The Thor Motor Coach Serrano has moved into the “Top 10” best selling diesel motorhomes as of August 2011, according to Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI), Grand Rapids, Mich.,
In a press release, spokesmen for the Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary indicate that the diesel-powered Serrano has increased by 20% in overall retail sales, which equates to a market share increase of 18.3%.
“Our fuel-efficient Serrano continues to be a hit with motorhome enthusiasts and has had great appeal with consumers looking to buy gas or diesel models,” said Adam Gudger, Thor Motor Coach’s Serrano product manager. “We have recently introduced two great new floorplans which include a 34-foot bath-and-a-half model and a 33-foot model with a full-wall slide and an option for a stackable washer and dryer.”
The 2012 Serrano product offering includes five floorplans ranging from 31- to 34-feet. Built on the reliable Workhorse W-series chassis, the Serrano is powered by a Navistar MaxxForce diesel engine rated at 230-hp with 620 ft.-lb. of torque. With a gross vehicle weight rating starting at 20,500 pounds, Thor Motor Coach said the Serrano has a great power to weight ratio – lower weight overall weight, plus big torque output, equals a smooth running motorhome designed to conserve fuel.
“Consumers are looking for a fuel-efficient diesel with the power to handle mountainous terrain and the Serrano provides these diesel benefits for the price of a typical high-end gas unit,” said Gudger. “Users are getting significant fuel economy increases compared to gas motorhomes while the 36% increase in torque keeps the engine running quieter and more efficiently than comparable gas powered models”.
New interior amenities include an MCD solar and blackout roller shade with ClearView technology, helping keep solar light and heat out of the coach during the day while providing complete darkness for sleeping at night. Sliderooms feature custom hardwood fascia, adding a finished look to the Serrano’s living area, while optional heat pumps for the air conditioners take the chill out of the interior on cool mornings and brisk evenings. Three new exterior paint packages along with two interior decors packages are also available.
For more information visit http://Serrano-RV.com.
Thor Motor Coach continues as the No. 1 retailing brand of motorhomes in North America with 22.93% share through June 2011, according to Statistical Surveys Inc.
In a press release, Thor Motor Coach said the results also show the Thor Industries Inc. division as the fastest growing motorhome brand among the top eight major manufacturers with a 27.9% increase over last year. Class C sales captured the No. 1 market position with an impressive market share growth of 31.50% compared to the previous year.
“Packing in features that include camper favorites like Mega-Storage Compartments, single step entrances and molded fiberglass front caps have helped us solidify our dedication to the Class C market. Over the past six months we have introduced several new floorplans that integrate features making the coach even more livable,” said Mike Savage, Thor Motor Coach’s Class C product manager.
The company said that over the last few months retail customers have responded well to the addition of several impressive new features on the Hurricane and Challenger lines, the redesign of the Tuscany, and several new floor plans on the Windsport, Serrano and A.C.E. lines.
“Our continued focus on what retail customers’ desire helps us to bring innovative floorplans with intelligent features to the market. Our after-the-sale support programs like Concierge Connection and Rapid Response Parts along with the stability of a strong and financially sound company are added reasons consumers continue to display their confidence in our products,” stated Dana Simon, vice president of sales.
Thor Motor Coach announced today (June 23) that it will be introducing its next floorplan in the A.C.E. motorhome series in the coming weeks.
According to a press release, the evolutionary features of the open concept EVO29.2 floorplan, featuring an enclosed bathroom, will “push the A.C.E’s success even further.”
The news comes on the heels of the A.C.E. EV029.1 floorplan earning the No. 3 ranking for retail sales in April among gas Class A coaches in the latest report from Statistical Surveys Inc.
The A.C.E. debuted at last year’s Louisville Show, garnering the “Best of Show” award from RVBusiness magazine. Elkhart, Ind.-based Thor Motor Coach said that the floorplan was built “with a focus on how a customer would use their coach,” combining the best features of a Class A and Class C motorhome with an entry-level price point.
“It is very gratifying to see the retail success of the A.C.E. motorhome,” said Bill Fenech, president and CEO of Thor Motor Coach. “We took the blinders off in designing the A.C.E., and it’s a home run. Our dealers love the product and many are commenting that it’s the best turning motorhome on their lot. Being No. 3 is encouraging, however, we are more focused on building great products with great support. The numbers will follow.”
