets expensive.”

While Newell builds motorcoches in 38- to 45-foot lengths on its own custom-built 63,300-pound GVWR diesel-pusher chassis powered by a 650-hp Cummins ISX engine, most customers order 45-footers. All coaches are custom-designed and can take up to nine months to build.

”Ninety percent of our product is 45-footers,” he said. ”The price savings aren’t significant if you build a smaller coach. And people won’t buy small stuff unless they can save a lot of money.”

Selling expensive motorcoachs requires a personal approach to marketing and that’s among the reasons Blade is spending the winter at Motorcoach Country Club in Indio, Calif.

”I spend three months every winter in Indio to show the product and cultivate relationships with our existing customer base,” Blade said.

With dealer inventories of other high-end motorhomes limited by the current economic situation, Newell is seeing new customers who might not have considered buying a coach factory-direct.

”Too often, prospects would go to their nearest local dealer and look at a new high-end Class A and that’s what they’d buy,” Blade said. ”We never saw them. Today you don’t see many new or used high-end Class A’s on dealers’ lots in California. It’s expanding the market dramatically for us. We are almost out of pre-owned.”

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Newell Coach Begins Production of 2011 Models

October 9, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Computer rendering of 2011 Newell Coach motorhome.

Computer rendering of 2011 Newell Coach motorhome.

Newell Coach Corp. announced that it has begun production of its new, 2011 models, with retail deliveries scheduled for the first of the year.

The new models feature updated styling by top automotive designer Jason Hill, founder of the cutting-edge design firm, Eleven LLC.

“The 2011 models include enhanced styling and increased power, as well as the state-of-the-art look, ride, and handling for which Newell is known,” said Boyd Vanover, Newell director of engineering for Miami, Okla.-based Newell.

The 2011 Newell coach will retail for around $1.5 million.

“The coach front and rear feature fresh new details,” Vanover continued. “For example, the high-performance, xenon gas-discharge headlights are placed behind clear acrylic lenses, bordered by distinctive, ‘string-of-pearls’ LED daytime running lights. And the front fascia trim now runs the full width of the coach, integrating with the outboard headlight assemblies. The finish of the fascia has been upgraded to an attractive, automotive-quality, hard chrome.”

“Customer response to the new models has been outstanding,” Vanover added. “We are already producing to sold orders.”

Vanover told RVBUSINESS.COM that the company decided it needed to create some excitement in the industry and opted to introduce its 2011 models at this time.

“We’re jumping the gun by only two months where we typically are,” he said.

Founded by Jason Hill in 2003, Eleven LLC is an eco-friendly design studio that focuses on design-driven vehicle design, design consulting and product consultation. Clients include international auto manufacturers and major after-market accessory suppliers. Current projects include the T3 motion vehicle, a zero-emissions, battery-powered motorcycle; and the ground-breaking Aptera Tpy 1 vehicle. Eleven LLC is located in Long Beach, Calif.

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