Winegard Co. has introduced a newly redesigned over-the-air compact omnidirectional antenna, the RoadStar 3000.
According to a press release, the antenna is designed to continuously find and pull in all available VHF, UHF and FM broadcast signals within a 35-mile radius of a parked RV. The RoadStar 3000, produced in the U.S., delivers free local standard and HDTV programming from ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX plus many additional sub-channels that carry 24-hour news, weather, music, kids programming and movies.
The most powerful and aerodynamic RoadStar to date, Winegard said the 3000 series eliminates the need to manually aim and lock onto digital signals. Also included are a 12-volt DC power supply and receptacle, and a two-way splitter for a second TV and optional cable input.
At only 7.56 inches high by 14.88 inches in diameter, the low-profile RoadStar 3000 offers superior wind resistance while occupying minimal roof space. Installers will appreciate the new pedestal mount that allows for a fast and simple installation; no special tools are required.
“RV owners will get exceptional reception and performance from the RoadStar 3000 HDTV antenna,” said Aaron Engberg, director of mobile products for Burlington, Iowa-based Winegard. “We’ve streamlined the design to make it more compact and aerodynamic. With its full 360-degree signal reception and enhanced amplifier that helps to pull in weak signals from fringe areas, the RoadStar packs a lot of power for its size.”
Antennas are available in both white (RS-3000) and black (RS-3035) and are available for shipping.
For more information about Winegard RoadStar 3000 series antennas, visit http://www.winegard.com/sensar/roadstar.php.
Roadmaster Inc.’s Quiet Hitch stops “sway and wander” by eliminating any free play between the receiver and the tow bar for a solid, seamless connection, according to the company.
In a press release Roadmaster noted that consistent pressure keeps the towing combination tracking straight through crosswinds, curves and sudden maneuvers — all with considerably less effort on the driver’s part. Quiet Hitch also reduces tire wear, as well as wear and tear on the hitch and the receiver, by eliminating free play.
Other features include:
• Especially effective on towing combinations with multiple hitch extensions.
• Reduces rattle caused by bike racks or hitch accessories.
• Bolts on in seconds.
• Designed for two-inch hitch receivers.
Dubuque, Iowa-based furniture supplier Flexsteel Industries Inc. today (Feb. 3) reported sales for its fiscal second quarter, ended Dec. 31, rose 2.6% to $85 million compared to $82.8 million in the prior year quarter. Net income during the period was $2.9 million, or 42 cents per share, compared to net income of $2.1 million, or 31 cents per share the previous year.
For the six months, Flexsteel posted sales of $166.5 million compared to prior year sales of $170.1 million, a decrease of 2.1%. Net income was $5.3 million, or 76 cents per share, compared to net income of $4.5 million, or 65 cents per share, in the previous year. The prior year six-month period included a pre-tax charge of approximately $1 million to facility closing costs for employee separation and other closing costs.
For the quarter, residential sales were $67 million, an increase of 5.4% from the prior year’s sales of $63.5 million. Commercial sales were $18 million compared to $19.3 million in the prior year quarter, a decrease of 6.5%. For the six months, residential sales were flat at $129.5 million compared to $128.8 million the previous year while commercial sales fell 10.3% to $37 million from $41.3 million.
Gross margin for the quarter was 24.1% compared to 22.7% in the year-ago quarter. For the six months, gross margin was 23.7% compared to 22.6% for the prior year six-month period. Gross margin for the prior year quarter and six-month period was adversely impacted by inventory write-down of $0.6 million associated with the facility closing.
To view the entire report click here.
Columbus, Ind.-based Cummins Inc. today reported record sales, profits and cash flow from operations for all of 2011 as well as strong results for the fourth quarter.
Fourth-quarter revenue of $4.9 billion increased 19% from the same quarter in 2010 and set a new quarterly record for the diesel engine builder. The increase year-over-year was driven by higher demand in truck, construction, power generation and oil and gas markets in North America. The company also experienced strong growth in global mining markets. Growth in these markets offset weaker demand in the construction market in China and power generation in India.
