Middlebury, Ind.-based EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC announced today (July 18) that Chris Daniels has been appointed regional sales manager of its south central region.
According to a press release, Daniels will represent EverGreen’s i-GO, Sun Valley and the new Amped toy hauler brands while overseeing all sales activities and retail training within the central United States. Daniels brings over 10 years of sales experience, having worked for some of the best-known brands in the RV industry.
“I enjoy working for a company that has an outstanding track record for building a high-quality, long-lasting product,” said Daniels. “The regional sales manager position offers me the opportunity to build relationships with clients throughout the country and gain lifelong friendships that extend much further than the business aspect of this industry.”
Daniels resides in Fort Wayne, Ind., with his wife and three children.
Riverside, Calif.-based towable builder Pacific Coachworks Inc. (PCW) reported that RV sales for the first quarter showed an increase of 30% when compared to the first quarter of 2012, according to a press release.
“We anticipate that growth to persist through the summer season,” said Brett Bashaw, CEO/president of the privately held company. “We have had great success with our products that include toy haulers, fifth-wheels and the more traditional travel trailers. As the economy improves, the RV industry is steadily bouncing back and more consumers taking vacations are opting for vacation homes on wheels.”
PCW said it partners with RV dealers throughout the United States and Canada for the sale of its Econ, Tango and Panther travel trailers, as well as its Sandsport and Powerlite toy haulers and fifth-wheels. “These dealers are committed to providing recreational vehicles that will suit the customer’s needs,” Bashaw noted, adding that the company’s website includes a dealer finder option.
For more information visit http://www.pacificcoachworks.com, e-mail email@example.com or call (951) 686-7294.
Pacific Coachworks Inc. (PCW) recently named Paul Skrivanich as sales representative for the company’s Panther and Powerlite lines of travel trailers and fifth-wheels.
According to a press release, Skrivanich was previously sales manager at Camping World RV where he was responsible for recruiting and leading sales staff, conducting training sessions and increasing retail sales and profits of towable and motorized RVs. At PCW he will further develop sales in the Southwest territory and grow relationships with dealers.
In addition, Chris Gonzales joined the Riverside, Calif.-based builder as a sales representative, promoting the Tango travel trailer line and Sandsport toy haulers. An industry veteran, Gonzales recently managed his own wholesale business where he successfully increased the dealer network in seven states and British Columbia, Canada, while managing all aspects of dealer operations.
In his new role, Gonzales is responsible for developing sales and growing PCW’s relationships with dealers within the Pacific Northwest and Canada.
“We’re pleased to have Paul and Chris on board with the PCW team,” said Jeff Daily, general manager of Pacific Coachworks. “Their vast experience in the RV industry will undoubtedly assist in further enhancing PCW’s growth and brand recognition.”
Goshen, Ind.-based Keystone RV Co. announced today (Feb. 14) that sales for the month of January set an all-time record in the builder’s 17-year history. According to a press release, sales across all segments — travel trailers, fifth-wheel trailers and toy haulers — were strong.
Keystone RV president Matt Zimmerman noted, “Certainly we are extremely pleased with the overall results from January but even more excited to hear what Keystone dealers are telling us about our products in the marketplace. Keystone brands are attracting strong interest, drawing crowds at shows and retailing quickly on dealers’ lots. This is a win for Keystone and our dealers.”
Zimmerman credits Keystone’s product development teams along with its dealer body for the company’s success in January.
“The way we are winning at Keystone is changing, and January’s sales results are evidence of that,” he said. “Each brand has created its own unique identity to help distinguish the brand from the rest of the field. Dealers welcome this approach and have responded with increased orders. Retail customers also have responded with increased interest and purchases.”
Zimmerman said the company is optimistic that 2013 will remain strong, and is closely watching its internal tracking numbers in order to keep production in balance with demand.
“This is as critical as product development,” he noted. “There is a difference between ‘force-feeding’ records and achieving record-setting results naturally. At Keystone, we are committed to getting the whole package right for our dealers, which includes making sure we have adequate supply of the right products while not overbuilding.”
For additional company information, visit www.Keystonerv.com.
Winnebago Industries Inc. announced the appointments of Matthew Popovic and Jordan Mault as regional sales managers for Winnebago Industries Towables.
