Syracuse, Ind.-based fifth-wheel builder Redwood RV marked a production milestone Wednesday (May 9) as the 1,000th unit rolled down the assembly line.
According to a press release, the Redwood brand of high-end, all-season recreational vehicles debuted in August 2010 with 270 units built in the first year. Currently, production levels have risen to six units a day, including special runs of the company’s Blackwood product line introduced at last year’s Louisville Show.
“Redwood RV has been growing since day one. In the past six months alone, we’ve had to increase production four times to meet demand,” notes Tom Montague, general manager for the Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary. “We understand what the Baby Boomer market wants, and our robust sales reflect that.”
For the first four months of the company’s existence, not a single unit was produced as the Redwood team gathered market intelligence. “The Redwood RV story is about paying attention to our market and creating a product based on what the consumer wants,” said Montague. “Our consumer demands residential luxuries in a recreational vehicle. Redwood exceeds their expectations.”
“The Redwood RV brand was started with a dedicated handful of people. We’re proud to say that the team we started with is still creating quality Redwood products,” notes President Don Emahiser. “Our team’s customer insights and dedication have been integral in making Redwood successful.”
Syracuse, Ind.-based Redwood RV announced that Hilton Riggins has been promoted to regional sales manager, covering the West Coast area of the U.S. and Canada.
Prior to joining Redwood RV, Riggins had more than 10 years of business-to-business sales experience in several industries. According to a press release, “his proven track record of increased sales and building dealer networks made him an excellent addition to Redwood RV.”
“Hilton’s strengths in relationship building and follow-up give our dealers an exceptional Redwood experience,” said Paul Craven, product manager for the Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary. “I know he is looking forward to taking his Redwood dealers to the next level of excellence.”
The West Coast Region includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska in the U.S. and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Riggins can be reached at (757)-328-0865 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Syracuse, Ind.-based Redwood RV announced today (March 21) that it promoted Paul Craven to the position of product manager, effective immediately. According to a press release, Craven will oversee the Redwood and Blackwood towable lines.
“Paul’s experience with the retail side of the business has been a huge asset in creating a very dealer-centered culture,” stated Tom Montague, general manager of Redwood RV, a Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary. “Our customers are purchasing a premium product and expect a premium experience. Part of our job is to help our dealers provide that experience.”
Craven started at Redwood as a regional sales manager role six months after the company opened its doors. Prior to his role at Redwood, he helped run the family business, selling and servicing some of the top selling brands in the RV industry.
On a snowy Indiana morning that was clouded with the past, the future emerged bright as Syracuse, Ind.-based Redwood RV, a division of Thor Industries Inc., purchased the brand names, trademarks and intellectual property of venerable RV manufacturer Carriage Inc. Tuesday (Feb. 21) during a court-ordered liquidation of Carriage assets.
Carriage, a luxury fifth-wheel manufacturer established in 1969, was ordered into liquidation following protracted discussions between company executives and its lenders, primarily PNC Bank out of Indianapolis. Ultimately, PNC filed suit Oct. 18 to take possession of Carriage, which reportedly owed the bank more than $5 million.
More than 700 bidders had reportedly registered with Ross, Ohio-based Myron Bowling Auctioneers Inc. for the one-day event. Bidding for the Carriage intangible assets was the high point of the event, which also included everything from lots of axles to finished fifth-wheels.
“It’s a historic brand, it’s been around for more than 40 years, and we think there’s a place for historical brands in this industry,” said Don Emahiser, president of both Redwood RV and Topeka, Ind.-based CrossRoads RV. “And we think we’re a company that’s up to the challenge of continuing its legacy.”
Emahiser told RVBUSINESS.com that the Thor division had its eye on the Carriage brand since the former Millersburg, Ind., company had faltered last fall and it became evident that the intellectual property might become available.
“Once the company shut down, we knew the name would be available and, yes, there was an attraction there,” Emahiser noted. “But up until then, no, because Redwood’s been doing amazingly well.
“It’s (Carriage) a brand name we felt we could do something with — and if it became available, who better than us to carry on the tradition?
“But it wasn’t something we planned until Carriage went out of business.”
Emahiser said his own personal link to Carriage — he was president of the builder prior to moving to Thor two years ago and helping to establish Redwood — was an element in the decision to acquire the Carriage brand.
“Not only that,” he added, “but we have a lot of Carriage DNA throughout Redwood and CrossRoads. Likewise, the changes we have going on here have attracted people with Carriage in their background.
“We have, beyond myself, in other executive positions, group leaders, foremen, all the way down to entry-level spots. So we have a good amount of the carriage DNA here. When the brands became available to us it was almost a natural to try to make a play for them.”
According to Emahiser, there is no timetable or firm plans to announce when the Thor division will bring back the Carriage name, which was reportedly purchased for $100,000.
Syracuse, Ind.-based Redwood RV launched its Flat Freight program for dealers during last week’s National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., according to a press release.
“It’s a bold move,” said Tom Montague, general manager for Redwood RV. “We see Flat Freight as an investment in our dealers. We believe our dealers are the best in the business at what they do – selling high-end fifth-wheels. As a responsible manufacturer we wanted to do something to help make their job easier. We also felt it was important to reward our current Redwood dealers for a successful first year in business.”
The program provides U.S. and Canadian dealers handling the company’s Blackwood fifth-wheel – also introduced in Louisville – a $400 flat freight fee. Redwood said that it is also offering several other dealer programs, including level pricing, large territories, zoned freight, “No Internet Dealers” and MSRP only advertising policy.
“We’ve taken every possible step to help promote local shopping,” said Montague. “When dealers form lasting relationships with customers, everybody wins. Flat Freight is yet another tool to help our dealers set themselves apart from the competition.”