Fourth-quarter net income jumped to $548 million, or $2.86 a share, from $362 million, or $1.84 a share, a year earlier. Excluding some items, profit was $2.56 a share, compared with $2.24.
Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) was $768 million for the fourth quarter. Excluding special items, EBIT was $677 million or 13.8% of sales, representing a 25% growth in earnings year-over-year.
Revenue for the full year was $18 billion, up 36% from 2010, with strong growth in most geographic regions.
Net income attributable to Cummins for the full year was $1.85 billion ($9.55 per diluted share), up from $1.04 billion ($5.28 per diluted share) in 2010. EBIT for the year, excluding special items, was $2.56 billion or 14.2% of sales, compared to $1.66 billion or 12.5% of sales in 2010.
“Cummins had its best year ever in 2011, despite economic uncertainty in a number of regions. We continue to benefit from our leading position in a number of end markets and geographies,” said Tom Linebarger, chairman and CEO. “Revenue in the United States grew 53% and international revenue grew 27% year-over-year. In fact, we experienced record full-year revenues in North America, Brazil, China, India and a number of other important markets.”
Based on the current forecast, Cummins anticipates that total revenues will increase 10% in 2012, with EBIT in the range of 14.5% to 15% of sales.
“Our 2011 results and our forecast for 2012 reaffirms our confidence in reaching our goal of achieving $30 billion in sales and 18% EBIT in 2015,” Linebarger said.
To view the full report click here.
Two long-time Thetford Corp. employees, Kevin Phillips and Doug Tharp, have been promoted, according to a press release.
Phillips was elevated to the position of executive vice president of North America. He previously served as vice president of sales and marketing, North America, since joining Thetford in 2005.
Phillips is a member of the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) board, serving as chairman of its membership committee and is on the market information and supplier committees. He formerly served as chairman of the RVIA nominating committee. Phillips is also a former member of the Recreational Vehicle Aftermarket Association (RVAA) board.
“Kevin’s leadership, experience and knowledge of the RV market make him the ideal candidate to grow Thetford in the future,” said Stephane Cordeille, CEO of Ann Arbor, Mich-based Thetford.
Prior to joining Thetford, Phillips worked with Guardian Automotive as business unit director. He also previously worked as director of business development and director of North American sales at GKN Sinter Metals, and as customer director & global platform leader with Delphi Automotive.
Phillips earned a bachelor’s in computer science from the University of Michigan and an MBA in business policy and marketing from the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business.
Tharp was promoted to senior director of finance, North America. He joined Norcold Inc. as a division accountant in 1990 and was promoted to accounting manager in 1993. He was promoted to corporate controller at Thetford, Norcold’s parent company, in 2003. He received a bachelor’s in business from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
Contact Thetford, 7101 Jackson Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48103. Toll-free 800-543-1219 or 734-769-6000; Fax: 734-769-2023. email@example.com; www.thetford.com <http://www.thetford.com> .
Effective immediately, Stephane Cordeille has been promoted to CEO of Thetford Corp. According to a news release, the announcement was made Jan. 24.
“Thetford is a global company with very similar operations in the US and Europe,” said Cordeille. “Because of this, nothing changes for our customers and we will continue to make the best use of our global resources to the benefit of all our customers.”
Cordeille has a long history with Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Thetford and is already known by many of Thetford’s customers. He joined Thetford in 1988 as sales manager of its French subsidiary. He has served as director of sales and marketing and director of European operations before being named managing director of Thetford’s RV Europe operations in 2004.
Prior to joining Thetford, Cordeille headed up the merchandising team for Gloria-Friskies, a unit of Nestle Corp. He has a degree in economics and attended the Business School of Exeter for commerce and management.
