In a tradition that began in 1986, Winnebago recognized dealers for “excellence in customer satisfaction as it relates to the customers’ sales and service experience,” according to a press release. This year, 102 dealers were honored with the Circle of Excellence award.
“I am very proud of the quality of our dealer network,” said Winnebago Vice President of Sales and Product Management Scott Degnan. “We were very pleased to recognize 102 outstanding dealers that earned this year’s Circle of Excellence award at a program held last night. These dealers are simply the best in the industry and have a proven commitment to provide excellent customer service to our retail customers They have a knowledgeable sales staff, qualified service technicians and quality warranty and after-market service support for customers. These dealers are the reason our Winnebago name is recognized as the leader in the motorhome industry.”
Circle of Excellence scoring is determined by rating dealers in four categories:
• A Purchase and Delivery Satisfaction Study which is direct customer feedback after the purchase of a motorhome.
• A Customer Satisfaction Study which surveys customers six months after their purchase.
• A Sales and Marketing Assessment that evaluates a dealership’s sales, market share, stocking levels and participation in product training and the WIT Club.
• A Service/Parts Assessment that evaluates a dealership’s warranty/parts inventory, service training and certified technicians, and traveling customer care.
Since its inception 29 years ago, three dealerships have achieved Circle of Excellence status each year the award has been presented. They are:
• Lazydays RV, Seffner, Fla.
• McClain’s RV Superstore, Oklahoma City
• Pleasureland, St. Cloud, Minn.
Following is the complete list of the 2014 Circle of Excellence award winners, including 14 first-time award winners indicated with an asterisk.
Great Alaskan Holidays, Anchorage
Camping World RV Sales, Calera*
Camping World RV Sales of Dothan*
Camping World RV Sales, Lowell*
Affinity RV Service, Sales & Rentals, Prescott
La Mesa RV Center, Tucson
Camping World RV Sales, Roseville
Giant RV, Montclair
La Mesa RV, San Diego
Mike Thompson Recreational Vehicles, Colton*
Mike Thompson Recreational Vehicles, Santa Fe Springs
Pan Pacific RV Centers, French Camp
Camping World RV SuperCenter, Fountain
Transwest Truck Trailer RV, Frederick
Parkview RV Supercenter, Smyrna
Camping World RV Sales, Dover*
Camping World of Fort Myers, Ft. Myers
Camping World RV Sales, Holiday*
Camping World RV Sales, Jacksonville*
Camping World RV Sales, Midway
Camping World RV Sales, St. Augustine
Camping World RV Sales, Summerfield
La Mesa RV Center, Sanford
Camping World RV Sales of Woodstock, Woodstock*
Barrington Motor Sales, Bartlett
Winnebago Motor Homes, Rockford
Camp-Land, Burns Harbor
Harrison RV, Jefferson
Leach Camper Sales, Council Bluffs
Lichtsinn Motors, Forest City
US Adventure RV, Davenport
Beckley’s Camping Center, Thurmont
Diamond R.V. Centre, Hatfield
Flagg RV, Uxbridge
General RV Center, Mt. Clemens
General RV Center, Wayland
General RV Center, Wixom
Pleasureland RV Center – North Metro, Ramsey
Pleasureland, St. Cloud
Universal Power/Marine/RV, Rochester
Reliable RV, Springfield
Wheelen R-V Center, Joplin
Reliable RV Center, Biloxi
Leach Camper Sales of Lincoln, Lincoln
Colonial Itasca, Lakewood
Chisolm Trail RV, Albuquerque
Rocky Mountain RV World, Albuquerque
Camping World RV Sales of Syracuse, Syracuse
Bill Plemmons RV World, Raleigh
Bill Plemmons RV World, Rural Hall
Camping World of Raleigh, Garner*
Tom Johnson Camping Center, Concord
Tom Johnson Camping Center, Marion
Dave Arbogast RV and Boat Depot, Troy
General RV Center, North Canton Lewis RV, Dayton
RCD Sales, Sunbury
Shafer’s Truck and RV Sales, Delta
Dean’s RV Superstore, Tulsa
McClain’s RV Superstore, Oklahoma City
Guaranty RV Centers, Junction City
Roberson RV Center, Salem
The RV Corral, Eugene
All Seasons RV, Easton
Grumbine’s RV, Harrisburg
Ray Wakley’s Car Care & RV Center, North East
Tom Schaeffer’s RV Super Store, Shoemakersville
Arlington RV Supercenter, East Greenwich
Dakota RV, Rapid City*
Buddy Gregg Motor Homes, Knoxville
Chilhowee RV Center, Louisville
Cullum & Maxey Camping Center, Nashville
Shipp’s RV Centers, LLC, Chattanooga
Billy Sims Trailer Town – Lubbock, Lubbock
Camping World RV Sales, Anthony
Camping World RV Supercenter, New Braunfels*
Crestview RV Georgetown, Georgetown
Jack Sisemore Traveland, Amarillo
McClain’s RV Rockwall, Rockwall
McClain’s RV Superstore, Fort Worth
McClain’s RV Superstore N. Dallas, Corinth
Ron Hoover Companies of Donna, Donna*
Ron Hoover Companies of Houston, Houston*
Ronnie Bock’s Kerrville RV, Kerrville
Motor Sportsland, Salt Lake City
Camping World RV Sales, Roanoke*
McGeorge’s Rolling Hills RV, Ashland
Reines RV Center, Manassas
Snyder’s RV, Salem
Snyder’s RV, Virginia Beach
Poulsbo RV, Kent
R ‘N’ R RV Center, Liberty Lake
Roy Robinson Motorhomes, Marysville
Russ Dean Family RV, Pasco
Uhlmann RV, Chehalis
Horn’s Sales & Service, Sheboygan
Carefree Coach & RV, Edmonton
Okanagan Travel Land, Summerland
Voyager RV Centre, Winfield
Forest City Motor Homes, Ltd., Thorndale
Sicard RV, Smithville
Winnebago Industries Inc. today (April 15) unveiled new 2015 models to the company’s dealer partners during its annual Dealer Days event at The Mirage in Las Vegas. According to a press release, introductions included the all-new Brave and Tribute, Grand Tour and Ellipse Ultra motorhome lines.