“We want to be everything to everybody, by offering an extraordinary value for your family,” said Dana Simon, vice president of gas sales for Thor Motor Coach.
“Our goal is simple, to be the best, and the numbers will follow,” Bill Fenech, president and CEO, said in a press release “It has been quite some time since we’ve seen shipments this high. In my opinion, these numbers bring added validation to our team’s complete dedication to building the best motorhomes in the business. Although our dealers’ confidence continues to grow, we maintain cautious optimism by keeping our production levels in-line with retail demand.”
The company reported a 23% increase in April sales and a 36% increase in revenues for the fiscal year, highlighting “the demand for Thor Motor Coach products.” Retail demand continues to rise for Thor Motor Coach diesel products with the largest surge coming from the Tuscany and Serrano brands. The Tuscany year-to-date market share is up 36%, and the Serrano has seen a 64% hike compared to last year.
The newly introduced A.C.E. has made quite the splash in the market with both the retail dealerships and new RVer’s. Rental production is helping to catapult the increased demand. TMC continues to be one of the largest suppliers of rental coaches by partnering with the top RV rental companies in the world.
“Our market shares continue to swell on many products,” said Dana Simon, vice president of gas sales. “We attribute these successes to our market-driven ‘hot products,’ innovative designs, a continued focus on consumer needs and several customer focused programs including the Gold Star Inspection, Concierge Connection and Rapid Response Parts.”
Thor Motor Coach is a full-line manufacturer of several of the top brands on the market that include: A.C.E., Astoria, Avanti, Challenger, Chateau, Chateau Citation, Chateau Citation Sprinter, Daybreak, Four Winds, Four Winds Siesta, Four Winds Siesta Sprinter, Hurricane, Outlaw, Serrano, Tuscany and Windsport.
Thor Motor Coach introduced a new 34SS Daybreak floorplan with an innovative exterior kitchen at the 45th annual Timonium RV show in Maryland.
“We’ve seen an explosion of outside kitchens on towable products, but nothing from motorhome manufacturers. This new upscale exterior kitchen design fits our motorhome demographic and is sure to be a home run,” Mike Peterson, product manager for the Daybreak, stated in a news release.
The Daybreak 34SS floorplan launched with an optional fully functional exterior kitchen on the camp-side of the coach. It features a 15,000 BTU easy clean stainless steel LP grill, 19-inch widescreen HD TV and a 4.6-cubic-foot mini fridge. Another industry first for a motorhome is the integrated single-bowl sink. This sink drains just like the interior sinks, into the grey water holding tank. This is a very desirable upgrade compared to many trailers that simply drain onto the ground.
Bob Wilson, sales manager at Leo’s Vacation Center, was the first person to see the new kitchen when it arrived to the Timonium show. “I was blown away with the new kitchen design. Many of the trailers we carry have a kitchen outside, but to have it in a motorhome really blew me away. Our customers are the big winners on this one.”
“We understand that RVs are not ‘one size fits all,’ so when massive exterior storage is desired over the outside kitchen, the Daybreak 34SS comes standard with an oversized camp-side exterior compartment with the VersaTrac modular storage system,” Peterson said. “The customizable storage system has optional attachments such as hooks, bins, loop, etcetera that makes RV storage a snap.”
Elkhart, Ind.-based Thor Motor Coach (TMC) recently released three new floorplans to its dealer network.
The Tuscany 42FK, Challenger 37KT, and the Four Winds 28Z showcase the latest examples of the consumer driven development process at Thor Motor Coach, according to a news release.
“Increased exterior storage, expandable L-shaped sofas, a feeling of “residential openness,” expansive bathrooms, centrally located televisions and modern kitchen work-spaces are among the popular improvements these new floorplans deliver,” the release stated.
“We have applied the same focus on how owners actually use their coaches as we did during the development of the successful A.C.E. on all new product development including our latest floorplans. These already popular, exciting new floorplan designs are destined to be winners,” said Bill Fenech, Thor Motor Coach’s president and CEO.
Following are more details on the TMC changes.
Tuscany 42FK – Tag axle diesel pusher with enough power to climb any mountain:
- Smooth riding Freightliner chassis with Cummins ISL, 450-HP & 1250-lb,ft torque.
- Colossal basement storage with full pass-through access.
- Expandable sofa that maximizes seating and comfort.