It was also announced that Peter Struijs was promoted to CFO, worldwide. Struijs, who joined Thetford in 1999, has been the European director of finance and IT since 2006. Before that, he was the company’s manager of finance. He holds a bachelor’s in business economics.
“These promotions indicate the strength of personnel at Thetford and the commitment of ownership to reward long-term performance and contribution to the company,” said Michael J. Harris, president and COO of DKM, Thetford’s parent company, referring to the promotions.
Goshen, Ind.-based supplier Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) has introduced innovations and improvements to its full line of radius and entry doors, according to a press release.
LCI is a leading OEM supplier of a wide array of radius and square entry doors for RVs, as well as OEMs for horse trailers, cargo trailers, enclosed utility vehicles and mobile office products.
Lippert said that in the last two years, the company brought over 30 unique innovations to the RV entry door market alone. Working closely with manufacturers, Lippert design engineers continue to introduce quality innovations and custom features to improve radius and entry doors, including thicker outer frames, UV stable windows, heavier duty hinges, integrated seals, more robust screen doors and solid core kick panels.
All LCI doors are built to be lightweight, with aluminum frames and solid foam or composite cores. OEMs can also opt for LCI’s “U Skin It” doors, delivered with the core door along with the lock and all assemblies, but without the exterior skin. The “U Skin It” door was developed for OEMs that wish to apply their own matching metal or fiberglass color skin to match their unique application.
Two new products for 2012 are:
• RV Lock Keyless Entry Systems from LCI are completely re-engineered with a new, distinctive euro-styled lock handle. A new ergonomic wireless keypad with ten digits has over one million possible combinations for uncompromised security. Because it’s wireless, OEM installation of the new battery powered RV Lock system is as easy to install as a conventional lock. Further, campers are never locked out, because the system works independent of the RV’s power source.
• The Friction Hinge System from LCI is designed to eliminate cumbersome plastic door stays and spring openers to keep the door open in any position with a specialty hinge. Much like the multiple position hinges found on laptop computers, the new LCI friction hinge system allows the door to be opened and remain in any position. The door is designed to handle 15- to 20-mile an hour winds before moving, and will not slam shut. For OEMs the new friction hinge minimizes the warranty problems of broken door stays, and door damage caused to exterior sidewalls by owners pulling doors closed without first releasing the door stay. In addition, the new friction hinge saves time on the assembly line by eliminating the need to install stays or closures.
“Our relationship with the OEMs in the industries we serve has enabled us to essentially be a branch of their R&D departments helping provide them with a competitive edge,” said Director of Marketing and Media Jarod Lippert. “Our engineers are constantly working with OEMs to provide both entry door solutions and special combinations and features to improve their products and manufacturing efficiencies. Our ‘One Source’ collaborative culture is what sets LCI apart.”
Stag-Parkway Inc. President and CEO Martin Street kicked off the first full day of the Atlanta-based distributor’s “Stag 2012 Vegas” dealer show at The Mirage this morning (Jan. 17) with a rousing welcome to the largest assemblage for the event — up 12% over last year — since 2006.
Most in attendance, in fact, were wondering if the strong showing of more than 500 dealerships was indeed a signal of an economic turnaround in 2012.
“If nothing else, 2011 was full of changes that are strange from the weather point of view, from a worldwide economic point of view, from the local business point of view,” Street told the crowd. “The one place we didn’t see changes was in Washington, where both sides of the aisle made every effort to block any change that was suggested.
“I’m delighted to say that this year we have our highest attendance since 2006, which, as all of you know, was two years before this recession started. We have well over 500 dealerships represented here, well over 1,300 dealer attendees — 1,700 people total — and in excess of 170 vendors presenting their wares to you on our show floor.”
Street identified the epic weather-related challenges of 2011 throughout the U.S. as one of several obstacles the industry faced this past year, in addition to a rocking economy, world debt and resultant chaotic stock market.
