Fan-Tastic Vent was honored on Oct. 27 by Newmar Corp. with the 2011 “Top Ten” Vendor Award. This was the sixth time the company has received the award, in addition to previously being named Vendor of the Year.
Commercial Manager Trey Miller, noted, “On behalf of the entire team at Fan-Tastic Vent, we are honored to once again receive this award. We feel that developing a true partnership with our customers allows us to provide an unparalleled level of service and support, while offering the highest quality products.”
Fan-Tastic Vent invented the high powered ventilator for RVs over 25 years ago. With manufacturing facilities in Imlay City, Mich., all Fan-Tastic Vents are made in the U.S. Fan-Tastic Vent is an Atwood Mobile Products LLC company.
Newmar Corp. held its 2011 Vendor Appreciation Dinner on Oct. 27 at Das Dutchman Essenhaus in Middlebury, Ind. The dinner was hosted by Nappanee, Ind.-based Newmar to recognize and honor vendors that received an excellent rating on their semiannual vendor evaluation.
According to a press release, 47 companies were represented with nearly 150 people in attendance at the annual event, now in its 14th year. Newmar said the purpose of the dinner is to show its appreciation to suppliers for the role they play in the company’s success.
At the conclusion of dinner, Newmar’s President Matthew Miller spoke about the importance of the partnerships the company has with its vendors.
“Newmar depends on you, our partners, to bring new ideas to our company in order to constantly improve the products we sell,” he said.
Before presenting the awards to the vendors honored that evening, Vice President of Purchasing Mike O’Connell spoke about the challenging business conditions the entire industry endured over the last several years and the effort and sacrifices everyone in the industry made to survive.
“Through it all, Newmar did not go out of business, file for bankruptcy, nor was it sold to anyone else,” said O’Connell. “Newmar did, however, pay its vendors when invoices were due, we paid our employees, and stood behind our warranty obligations to our dealers and customers.”
Those receiving awards were:
• Customer Service Awards: Beth Bloss (KIB), Marsha Hinson (Wesco) and Denell Reilly (Dometic Corp.)
• Salesperson of the Year: Jeremy Buckmeier – Freightliner Customer Chassis Corp.
• Delivery Service Award: Gary Singleton (Charleston Corp.)
• Engineering Innovation Award: KIB
• Top 10 Vendor Awards: Fantastic Vent (a Division of Atwood); Cass Hudson Co.; Country Road Doors; DH Machine; HWH Corp.; Medallion Plastic; Positron Corp.; Shaw Industries; Winegard; and Industrial Finishes and Systems.
• Virgil Miller Award of Excellence: Freightliner
Nappanee, Ind.-based Newmar Corp. introduced a new wheelchair accessible floorplan, designed exclusively for the Canyon Star gas motorhome lineup for 2012.
According to a news release, Newmar engineered the new Canyon Star 3911 floorplan based on “numerous conversations with retail customers about their desire to purchase a wheelchair accessible motorhome.”
The 2012 Canyon Star 3911 features include:
• 48-inch wide power wheelchair lift with a wired remote control.
• 30-inch wide path from the front of the coach to the bed while the unit is in travel mode (sliderooms in) for wheelchair access.
• Large open floor area on the front side of the bed for easy access.
• A wheelchair accessible bathroom with a large 48 x 37 roll-in shower with seat, a lavatory that is open under the bowl for use with a wheelchair and a medicine cabinet with mirrors that are placed lower.
• Grab assist bars have been placed in the shower and around the stool.
In the kitchen, Newmar incorporated a new cooktop and microwave combination that places the convection microwave below the cooktop for easy access by a wheelchair occupant. The Canyon Star 3911 also has a standard “L” dinette that allows seating on the side or back bench as well as plenty of space to accommodate a wheelchair.
Other features include moving all the switches, monitor panel, and EMS panel from the top of the entrance door cabinet to a cabinet just behind the passenger seat for access while sitting in a wheelchair. Retail base price starts at $156,492 before options.