According to a press release, Popovic is responsible for sales of the company’s Winnebago brand travel trailer and fifth-wheel products on the East Coast of the United States and Canada, while Mault is responsible for sales of the SunnyBrook brand products on the East Coast of the U.S.
Popovic, 39, rejoined Winnebago Industries Towables in January 2013, having previously served as a sales manager for the company, as well as in sales and product management positions with other national RV manufacturers.
A native of South Bend, Ind., Popovic attended Southern Illinois University.
Mault, 27, recently joined Winnebago Industries Towables and formerly served in sales positions for another national RV manufacturer.
A native of Goshen, Ind., Mault graduated from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., with a bachelor’s in finance.
CrossRoads RV has launched its redesigned website that “embodies the company’s forward-thinking vision and commitment to the growing needs of its customers and dealers,” according to a press release.
The site’s home page offers a clean uncluttered design to enhance navigation, allowing users to quickly find the information they are seeking.
“We are very pleased with the look, feel and usability of our new website and think our customers will be pleased too,” said Kathy Fuller, marketing manager for the Topeka, Ind.-based Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary. “This launch lays the groundwork for ongoing evolution and expansion with new features and improvements being made continually. And it represents CrossRoads’ NGV brand theme of ‘doing things different.’”
In addition to full product descriptions, photo galleries and 360 degree interiors the site offers a media area that will provide dealers and industry professionals with the ability to get logos, product photography and floorplans instantly for print and other applications.
To access the new site visit www.crossroadsrv.com.
Topeka, Ind.-based towable builder CrossRoads RV announced that Jamie Buckmeier has taken over as director of engineering, replacing long-time employee Lavern Bontrager. According to a press release, the change was affective Sept. 19.
“Lavern Bontrager was the fourth employee hired at CrossRoads,” said Joel DeVries, vice president of materials management for the Thor Industries Inc. subsdiary. “He has been an integral part of CrossRoads’ history. His energy, enthusiasm and can-do attitude will be sorely missed but we wish him every happiness and success in his future endeavors.”
Bontrager will be transitioning his role to Buckmeier over the next few weeks. Buckmeier’s background includes serving as director of product development and engineering for Jayco Inc. In prior roles, he focused on concept development, including spearheading the team which developed the first motorized Class A toy hauler. His formal education includes both a bachelor’s from Iowa State University in industrial technology and certification as a manufacturing technologist.
“As CrossRoads continues to grow, we need to focus on building departments, creating systems and processes that will give us a solid foundation to succeed,” says DeVries. “Jamie has a successful history of team building, product development and integrating technology into processes. These are exactly the skills we need at grow CrossRoads to the next NGV Rock Star level. Our entire staff is pleased that Jamie has joined us.”
During this week’s Elkhart County RV Open House, dealers were introduced to the new Dealer Support Crew (DSC) initiative by Topeka, Ind.-based CrossRoads RV.
According to a press release, the DSC team is focused on “creating the best dealer relationships in the industry by increasing the overall number of dealer visits by CrossRoads RV staff.”
The company reported that response was positive during the Open House as dealers “have expressed appreciation that CrossRoads is looking outside of sales, in a pro-active way to support the dealerships.”
Don Emahiser, CrossRoads RV president, has made it a mandate within CrossRoads to understand dealers by looking at things from the dealer perspective. “The DSC team is a way to close the information gap and find new ways to strengthen our dealer relationships,” says Emahiser. “Our dealers are embracing the idea whole-heartedly.”
Dealer are signing up now for immediate visits by the DSC team to assist with all aspects of business between dealers and CrossRoads. The goal is to strengthen the ownership experience through enhanced customer service, better parts support, more product training and great delivery involvement as a manufacturer.
To watch an accompanying video by WSBT TV, South Bend, Ind., click here.
A good indicator of the turnaround in the RV industry is the RV Open House being held in Indiana’s Elkhart County this week. According to a report by WSBT, South Bend, RV makers large and small are rolling out the red carpet, showing dealers from across the country the latest models.
One local company was able to weather the economic downturn without laying off workers. Open Range RV Co., is based in Shipshewana and is a true mom-and-pop company started by Randy Graber and his wife back in 2007 with six employees.
The company weathered the recession without laying off any workers and now employs about 300 people. Owners credit their success to finding and developing a niche market.