Redwood RV will introduce the Blackwood fifth-wheel line this year at the Nov. 29-Dec. 1 National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky.
“The team at Redwood is excited to be expanding our product offering,” said Paul Craven, product manager for Syracuse, Ind.-based Redwood. “With a strong demand from our current dealer base, we are taking the successful components of the Redwood story to the Blackwood fifth-wheel. Large territories, zoned freight, level pricing and MSRP advertising will be the cornerstone of this product.
“Our business philosophy is simple – the dealer is our customer and we’re developing products and programs to ensure their success and profitability.”
Blackwood models range from 31 to 39 feet in length and are initially available in four floorplans, including a bunkhouse model. Starting MSRP is around $60,000 nicely appointed.
“From a product standpoint, Blackwood leads the industry in fit and finish, and innovation,” said Tom Montague, general manager. “Highlighted by the most open user-friendly master bedroom in the industry, Blackwood offers the experienced RV buyer a coach that’s sure to exceed all expectations. From recreational users to weekenders, Blackwood is setting the new standard for excellence.”
Redwood RV announced the hiring of Dan Seits as a regional sales manager. According to a press release, Seits joins Redwood after having spent 14 years as a successful sales rep for Fleetwood RV and most recently Keystone RV Co. where he covered the East Coast territory.
“We’re extremely excited to have Dan as our newest member of the Redwood sales team,” said Tom Montague, general manager for the Syracuse, Ind.-based Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary. “Dan’s experience and a high level of professionalism are exactly what we were looking for in a sales rep and what our dealers and customers have come to expect from Redwood RV.”
Seits noted, “There’s a high level of energy and enthusiasm within every employee here, and it’s easy to see why. Redwood RV is a unique company with a great story and I’m thrilled to be a part of this team. The product looks great, and I’m excited about my future here.” Says Dan.
In addition to being a strong addition to the sales team, Seits resides in his territory, which Montague feels is an advantage for the dealers.
“In today’s extremely competitive marketplace everyone is looking for any advantage that will help them stand apart,” he said. “Our sales reps live in their territories, which makes travel easier, more cost effective, and allows for more frequent dealer visits which is a big advantage to our dealer base.
Redwood RV, the Syracuse, Ind., manufacturer of luxury fifth-wheels founded by Thor Industries Inc. last summer, announced that the company increased production by 50% on October 1st and added 20% more employees to its labor force.
“Our dealers are reporting strong retail sales over the last several months and are reporting positive results from the fall shows,” said Tom Montague, Redwood’s general manager. “Although the rest of the industry is experiencing a seasonal slowdown, we are ramping up production to meet the high demand. It’s been just over a year since we opened the doors. We took a fresh approach, worked on practical designs, added some common-sense innovations — and the results speak for themselves.”
Located on 30 acres along SR 13 in Syracuse, the centerpiece of Redwood’s facility is a 105,000-square-foot state-of-the-art manufacturing plant that provides even more room for growth.
Redwood RV focuses exclusively on building mid-priced, luxury fifth-wheels designed specifically for full-time living. Redwood fifth-wheels range from 34 to 40 feet and are available in eight floor plans with MSRPs starting around $83,000.
Redwood RV, a Syracuse, Ind.-based manufacturer of luxury fifth-wheels, recently unveiled a new look and feel to its website at www.redwood-rv.com.
According to a press release, site offers dealers and retail customer’s enhanced navigation along with full product descriptions, photo galleries, an owner’s forum, and floorplan-specific product tours.
“We’ve expanded our product offering, our dealer network and our geographic coverage considerably,” says Dave Boggs, director of marketing for the Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary. “Our goal with the new site is to provide our dealers and their customers with much more information to assist them in understanding the benefits of our products and in making an informed purchase decision.”
The new website also features several interactive items including an exterior 360-degree tour, exterior color selection and easy push-button setup. The exterior 360-degree tour feature will allow retail customers to view all four sides in three color choices with slideouts positioned in or out. The easy push-button setup feature allows the user to interactively set-up a unit at a campsite.
Topeka, Ind.-based towable builder CrossRoads RV Inc. announced the hiring of Matt Thompson as general manager of the company’s Cruiser Division.
According to a press release, CrossRoads also promoted Nate Nickell to general manager, overseeing the SlingShot, Sunset Trail and Zinger travel trailer lines and the Hampton destination trailer. In addition, Tom Montague has been promoted to general manager over both the Redwood fifth-wheels and Rushmore fifth-wheels divisions.
“Matt Thompson is a key hire for CrossRoads RV. He brings instant credibility to what we believe is the best mid-profile in the industry,” said Don Emahiser, president of CrossRoads RV, a Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary. “I love his excitement, experience, product and market knowledge, not to mention his outstanding dealer relationships.”
In his new position, Thompson will lead the Cruiser Division, including product planning, product development and sales, and will be introducing a new product line this fall at the Louisville Show. Previously he served as vice president of sales at Thor Motor Coach Diesel Division, responsible for product and dealer development. Thompson brings more than 14 years of RV experience to CrossRoads RV.
“I’m excited to be joining the Cruiser team. Their energy and enthusiasm is unbelievable,” Thompson said. “It’s an awesome opportunity to be a part of one of the fastest growing companies in the industry. We have an aggressive team and we will be making big waves across the industry.”
Nickell has over 12 years of experience in the RV industry, serving for seven years with CrossRoads RV. “Nate has been a leader at CrossRoads and his leadership skills will continue to be of enormous value,” said Emahiser.
Montague was most recently national sales manager for Redwood RV. “Tom has been crucial in the success of Redwood RV over the past year,” said Emahiser. “Tom’s energy, coupled with eight years of experience in RV sales and product development, has been a great asset to our company.”