For more information about Newmar products, visit www.newmarcorp.com.
Monaco RV LLC, Carriage Inc., Travel Lite Inc., Fleetwood RV Inc. and Newmar Corp. are joining forces to display new products Sept. 19-22 on a 17-acre parcel of land on the northeast corner of U.S. 20 and C.R. 17 during Elkhart County’s 4th Annual RV Open House Week.
In what amounts to a classic case of how the emerging Open House casts industry competitors in unusually cooperative roles, the five adjacent exhibits will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily – and later when necessary — with a joint catered luncheon available 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. all four days, according to Ed Kinney, vice president of sales and marketing for Carriage, who played a pivotal role in organizing the display area.
The five-company exhibit, on the southeast side of Elkhart and a few minutes from the larger Forest River Inc. and Thor Industries Inc. displays, offers easy access, ample parking and close proximity to other manufacturer displays in the area, according to a Thursday (Sept. 1) Monaco release.
“We’re all splitting the costs, which are really low,” says Kinney, adding that there will be well over 100 units on display at the joint exhibit. “Everybody’s in this together.”
Kinney says this corporate cluster results from the experiences of some companies that felt their locations during last year’s Open House were too remote from the daily dealer traffic. Carriage’s management last year hosted dealers at the company’s home plant in Millersburg, a good 20-minute drive south and east of Elkhart.
Monaco’s main plant is in Wakarusa, Ind., while Newmar is in Nappanee, Ind., Travel Lite is based in New Paris, Ind., and Fleetwood is located about an hour’s drive southeast in Decatur, Ind.
There will be a tent set up amid the displays, said Kinney, adding that access to the paved parking area is off of C.R. 17.
“We look forward to bringing our products closer to dealers who will be in the Elkhart area,” noted Monaco’s Mike Snell, senior vice president of sales and product development. “We want it to be effortless for dealers to see our products, to learn about our advantages and connect with our employees and company. The manufacturer-dealer relationship is all about fostering good relationships based on open communication. At the same time, we want to provide the best, most state-of-the-art RVs on the market.”
“We’ll have lunches every day for dealers and visitors,” Kinney added. “We’re just real excited. It’s going to be a great turnout. It’s a nice layout. It’s a perfect piece of property – easy in, easy out, lots of easy parking. So, we’re just thinking of convenience for the dealers. And, you know, we’re three minutes from the Hall of Fame (where Thor will be set up). It doesn’t get better than that.”
Nappanee, Ind.-based Newmar Corp. has introduced a new wheelchair accessible floorplan designed exclusively for the Canyon Star gas motorhome line up for 2012.
According to a press release, Newmar has had numerous conversations with retail customers about their desire to purchase a wheelchair accessible motorhome. In response to their specific needs, Newmar’s engineering department has developed a new Canyon Star 3911 gas motorhome floorplan which addresses many of the features requested.
The 2012 Canyon Star 3911 features include:
• 48-inch wide power wheelchairs lift with a wired remote control.
• A 30-inch wide path from the front of the coach to the bed while the unit is in travel mode (sliderooms in) for wheelchair access.
• A large open floor area on the front side of the bed for easy access.
• The bathroom in the Canyon Star 3911 provides a large 48 x 37 roll-in shower with seat, a lavatory that is open under the bowl for use with a wheelchair and a medicine cabinet with mirrors that are placed down lower.
• Grab assist bars have been placed in the shower and around the stool.
• In the kitchen Newmar has incorporated a new cooktop and microwave combination that places the convection microwave below the cook top for easy access by a wheelchair occupant.
• The Canyon Star 3911 has a standard “L” dinette that allows seating on the side- or back-bench as well as plenty of space to accommodate a wheelchair.
• All the switches, monitor panel and EMS panel are moved from the top of the entrance door cabinet to a cabinet just behind the passenger seat for access while sitting in wheelchair.