“The weather is often used as an excuse for poor performance, but in 2011 this excuse was fully justified,” he said. “The weather had the same effect on all of our businesses last year, no matter where we lived.”
But 400-employee Stag and its customers persevered for the most part, said Street, even though most didn’t achieve the goals outlined at last year’s Stag event. While the industry was predicting a 4% uptick, Street explained, Stag was looking for a 10% hike in 2011 sales.
“I have to tell you that we didn’t make it, despite all of our efforts,” he added. “But we came close. It’s thanks to many of you in the room who not only defied the odds during 2011, but beat them back soundly, which caused us to almost achieve our target. Despite the recession, the economy and the weather, a number of you posted double-digit increases in sales of parts and accessories for the year.
“For the rest of you asking how they achieved this, the answer is simple: They were not prepared to stand still. They were prepared to change both their approach to marketing, their businesses and pricing their products — product displays, product selection, inventory, promotions and other aspects of their businesses.”
Honored at the convention were six suppliers that earned Stag’s “Peach” awards: Camco Manufacturing Inc., Greensboro, N.C.; Winegard Co., Burlington, Iowa; Progressive Manufacturing Inc., West Lebanon, N.H.; Dicor Corp., Elkhart, Ind.; Torklift International, Sumner, Wash.; Westland Sales, Clackamas Ore.
South Bend, Ind.-based Clean Seal Inc. has received new ISO 9001:2008 certification, according to a news release. This international standard certification is for the quality management of all Clean Seal’s products and processes.
Achieving such a rating requires discipline and focus on stringent quality standards, said Vice President and General Manger Bill Dawson, adding, “We are very proud of our ability to provide our new quality system into our products and for our customers.”
Clean Seal is a national manufacturer and distributor of weather stripping materials to the transportation, appliance, bus, rail, boating and recreational vehicle industries. In business since 1978, Clean Seal custom manufactures a variety of shapes and sizes of sealants for customers.
For more information visit www.cleanseal.com.
ASA Electronics, a leading supplier of premium mobile RV electronics, is known for specifically designing, engineering and testing products in an on-site facility to ensure they will withstand the rigors associated with a mobile environment. According to a press release, high quality brands include JENSEN TVs, stereos and speakers, Voyager Observation Systems and Advent rooftop air-conditioners and appliances.
Advent Air, the company’s newest product line, will be introducing an all-digital thermostat to the RV market that will simplify installation by using a single wire connection between the upper unit and the thermostat. This year, units will also be available with an integrated heat pump. Advent Air will also be offering newly designed aerodynamic shrouds in black or white. Plus, the 13.5K or 15K BTU air conditioning units feature a multitude of ceiling assemblies to address a variety of RV A/C applications.
ASA is also offering a revolutionary WiSight digital wireless observation system. This observation system features a monitor along with a camera that installs into the running lights or other 12-volt circuits to help eliminate blind spots and provide vision at the rear of the vehicle. This innovative technology digitally locks the Voyager camera to the monitor so it only communicates with that monitor thus ignoring outside signals and eliminating interference. This new unit is perfect for fifth-wheels and travel trailers because it eliminates wires or cables and the monitor can easily be transferred to any tow vehicle. The system also features a portable, simple mounting solution and a 12-volt DC power plug for the monitor. To learn more about this innovative system and all of its benefits, check out ASA electronics’ video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcZOWfgvgiU.
ASA is also proud to offer state-of-the-art televisions equipped with top-of-the-line features. Its LED TVs have 12-volt DC power which makes them the ideal choice for customers that want to go dry camping. In addition, TV’s have convenient front controls and speakers, conformal coated circuit boards, reinforced mounting points along with including a unified remote for JENSEN stereos. Televisions also feature CEC function with JENSEN CEC-equipped HDMI DVD players. JENSEN CEC automatically turns on the television when a disc is inserted into the DVD player, but only when an HDMI cable is used. This technology can greatly increase the ease of functionality for any user.