The Forest City, Iowa-based builder blended vintage with a modern twist in the rollout of the 2015 Brave and Tribute. In the ’60’s and ’70’s, there was no mistaking a Winnebago motorhome with the distinctive “eyebrow” design and flying W logo, and the new Brave and Tribute breathe new life into the legendary design. Beyond the retro styling, the Brave and Tribute are loaded with today’s best features and offered in two versatile floorplans with exciting color schemes like Good Vibration with Cherry Cola Cherry cabinets, as well as a price to fit the budget of a young, traveling family.
“This is the most exciting product launch I’ve ever been involved with,” said Winnebago Chairman, CEO and President Randy Potts. “The new Brave and Tribute are going to take the market by storm. The retro, yet modern image they project is fun, while they offer great new features that are sure to capture the eye of new buyers.”
Also making its debut at the dealer event is the new Grand Tour Class A diesel pusher, and its counterpart, the Ellipse Ultra. The tag-axle Grand Tour and Ellipse Ultra each feature unique, high-end features such as a large skylight with powered shade in the front lounge/cab area, polished porcelain tile flooring, keyless entry, and four full-body paint packages. Multiplex switch panels located throughout the all-electric coach allow you to control exterior and interior lights, hydraulic jacks, MCD power shades and slideout rooms.
Several 2015 products received exterior redesigns, including the Class A gas-powered Vista and Sunstar lines, Class A diesel Via and Reyo lines and the Class C View and Navion on the 24V and 24G floorplans. New standard features are included across all product lines, and exciting new floorplans are also included in the Journey, Meridian, Vista,Sunstar, Tour and Ellipse motorhome lines.
Winnebago Towables debuted the new Micro Minnie trailer and two new fifth-wheels, the Voyage and Latitude. The new Micro Minnie trailer is under 3,000 pounds and features a new “cool gray” exterior color. The Voyage and Latitude lines provide exciting new mid-profile and full-profile fifth-wheel choices and the Ultralight line has been expanded to six available floorplans. The Ultralight and the Voyage both offer graphic options and corresponding LED lights that are in color choices of red, green or blue.
“They hit the nail on the head with the new Brave retro look,” said Carl Jensen from Sierra RV, Sunset, Utah. “The updated interior styling was wonderful and the colors are bright and fresh. The new Brave and Tribute will appeal to all ages.”
Thousands of visitors come to the University of Iowa each year to visit Rusty the Giant Sloth, learn about the state’s first capitol, and see how Iowa’s landscape has changed over the centuries.
Iowa Now reported that starting this week, the UI Pentacrest Museums and Office of the State Archaeologist are bringing some of the state’s natural and cultural treasures to Iowa communities in a new Mobile Museum.
The 38-foot-long RV — custom-built by Winnebago Industries Inc. in Forest City — makes its inaugural appearance next weekend at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge for the Iowa Academy of Science meeting April 11-12 before heading to Decorah, Osage, and Council Bluffs, to name a few of the scheduled destinations.
“This is a museum built in Iowa, by Iowans, for Iowans,” says Dan Reed, vice president for research and economic development, whose office includes the Pentacrest Museums and State Archaeologist.
To read the entire article click here.
According to a press release, Upham is responsible for sales of the company’s Winnebago, Itasca and Winnebago Touring Coach motorhomes, as well as dealer development and training for dealers in the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia.
Upham has previous experience as an RV product sales specialist with Fleetwood RV Inc. Prior to joining Winnebago, he owned and operated several businesses in the financial and customer service industries. Upham also taught business classes at the college level after receiving his MBA.
Upham is a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and received his bachelor’s and MBA from Taylor University, Ft. Wayne, Ind. Upham resides in Wilmington, N.C.
Although the severe winter had an effect on Winnebago Industries Inc. during the second quarter of fiscal year 2014, the company was able to overcome it, Winnebago’s Chairman, CEO and President Randy Potts said Thursday (March 27) in a conference call with investors.