- Custom built residential entertainment center with a 40-inch LCD TV.
- Spacious kitchen with abundant LG Hi-Macs solid surface work space.
- Residential 12-inch by 24-inch polished porcelain tile.
- King bed master suite with substantial wall-to-wall wardrobe.
Challenger 37KT – Class A gas motorhome with diesel-like amenities:
- True residential living with three zones of comfort.
- Large, roomy feeling in every room due to the increased ceiling of 82-inch ceiling height.
- Private living space with 32-inch Sony LCD TV and home theater.
- Side-hinged baggage doors provide easy access to the pass-though basement storage.
- Large kitchen area with a camp side dinette and additional LCD TV in the kitchen area.
- Double entries to the bath allow for easy access from every room.
- Large 34-inch by 34-inch shower.
- The King Bed master suite has a large wardrobe with hanging and drawer space.
Four Winds 28Z – Class C RV with a mid-ship LED TV:
- New single slide floorplan with mid-ship TV.
- Razor thin Vizio LED backlit LCD TV mounted mid-ship, viewable from the sofa, dinette and bunk overhead.
- Kitchen is angled to provide more usable work space without blocking the TV, so the cook can be in the kitchen while the guests are in the living area enjoying the game.
- All-in-one back provides privacy without impeding the walk way to the bedroom.
For more information on Thor Motor Coach motorhomes, call (800) 860.5658, visit http://ThorMotorCoach.com or write Thor Motor Coach, Inc., PO Box 1486., Elkhart, Ind., 46515.
Thor Motor Coach rolled out its “Gold Star Inspection” program today (Feb. 10).
The new program requires every motorhome to pass a 200+ point Gold Star Inspection before it ships to the dealership, according to a news release. In addition, after the dealer accepts delivery of each coach they will be contacted by a Thor Motor Coach customer service representative.
The Gold Star Inspection will include testing of the appliances, LP, electrical, heating, air conditioning and water systems. Each coach will also undergo a road test, high pressure 360 degree rain test, and a detailed review of the coach’s fit and finish.
“Requiring every motorhome we manufacturer to pass our extensive Gold Star Inspection process gets us closer to our goal of a ‘zero-defect’ coach. Our dealers need to know that when they are receiving a Thor Motor Coach product it’s in show ready condition,” said Bill Fenech, president and CEO of Thor Motor Coach. “The dealer’s feedback from the Gold Star Inspection program will be instrumental. It provides us the opportunity to be pro-active with our quality control and customer service efforts, and allows us to make improvements immediately”.
“The personal contact with each dealership is another way for us to let our dealers and customers know that Thor Motor Coach is committed to building a quality product while providing the best service experience in the industry,” stated Janaé Kurtz, vice president of customer service for Thor Motor Coach.
More details are available at http://ThorMotorCoach.com/gold-star-inspection.php.
The Florida RV SuperShow set a new attendance mark with 53,117 people passing the gates of the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa when the show concluded Sunday (Jan. 16) — an increase of 4.7% over 2010.
”There was good attendance and good sales,” said Lance Wilson, executive director of the sponsoring Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA). ”We’ve had good attendance all along (at other SuperShows) but sales at some of the others have lagged a little bit.
”Everybody that I talked to was well into double-digits on sales and some dealers were into triple digits as far as sales are concerned.”
The show missed by fewer than 18 hours severe weather that swept across the Sunshine State spawning rain, high winds and tornado warnings, which hampered workers Monday (Jan. 17) as they were disassembling show displays.
”Thank heavens, it didn’t happen yesterday,” said Andy Baer, general manager of KZRV LP, Shipshewana, Ind., who reported strong sales during the five-day show.
Billed as among the largest RV shows in the U.S. with more than 450 vendors and 1,065 display coaches registered this year, the Florida RV SuperShow often sets the stage for the late-winter retail season.
”I’ve been coming to the SuperShow since 1994, and I’d have to say this was one of the best I’ve been too,” Baer said. ”And I’m not talking just about sales. It’s so nice to talk to people who are so very positive. It’s like someone flipped a switch. Everybody was very upbeat.”
”There was a lot of buying going on,” said Andy Cripe, a division manager for Keystone RV Co., Elkhart, Ind. ”I’m not going to say it was record-breaking, but it was sustainable. We saw real prudent buyers and even with the more stringent financing terms, a lot of people put cash down and bought.”