The 2012 Canyon Star 3911 starts at a retail base price of $156,492 before options.
For more information about Newmar products, visit www.newmarcorp.com.
Newmar Corp., Nappanee, Ind., announced today (Aug. 9) that it is joining with Carriage Inc., Monaco RV LLC and Travel Lite to display their latest products as part of Elkhart County’s 4th Annual RV Open House, set to run the Sept. 19-23.
According to a press release, Newmar will set up at a 15-acre site just a few minutes south of the RV/MH Hall of Fame. Newmar said the location, at the intersection of C.R. 17 and U.S. 20 in southeast Elkhart, provides easy access and plenty of parking in close proximity to other manufacturer’s open house displays for some of the 4,000 dealer personnel expected to visit Elkhart County during the week.
Newmar sales personnel as well as management will man the display Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. All Newmar motorhome brands are expected to be on display. As plans are finalized over the next couple of weeks by the participating manufacturers, more details will follow.
Mahlon Miller cares about selling recreational vehicles very much. Always has.
The Florida Times Union reported that Miller, a humble innovator, who many have called the “last icon” of the recreational vehicle industry, has sold and designed many, many RVs during his 47-year career. And the company he founded, Newmar Corp. based in Napanee, Ind., almost certainly will sell many, many more.
But Miller said Newmar’s success and his role as an industry innovator goes beyond sales. That’s because Miller said, when he thinks of RVs, he thinks of how people live – not just vehicles. Miller said it is that difference that has defined Newmar, and where the key to its success can be found.
The innovations? The trend-setting?
All that’s important, but it starts with something more personal.
“It’s a lifestyle – that’s always the belief we’ve had,” Miller said, during a recenty visit to Dick Gore’s RV World in Jacksonville, Fla. “We wanted to sell vehicles. But it was more than that.”
Sitting in a state-of-the-art 2012 Newmar King Aire luxury motor coach, Miller spoke at length about his career and his approach. He discussed his signature innovation – the patented “Power Slide-Out” – as well as a few of the most recent innovations, including a full-wall slide table, the optional “Roll-Out Depth Dynamic,” and Comfort Drive steering.
“Comfort Drive isn’t new, but no one in the industry has it yet,” Miller’s son, Newmar President Matthew Miller, said. “That’s what makes it special.”
It’s such innovations that have made Miller a critical figure in the industry, and that made his first visit to Dick Gore’s RV World a special moment, Gore said.
“He’s the last of the real icons of the industry,” Gore said. “The rest of them are gone or sold out, but really, he revolutionized the whole doggone industry. He’s the last guy in this industry who builds residential construction. No one else builds like he does.
“There’s no one else like it in the RV industry. He’s the last of his kind.”
Called the “Father of Power Slide-Outs,” Miller was inducted in 1998 into the RV/MH Heritage Foundation Hall of Fame.
Miller, who began in the RV business in 1964 working in a cabinet shop, did so with the goal of “moving back to farming.” He moved quickly into research and development, which he said he loved so much farming soon wasn’t a goal anymore.
The development of the slideout in the early 1990s remains a watershed moment in the industry, one Miller recalled during the stop.
“When I told our engineers I wanted to have a slideout in a motorhome, they said, ‘You can’t do that,’” Miller said. “I said, ‘Why not?’ They had all kinds of reasons, so I said, ‘Look. We already have them in fifth-wheels. Have them hook up our pickup truck in a fifth-wheel and we’re going to get in that pickup where the slideout is and I want the driver to find the roughest road he can find.’
“We were in the back of that fifth-wheel and it didn’t move,” Miller said. “The engineer looked at me and said, ‘Maybe we can put it in a fifth-wheel.’”
Miller said Newmar had the slideout market basically to itself for three years. The first year, it was met with skepticism. By the third year, it had become a trend.
Miller also designed the concept of central air in an RV ceiling. Most recently, Newmar has designed the Roll-Out Depth Dynamic, a long table that slides in and out of the vehicle’s side for storing. It also has implemented comfort-drive steering, an electric motor on the steering column controlled by a computer.
