Colin, Mich.-based Palomino RV, a division of Forest River Inc., recently introduced the all-new Traverse series of folding camping trailers and delivered the first unit to Ketelsen Campers of Colorado. “Ketelsen Campers of Colorado is the premier folding trailer dealer in North America and we are very excited to have partnered with Randy, John, Don and their team,” said Gene Cronin, national sales manager for Palomino RV. “Together we have dialed in the Traverse to meet the needs of today’s active families.” The Traverse series will consist of eight feature-laden models and will be displayed in the Palomino RV display at the Forest River Open House, Sept. 20-22. Pictured are (L-R): Don Secord, Ketelsen, sales manager; Gene Cronin, Palomino national sales manager; John Stadtmueller, Ketelsen operations manager; Mark Fioritto, Palomino regional sales manager.
Colon, Mich.-based Palomino RV, a division of Forest River Inc., announces the launch of a new website.
According to a press release, the new site offers a much easier, user-friendly layout for easy navigation to product information.
Features include downloadable owners manuals and archived brochures along with more visual tours and added gallery images to help retail consumers learn more about all Palomino products.
Also available are towing guides and an improved dealer locator that offer a larger radius dealer look-up. Visit the site at www.palominorv.com.
Colon, Mich.-based Palomino RV, a division of Forest River Inc., has earned the Quality Circle Award from the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) for the second time in three years.
According to the company, the award is based on RVDA’s annual Dealer Satisfaction Index survey, which manufactures performance in eight specific areas, including vehicle reliability/quality, parts and support, dealership warranty support, vehicle design, sales support, sales territory and competitive price/value and overall dealer communications.
Palomino RV, along with the other recipients, will be recognized on Oct. 5 as part of the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo at the Rio All-Suite Hotel Casino in Las Vegas. The presentations will be made at the Celebrate Excellence: All-Industry Gala event.
Palomino RV manufactures the Sabre, Puma and Palomino Ultra Lite brands of towable RVs at two locations in Indiana and Michigan.
With unit sales for motorized and towable RVs experiencing sharp declines for 2008 – down 41.6% and 23%, respectively – manufacturers are engaged in a battle for market share that could determine their viability once sales recover.
Tom Walworth, president of Statistical Surveys Inc., maintains that line of strategy requires manufacturers to look past current conditions and concentrate almost solely on market penetration.
“Significant unit growth will be hard to find in this type of market,” said Walworth, whose Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company regularly tracks retail registrations. “Market share is the area where manufacturers need to focus this year. When sales are down, the companies that can effectively increase market share will see higher unit sales once the market comes back – and it will come back.”
Walworth said that improving market penetration had to be accomplished through “granular steps” – working from the bottom up to improve the bottom line.
“OEMs have to be judging and assessing their companies right now,” he said. “They need to take another tack with this market, although the same principles still hold up – gain market penetration and shelf space on dealer lots.
“Builders have to fight for market share on a national level, but that has to be approached by going dealer by dealer, state by state and then region by region. It requires getting your entire company moving in the same direction while constantly monitoring progress to make sure what you are doing is making impact. That’s how the war will be won.”
Walworth offered specific examples of companies that were able to aggressively capture market share during last year’s contracting market.
Among motorized manufacturers, market share leader Winnebago Industries Inc. posted a 41.7% drop in unit sales for the year – comparable to the industry average – but only lost one-tenth of a percentage point in market share. “Basically, they were able to stay even with the market,” Walworth said.
Other manufacturers making notable market share gains in the motorized sector were: Thor Industries Inc. (10.5%), Tiffin Motorhomes Inc. (11.8%) and Jayco Inc. (12.2%).
On the towable side, unit leader Thor showed a 3.9% market share gain. Other companies showing noted improvement included: Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC (89.3%), Jayco (4.7%,), KZRV LP (27.8%) and Palomino RV (17.1%).
“Just staying in business in this environment is an accomplishment,” Walworth said. “But the companies that are really doing things right are outperforming the market.”
Walworth noted that in addition to tactical adjustments, navigating in the down market also requires the proper attitude.
“I talk to so many people that have their heads down and are zoned in on all the negative news,” he said. “People have to live in this market, and the only way to do that is to keep moving forward and not give up.”