”Hopefully, this is a sign of what is going to happen in 2011,” said Matt Thompson, Elkhart-based Thor Motor Coach diesel division vice president, who reported that the company’s new A.C.E Class A motorhome sold particularly well. ”If it is (a sign), it should be a very good year for the RV industry. Thor Motor Coach did very well at the show as a company.”
Ed Kinney, Carriage Inc., Millersburg, Ind., vice president of sales and marketing, termed attendance and sales ”incredible.”
”The high-line fifth-wheel market was really hot,” Kinney said. ”The SuperShow always sets the tone for the year. For Carriage, it’s going to be an unbelievably great year.”
Based on Tampa and initial returns from other early winter shows, meanwhile, 2011 is looking pretty good for Elkhart, Ind.-based Forest River Inc.
“Taking into account the first two weeks of shows, Pittsburg was a good show and the Cleveland Show was the best we’ve had in years,” National Sales Manager Jeff Babcock told RVBUSINESS.com. “And the Tampa Show, finishing up this past weekend, ended up better than years past. So, it’s a great start, and we’re looking for a good year.
“We think it’s going to break loose here this year.”
Roger Martin, Winnebago Industries Inc. vice president of sales and marketing, said the Forest City, Iowa-based motorized manufacturer, was ”thrilled with traffic and sales activity” at the show.
”Dealers representing us there reported sales activity nearly three times better than last year, Martin said.
Thor Motor Coach, manufacturer of Class A gas and diesel, Class C and Class B+ motorhomes, has announced the addition of veteran motorized sales executive Adam Gudger to its staff.
Gudger, the new U.S. Southeastern Territory district sales manager for the diesel division of Thor Motor Coach, brings with him over 10 years of diesel motorhome sales experience, according to a news release. Gudger is already familiar with the Southeast, as he managed it from 2001 until 2006. In addition to dealer training, account development, and servicing the dealer network, Gudger will be involved with diesel product development.
A graduate of the University of Oregon, he is relocating his family to Northern Indiana to be based out of the Thor Motor Coach sales headquarters in Elkhart, Ind.
“Words cannot describe how excited I am to join the Thor Motor Coach diesel team. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime to work with such a talented group of people,” Gudger said. ”My 10 years in the business has evolved into a real love for diesel motorhomes and a constant desire to help create more competitive products. Additionally, I look forward to building strong relationships with my new dealer partners, and doing my part to help further their retail sales success. With this team and our hot products I see a very bright future here at Thor Motor Coach.”
“Adam brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with a great understanding of our retail customer’s perspective. We have built a phenomenal diesel team and he’s a great addition. I’m sure Adam will become a valuable asset to Thor Motor Coach and our dealers in the Southeast,” said Matt Thompson, general manager of the Diesel Division for Thor Motor Coach.
Gudger can be reached at (574) 584-3646 or AGudger@TMCRV.com
Thor Motor Coach President and CEO Bill Fenech is calling the latest Louisville Show a “huge success” for his Thor Industries Inc. division.
“The Louisville show was a huge success,” Fenech stated today (Dec. 14) in a press release. “The dealer attitudes toward all our products and company were phenomenal. The new ‘Best in Show’ A.C.E and our diesel pushers stole the show.”
“This is a very good indication of future business and we anticipate strong production rates for the upcoming year,” added Fenech, who created Thor Motor Coach this year by combining two Thor divisions, Four Winds International Corp. and Damon Motor Coach, that previously had been separate operations under his divisional management.
Prior to the 48th Annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky, Thor Motor Coach maintained its increased production levels throughout the fall with anticipation of additional increases for the upcoming year, the release states.
Rental orders are strong as well, which helps to support the production projections. “With increased production rates,” the release notes, “there is an elevated overall optimism, providing an opportunity to invest towards the future.”
Elkhart, Ind.-based Thor Motor Coach also reports that it:
- Just committed to the largest rear diesel chassis order to date and placed large Ford Class A & C chassis orders as well.
- Has purchased additional lamination equipment and is expanding its lamination facilities.
- Will shut down for only one week for the Christmas holidays.
- Is now utilizing as standard equipment the Cummins ISL 450HP diesel engine in its tag-axle Tuscany motorhomes, including a new 42FK floorplan.
For more information, go to http://ThorMOtorCoach.com.