“You can be driving down the road with a finger, whereas before you were driving with both hands and arms,” Matthew Miller said. “The computer compensates for crown in the road or wind. You’re just driving as if you’re on a perfectly safe road with no wind.”
Gore said, as has been the case with many of Miller’s innovations, the industry likely will incorporate the most recent ideas into their own vehicles – albeit with lesser results.
“People have followed him [Miller], but nothing compares with his systems,” Gore said.
Miller, who still works daily at Newmar’s Nappannee offices, said while he has helped the company remain at the forefront of the industry, he doesn’t have a grand vision of its future.
“I wish I knew,” he said, laughing. “I remember back in the late 1970s, we came out with some beautiful, neat things, and I thought, ‘What are we going to do for next year? Is this it?’ By the time next year rolled around, we had a lot of stuff, so I don’t know.”
Whatever the changes, each Miller said one thing will remain true – that Newmar will be as much about the feeling a person gets walking through a state-of-the-art RV as it will be about selling vehicles.
“It catches peoples’ eyes,” Miller said of a well-designed RV. “We try to stay on the cutting edge of things going on the industry.”
It’s an approach Gore said he has seen move on to the younger Miller. Because that’s true, Gore said Newmar’s place as a industry innovator may remain secure.
“He’s already involved in it – he’s really involved in it,” Gore said of Matthew Miller, who said the approach of his father won’t soon be lost within Newmar.
“This industry is a lifestyle,” Matthew Miller said. “We’re not just selling a vehicle. We’re selling a lifestyle. People who don’t RV or who aren’t familiar with the industry don’t understand – that it’s not about big gas-guzzling cars. It’s a house on wheels and a lifestyle.”
Junction City, Ore.-based Guaranty RV Super Centers announced Thursday (June 2) it had achieved Platinum Service Dealer Status from RV manufacturer Newmar Corp., Nappanee, Ind.
Guaranty is the only dealer on the West Coast to receive this important rating — and one of only 10 RV dealers nationwide.
“We’re very proud of this distinction,” said Herb Nill, Guaranty RV owner. “We strive to provide the best service we can to our customers and it is always nice to be recognized for our efforts. We want to make sure we continue providing a high level of service so we can re-qualify each year for this Platinum designation.”
To qualify for the Newmar award, a dealership must meet a stringent list of requirements — including having a CSI (Customer Satisfaction Index) score of 90% or above, pass tough facility evaluations, have a commitment to training and employ a certain percentage of technicians who are RVIA certified and or RVIA master certified.
Having the Platinum Service designation allows Guaranty to receive additional benefits provided by Newmar that they can pass on to their customers. “Excellent customer service is one of the most important values we hold…. and those values also help guide the choice of dealers who represent us,” stated Newmar Corp. in a release.
For more information on Guaranty RV, contact Shannon Nill at (541) 998-4053 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Becky Smith, the dealership’s marketing manager, can be contacted at (541) 998.4017 or by emailing her at email@example.com.
Whether it’s the way of the future or a link to the industry’s more relational past, Newmar Corp.’s top executives and their wives headed out Tuesday morning (May 31) in 2012 Newmar Class A motorhomes for their second annual “Go Newmar Road Show” to visit an array of the company’s U.S. dealerships.
They’ll stay at dealerships and campgrounds along the way and enjoy an extended stay in Gaffney, S.C., at the headquarters of chassis builder and key supplier Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. And they’ll wind up spending a week at Newmar’s Kountry Klub International Rally in Essex Junction, Vt., not far from Burlington, as the finale of their three-week trip.
Newmar founder and owner Mahlon and Irene Miller in a 2012 Mountain Aire; President Matthew and Pam Miller in a 43-foot, tag axle Ventana; Chairman and CEO Richard and Candice Parks in a 43-foot Dutch Star; and Vice President of Sales and Marketing John and Margaret Sammut in a Ventana LE Class A will travel nearly 5,000 miles through 14 Eastern states and visit the following dealers in the process:
• Mt. Comfort RV – Greenfield, Ind.