“The industry had a lot of product out there, and I knew that we couldn’t just get in this market and build something like everybody else,” said Graber. “If we were going to get in, we had to have something different and unique.”
Their business philosophy is to build RVs and constantly tweak and improve them – fifth-wheels at first, travel trailers later.
“We did start with the fifth-wheels with a lot of unique ideas that no one else had, and that sets up apart and gave us a product that hit the ground running and was very successful out there, stood out in the crowd, and we have just been doing that since,” said Graber.
The fact the company is a family owned operation that has developed a successful niche market has not gone unnoticed by dealers across the country, many of whom are glad to be doing business with them.
“Randy’s a very innovative guy,” said Missouri RV dealer Glenn Thomas. “He is always doing, changing floor plans, making new ideas. He doesn’t usually copy what other people do. A lot of people copy what he does.”
“This is our third year coming, and Open Range has grown quite a bit, and we are seeing more sales reps and a lot more representation, and it’s kind of nice to see a company do so well,” said RV dealer Tony Staab of Nebraska.
The Open House for dealers started Monday and runs through Thursday (Sept. 20), mostly centered along County Road 6 and at the RV/MH Hall of Fame on County Road 17.
Middlebury, Ind.-based EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC will be launching its new 2013 Sun Valley travel trailer during next week’s Elkhart County RV Open House.
According to a press release, the Sun Valley trailer line will debut to dealers Sept. 18-20 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. as part of EverGreen’s display on Executive Parkway near the entrance to the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart.
The Sun Valley travel trailer, designed with the input of RV enthusiasts and dealers, is lightweight, easy-to-tow and utilizes many of the same design features incorporated in other EverGreen brands while featuring many of the most popular floorplans.
In addition to displaying new product, EverGreen will be hosting a “Hog Roast Celebration” on Sept. 19 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at its exhibit area in Elkhart. For more information visit www.GoEverGreenRV.com.
Topeka, Ind.-based towable builder CrossRoads RV has increased the sales force for its Elevation toy hauler, according to a press release.
“Toy haulers are a growth market as people take back their leisure time activities. We want to ensure our dealers receive the best support we can provide,” said Doug Graham, product manager. “Adding more staff will help us build closer relationships with our current dealers and provide exceptional support to new dealers.”
Personnel moves include:
• Marc Rief has been promoted to regional sales manager. Rief has been part of the Elevation sales team for several months. States included in Reif’s region are Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas as well as the Canadian territories of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Reif can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or (574) 849-9845.
• James Messenger has been hired as regional sales manager for the southeast region that includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Messenger has been involved in the RV industry for over five years. Contact Messenger at email@example.com or (574) 850-3481.
• Andrew Decker has been brought in as sales support. Decker will be located in the Topeka office, where he will serve as on-site support. Decker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the corporate office (260) 593-3850.
Shipshewana, Ind.-based KZRV LP has introduced the Durango Sandlewood Edition fifth-wheel, featuring an infused champagne full-body exterior. According to a press release, the new model is available in both the mid-profile Durango 1500 and full-profile Durango fifth-wheels.
The Sandlewood Edition is trimmed out with black accents and will have the newly redesigned Durango aerodynamic front cap. Available in over 20 floorplans, models range from 27 feet, 11 inches to 39 feet in length with weights running from 7,100 to 11,000 pounds. MSRP’s start around $37,900.
In addition, Durango fifth-wheels are covered by KZRV’s two-year warranty that protects against defects in materials and workmanship.
“We are excited to offer full-body color in the Durango line,” said Andy Baer, vice president of sales. “Durango has always brought unmatched craftsmanship and functionality to our customers. We will be introducing the Sandlewood Edition at the Elkhart County RV Open House.”
Baer added, “This year, KZ will be displaying product lines at two locations. Our primary location will be at County Road 6 and County Road 15 in Elkhart. As an added convenience, dealers are always welcome to view products at our corporate headquarters in Shipshewana.”
Dates for KZ’s fall open house are Sept. 17-20. For more information e-mail email@example.com.
Towable builder EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC will be introducing several new floorplans, decors and innovations during a Sept. 18-20 dealer open house along Executive Pkwy. near the RV/MH Hall of Fame.