Since 1977, ASA Electronics has been an international manufacturer and supplier of mobile electronics to the RV, van, marine, bus, truck and heavy-duty industries. ASA’s proprietary line of products includes:
• JENSEN stereos, speakers, LCD televisions/monitors and DVD players
• JENSEN Marine waterproof/water resistant stereos, speakers, DVD players and accessories
• JENSEN Heavy Duty stereos, speakers and accessories
• Advent microwave ovens, refrigerators and roof-top air-conditioners
• Voyager observation systems
Fifth-wheel hitch supplier PullRite reported that dealers attending the Northern Wholesale and Bell Industries distributor shows last week not only had positive outlooks for 2012, but also purchased product at record-setting levels.
According to a press release, several dealers offered positive reviews on PullRite’s product offerings, including:
• Mick Ferkey, owner of Greeneway RV in Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.: “We’ve proven over the last couple of years that our customers are choosing to buy higher quality American made hitches over cheaper imports. Greeneway sells PullRite’s quality first, rather than offering cheaper hitches that have proven to be disappointing to our customers in the past.”
• Paul and Mark Doughty, owners of North Point RV, Dick’s RV, and Willies RV in Minnesota and Wisconsin: “We really don’t see why we’d sell anyone a manual slider hitch when PullRite offers a higher quality, fully automatic slider hitch at a price that’s so close to those lower quality designs. We know our customers will be happier using the automatic design, and will have fewer frustrations and problems using them.”
• Pat and Mike Noble, owners of Owatonna, Minn.-based based Noble RV: “We’ve seen our sales team enthusiastically selling our customers on the benefits of higher quality features of PullRite, and know that customers who have better products with better experiences are more likely to return to buy again.”
Steve Koehn, national sales manager for Mishawaka, Ind.-based PullRite noted several new products from PullRite were resonating with dealers and consumers, including a new OE Series hitch that fits Ford trucks fitted with the factory prep option and an adapter letting B&W gooseneck hitch owners use PullRite’s SuperGlide hitches for towing fifth-wheels.
Clean Seal Inc. has expanded its marketing presence with social network sites on Facebook and LinkedIn, according to a press release.
“I welcome all customers to follow us and keep up with all that’s happening at Clean Seal,” said Vice President and General Manager Bill Dawson said.
Clean Seal, based in South Bend, Ind., is a national manufacturer and distributor of weather stripping materials to the transportation, appliance, bus, rail, boating and recreational vehicle industries. In business since 1978, Clean Seal custom manufactures a variety of shapes and sizes of sealants for customers.
The company stocks EPDM, Neoprene, Silicone, Nitrile and Dual Durometer extrusions for Just in Time Delivery. Clean Seal also offers vulcanizing services, custom cutting, die cutting, and the application of heat activated adhesive tapes to the extruded rubber and foam seals.
For more information on Clean Seal visit www.cleanseal.com.
To keep up with increasing sales demands, Thetford Corp. is expanding its sales force with a new account manager as Sean Quick will cover the company’s Michigan territory.
According to a press release, Quick was promoted internally to the position from Thetford’s customer service and technical support departments. He has 14 years of experience in sales management in the transportation industry and is a graduate of Western Michigan University.
“Sean is a valuable member of the company,” said Mary Pouliot, Thetford’s director of customer service. “His product knowledge and exceptional customer service standards will take him far in his new position.”
Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., Thetford is a leading supplier of sanitation and refrigeration products for the recreational vehicle, marine and heavy-duty truck industries. Thetford is a privately held company with eight manufacturing facilities in four nations. For more information visit www.thetford.com.
Dicor Corp. is rebranding its companies, which operate independently of each other, to create a uniformity of design message, websites and packaging, according to a report in the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune.
“All of our companies share some very basic philosophies and basic competencies,” said Gregg Fore, president of the Elkhart, Ind.-based supplier who also serves as chairman for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). “Our decision to blend the strengths of the various companies into a single brand began 18 months ago. “It’s a very long process, but I can tell you that only 18 months in, the value is very real.”