• Buddy Gregg Motor Homes – Knoxville, Tenn.
• Tom Johnson Camping Center – Marion, N.C.
• Adventure RV – Greer, S.C.
• Terry Labonte RV – Greensboro, N.C.
• Dick Gore RV World – Jacksonville, Fla.
• Independence RV – Winter Garden, Fla.
• North Trail RV – Dania Beach, Fla.
• Beckley’s Camping Center – Thurmont, Md.
• Tom Schaeffer RV – Shoemakersville, Pa.
• Dave’s RV – Danbury, Conn.
• Wilkins RV – Bath, N.Y.
“We’re covering a different part of the country this year than we did last year,” Sammut told RVBUSINESS.com. “We kept getting a lot of questions about whether we were going to do this again. So, we’re heading up and down the Eastern seaboard, down through Indianapolis to Tennessee and the Carolinas all the way down to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Then we head back north again and wind up at our Kountry Klub International rally, which is in Essex Junction, Vt., this year and actually stay in the coaches this year alongside about 200 owners of our products.”
Sammut says the positive feedback from last year’s management trip is what led to this year’s June junket. “Based on the response we got last year,” said Sammut, “people kept referencing that trip, whether it was a customer or a dealer. And then everybody’s saying, ‘When are you going to come to our neck of the woods?’ So, let’s just call it the second annual trip — and ‘to be determined’ whether there will be a third.
“But right now it has been an effective way to highlight our company and products,” he added. “We just rolled out the 2012 product information to a large number of our dealers. This last two weeks we’ve been on the road in teams. Now we’re actually going to go out on the road in the 2012 units and show them first-hand.”
Parks, in retrospect, said it all has to do with the relational side of the business, something Newmar’s management was reminded of last year when crowds of consumers sometimes awaited their arrival in different locations. “Absolutely,” said Parks, “If there was a business that was relationship-oriented, it’s this one — not only with the dealers, but with the customers. And this is a real good way to promote the lifestyle and show the dealers that we believe in our product, basically.”
The single largest attribute that separates Independence RV from other RV dealers is the company’s commitment to quality service on a daily basis.
No other Newmar dealership knows that better than Winter Garden, Fla.-based Independence RV, once again garnering the coveted Mahlon Miller Service Excellence Award for the best customer service among large-size Newmar RV dealerships in North America, according to a news release.
Recognized for a top ranking Customer Satisfaction Score of 94.54%, Independence RV has established itself as a leading Newmar luxury coach dealership located in the Central Florida region. The award was presented by Newmar’s Chairman Dick Parks and President Matt Miller to Independence RV President Ronnie Jordan and Service Manager Todd Simpson during a recent on-site visit to Winter Garden. Independence RV won the fiercely competitive large RV operations category.
“The 10 questions on the Newmar Customer Satisfaction Survey cover the entire RV dealership experience, therefore an operation must receive high marks on all parts of the experience to earn this award,” Parks said.
“It’s important to Newmar to know that if a customer is having a problem or needs an adjustment and he’s not close to the factory, we can send them to Independence RV knowing they will receive quality service,” said Newmar’s Matt Miller
Independence RV’s Service Manager Todd Simpson remarked, “We take pride in retaining customer focused employees, some of whom have been with the service department for 19 years. Our whole company is committed to bringing the best customer service experience to our valued customers day in and day out.”
To even be considered for Newmar’s top award, a dealer must score 90% or higher in post-service customer surveys. To win three years in a row like Independence has, they must consistently provide top notch RV service.
Independence RV is not new to the winner’s circle. The dealership has won Customer Satisfaction Index Awards for outstanding Newmar RV service for each of the past nine years. Established in 1985, this is the third consecutive year Independence RV has won Newmar’s premier service award.