NuWa Industries Inc. intends to start building HitchHiker fifth-wheels again beginning in June after a six-month shutdown of its factory in Chanute, Kan., according to a letter on the company’s website.
NuWa representatives did not immediately return a call from RVBusiness for comment.
In the letter, CEO Mike Mitchell said the company will roll out 2010 product through the fall while cutting retail prices substantially as it will begin selling RVs factory-direct to better service consumers consumers without a NuWa dealer nearby.
“NuWa will be a smaller company, so we will not be as much at the mercy of a volatile economy,” Mitchell wrote. “NuWa will have fewer dealers by choice, and these will be selected for their commitment to HitchHiker trailers and the exceptional customers who seek our product.”
The company announced in late December that it was making “a graceful exit from the RV industry” and would stop production in January while keeping a service center open until at least 2010 to meet the parts, warranty and service needs of its customers and dealers.
At the time, dealers were told that NuWa was not going bankrupt and “intended to meet its financial obligations.”
In his recent website letter, Mitchell said the company was establishing factory-direct sales because “many market areas will not have dealer representation, and because some full-timers simply prefer a relationship with the factory.”
At the same time, Mitchell said, “this concept will also help us maintain more control of competitive product pricing.”
“We will eliminate the artificially high MSRP so often used by the industry to manipulate the unsuspecting customer, and too often gives a false premium for the trade,” he wrote. “This present process is confusing and often detested by many buyers.
“Discounted cash/wholesale trade selling prices typically will be 25% lower than comparable 2009 model prices, but will be non-negotiable. The low cash price concept will require that trades be taken at wholesale, as the new unit pricing will be much nearer wholesale.”
Mitchell said that 175 unsold 2008 and 2009 HitchHikers remain in factory and dealer inventories that are “well-priced” to allow dealers to make room for 2010 models.
He said that it’s likely that some floorplans will be trimmed and that some models won’t be available until the fall.
“Our employees and staff are excited about the prospect of again producing exceptional trailers for American’s RVers,” Mitchell wrote.