Dicor primarily serves recreational vehicle markets throughout North America and is known as a supplier for roofing and wheel products. Over the years, it has expanded its market through acquisitions and startups to include United Shade, which makes window shades — including motorized ones — for RVs; Vixen Composites, a manufacturing system that addresses problems with composites used for RV sidewalls; SealDesign, which manufactures sealants to keep out the weather and insulate RVs; and Window Expression, a subsidiary of United Shade that sells to commercial construction companies instead of the RV industry.
“They are a combination of new startups to fill a market niche or new purchases of companies that we can blend into our core operation,” Fore said. “If a company blends well with our core operational values — that’s what has interest to us.”
The company is growing fast. In the first six months of 2011, revenue increased 15% compared with the same time period in 2010.
“We’ve shown a consistent pattern of growth both in terms of revenue and employment,” Fore said. “We’ve had a lot of longevity with our employment. When I started with the company 21 years ago, we had around 10 employees. Now we have about 120 or so.”
Recently the company has also added new management personnel, facilities and products. This growth and innovation landed the company on the 2011 “Indiana Company to Watch” list.
At the Louisville Show in November, Dicor showcased some of its newest products — some the company has developed and some it is partnering with other companies to make available.
These include an all-new system of RV cabinetry the company brought in from Europe, that simplifies the structure and allows more design techniques and a new composite — a large, flat panel made of all synthetic products — that’s up to 10 feet wide and up to 4 inches in diameter, which is used for an RVs walls.
“We started this brand-new venture in Vixen Composites. It is rare for a private company to start something that no one else is doing,” Fore said.
The South Bend Tribune reported that the company wanted to set itself apart from others of its kind, so it built a machine capable of making up to 10-foot-wide composites. It uses a moving mold process, where the composite is molded as it travels along a production line, rather than a static — or stationary — mold process.
“It has a smaller footprint, fewer emissions, results in a panel that is seamless and has a greater strength than static panels and is lighter in weight than a static mold,” Fore said.
The company’s website demonstrates the strength of the panels with a video showing what happens to a panel when a brick or bowling ball is dropped on it from one story up. (Watch the video on the RVBUSINESS.com home page).
In addition to the composites, Dicor also demonstrated some of its older products at the trade show.
“We played on the long-term history. We’ve been in the roofing industry for almost 22 years and we have a majority market share,” Fore said, explaining that the company also showcased its decorative wheel products, which is a line it has produced for 27 years.
So, what are the company’s plans for the future?
“Well, we don’t want to stop growing. Our goal is to continue down that path. It will be internal growth through market share and through product line. Through acquisition or startup as those things become available to us.”
“It is important to us to build an enterprise that has longevity for the employees, that has teeth, that can continue to grow whether or not I happen to be involved or one of the other partners is involved,” Fore said. “They know that we are trying to do things in the future in their best interest, consequently they will do things today in our best interest.”
RV Comfort Systems has introduced a new stand-alone, all-electric forced air heating system for park model trailers.
According to a press release, the new system does not require a gas furnace to be hooked inline with the electric heater. It has its own fan with cabinet and works with the RV Comfort System’s CheapHeat controller and electric heater. This system is UL certified and RVIA compliant in both the United States and Canada.
The system consists of a multi-position combination-ducted/plenum cabinet that allows the tri-stage heater element to be installed from either side so the system can be used in multiple locations. The press release stated that one of the product’s best features is that a trailer manufacturer is no longer required to place the furnace next to an outside wall for venting, which provides more flexibility in its floorplans.
RV Comfort Systems is based in Bothell, Wash., and is the OEM patent holder for the CheapHeat electric heating system for recreational vehicles. The company will be making its new system available for public purchase on Jan. 1. More information is available by calling 425-408-3140 or visiting www.rvcomfortsystems.com.