Running in conjunction with the 5th Annual Elkhart County RV Open House, EverGreen will be displaying products from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to showing product, EverGreen will be hosting a hog roast on Sept. 19 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
“The New EverGreen is all about preserving the legacy elements that have shaped and built the EverGreen brand, such as durability, quality construction practices and lightweight, easy-to-tow travel trailers and fifth-wheel brands,” said EverGreen President Mark Boessler. “It is also about keeping pace with what our dealers and customers want – the best products at the best price. I am confident that based on our nationwide dealer input, we will be releasing products at our open house that will surely impress both our dealers and retail customers.”
Planned introductions include:
• Bay Hill – Being unveiled for the first time, the new fifth-wheel line features some “must-see industry-first innovations,” according to EverGreen.
• Sun Valley – An all-new line of competitively priced travel trailers with luxury styling and quality design features.
• Ascend – EverGreen’s lightest and most affordable travel trailer built for value, durability and ease of tow-ability.
• EverLite – EverGreen’s ground-breaking and industry leading flagship brand which has a reputation for quality and innovation.
• iGo – An easy-to-tow travel trailer that has quickly become one of EverGreen’s hottest sellers.
• Lifestyle Luxury RV – A preview of EverGreen’s high-end, feature-rich premier line of fifth wheels.
Editor’s Note: Robert W. Baird & Co. issued a client newsletter to investors following the April towable sales report from Statistical Surveys Inc. The following offers a summary of the results.
U.S. towable retail up in June. Dealer towable unit sales increased 2% in June, according to Statistical Surveys Inc.. The slight increase in June follows a strong increase in May, which was revised to +15% from +11%. Before adjusting for late-reporting states, U.S. towable retail is up 9% so far this year.
Towable demand up 2% in June. U.S. towable unit sales rose 2% in June and are up 9% YTD. Travel trailer registrations increased 2% (+10% YTD), while fifth-wheel sales grew just under 1% (+4% YTD).
Inventory. Results of our June RV dealer survey suggested that inventory has thinned after relatively aggressive stocking earlier in the year. Presently, we believe dealers are content with current inventory levels, and will reassess inventory needs as the September 18-19th open house approaches.
Thor. According to Statistical Surveys, Thor’s share of the combined travel trailer and fifth-wheel market has dipped to 38.1% from 39.2% through June. After adjusting for late-reporting states, we project Thor’s U.S. retail in May/June increased 7-10%, which compares to our expectation for 10% growth in May/June/July for Thor in North America. Given the unknown impact of July, Canada and late-reporting states, our expectation for 10% retail growth seems reasonable. Recall that Thor reported strong preliminary wholesale sales results for the July quarter, including an 18% increase in RV wholesale revenue and a 20% jump in the RV backlog (includes motorhome and towables).
Winnebago. According to the source, Winnebago is gaining a little share in towables after its Sunnybrook acquisition, albeit off a small base. Winnebago increased its YTD towables share from 0.6% to 0.8%. We expect the Winnebago brand to have a larger impact over time.
This summary of a Baird research report is not intended as investment advice. To participate in Baird surveys and receive research reports, contact Craig R. Kennison, CFA, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Topeka, Ind.-based towable builder Starcraft RV Inc. will host an open house September 18-20 as part of the 5th Annual Elkhart County RV Open House Week. According to a press release, Starcraft will be displaying product from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 2702 Ada Dr. in Elkhart, just off of County Road 6.
During the week, Starcraft will showcase 35 towable models from its 2013 towable lineup, 18 of which are new or redesigned. On display will be the new AR-ONE WideBody series, an addition to the popular AR-ONE, a lightweight, family-friendly unit. Also, the Travel Star EXP will feature two new floorplans, one with a slideout and another featuring a king-sized bed.
“With our display being one-third larger than last year we are very excited for the open house.” said Starcraft National Sales Manager Brent Froman. “We have several new price points being featured, so we have some big expectations for this year’s open house.”
Starcraft, a division of Jayco Inc., will use the open house as a platform to introduce many “exciting changes and brand new additions” to its camping trailer offerings, including a new Comet RT Off-Road series and new floorplans that will appeal to a broader camping trailer market.
Starcraft’s regional sales managers will be on-site during the open house hours Tuesday through Thursday to talk with dealers. “We enjoy the open house because it lets us reconnect with our current dealers, connect with new ones and show everything Starcraft has to offer for 2013.” commented Froman.
In addition to the units, Starcraft will also provide lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday for visitors.