The Mason City Globe Gazette reported that despite inefficiencies created by severe weather, the company posted revenues of $228.8 million, an operating income of $14 million and a net income of $9.6 million for the second quarter that ended on March 1. When compared to the same quarter of fiscal year 2013, revenues increased by 29.2%, operating income increased by 58.2% and net income increased by 52.6% in the second quarter of fiscal year 2014.
“I just can’t imagine any other group pulling it off quite as well as this team did,” Potts said of the company’s more than 2,000 employees.
The winter caused the motorhome company to close several days, work shifts with people who couldn’t get to work and adjust work days, Potts said. It also caused problems with deliveries, increased utilities and created general inefficiencies, said Sarah Nielsen, the company’s CFO.
The ability to overcome challenges from severe weather contributed to the bottom line but so did increased sales of motor homes, Nielsen said when the company announced its fiscal quarter results Thursday morning.
To read the entire article click here.
Driven by strong motorhome performance, Winnebago Industries Inc. reported a 52.6% increase in net income on 29.2% growth in revenue for its second quarter, ended March 1.
Sales during the period totaled $228.8 million versus $177.2 million the previous year while earnings rose to $9.6 million, or 35 cents per diluted share, from $6.3 million, or 22 cents per diluted share. Second-quarter operating income rose 58.2% to $14 million.
The Forest City, Iowa-based builder reported that earnings growth in the second quarter was driven by motorhome unit growth, coupled with gross margin improvement and incremental leverage of operating expenses. However, the improvement in earnings was mitigated due to various factors, including severe winter weather conditions that caused inefficiencies and brought about greater expenses.
Revenue growth in the second quarter was primarily comprised of motorhome unit growth of 44.8%, partially offset by lower motorhome average selling prices (ASPs) of 9.8% as a result of product mix. Year-over-year, second-quarter Class A unit deliveries grew 26.8%, Class B unit deliveries improved 108.4% and Class C unit deliveries increased 62.4%.
Additionally, second-quarter towable unit deliveries grew 4.9% and towable ASPs improved 9.4%, contributing to 15.4% gain in sales and a positive earnings contribution. Year-over-year, second-quarter travel trailer towable unit deliveries increased 5.7% and fifth-wheel towable unit deliveries increased 1.8%.
Gross profit as a percentage of revenues improved to 10% in the second quarter compared to 9.7% in the same period of fiscal 2013, an improvement of 30 basis points. The increase was primarily attributable to greater delivery volumes, partially offset by higher costs due to weather-related production delays, a temporary component outsourcing program, and higher utility expenses.
Revenues for the 26 weeks of fiscal 2014 were $451.5 million, an increase of 21.8%, from $370.7 million for the 27 weeks of fiscal 2013. The sales growth was primarily comprised of motorhome unit growth of 37.5%, partially offset by lower motorhome ASPs of 10% as a result of product mix. Comparing the first half of fiscal 2014 to the same period the previous year, operating income rose 59.6% to $30 million, net income grew 51.6% to $20.7 million, and diluted earnings per increased 54.2% to 74 cents from 48 cents.
As previously announced, Winnebago received a large incremental rental order from Apollo Motorhome Holidays, an RV rental company, to be delivered during the third quarter. The order is for approximately 500 units, however, Winnebago has contractually agreed to repurchase up to two thirds of the units at specified prices after one season of rental use.
The company said that only one-third of the order will be reported as typical motorhome sales during the third quarter. The other two-thirds of the units will be accounted for as lease revenue on a straight line basis over the period the units are held by Apollo due to the repurchase option. As a result, only one-third of these units are reported in unit order backlog as of March 1.
To view the full report click Q2_2014 Earnings Release.
Winnebago Industries Inc. has named Russ Hunt to the position of service district manager.
According to a press release, Hunt will be assisting Winnebago, Itasca and Winnebago Touring Coach dealers in building strong service and parts operations with an emphasis on efficiency and customer satisfaction, as well as recommending and promoting training for service and parts personnel. Hunt will provide technical and service support to Winnebago dealers in Nevada, Southern California, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.
Prior to joining Winnebago, Hunt was service manager for Camping World in Colorado Springs, Colo., and also previously worked as an RV technician for Blaine Jensen RV in Kaysville, Utah.
Hunt is a native of Kaysville and attended Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. He is certified as an RVDA/RVIA master technician and currently resides in Colorado Springs.
Winnebago Industries Inc. plans to issue on March 27 its financial results for the company’s second quarter of fiscal 2014, ended March 1.
The report will be available no earlier than 6 a.m. CDT in the “Investor Relations” section of the ompany’s website at: www.winnebagoind.com/investor.
Winnebago will also host a conference call on March 27 at 9 a.m. CDT to discuss the second-quarter results. The conference call may be heard live via the company’s website, http://www.winnebagoind.com/
Winnebago Industries Inc. today (March 13) announced the launch of a new RV lifestyle website. According to a press release, the site, www.winnebagolife.com, nicknamed goLife, brings “a fresh perspective to the RV industry.”
The goLife website will have continuing features that include stories on owners’ lifestyles, in-depth articles featuring the company’s latest vehicles, a product showcase for apps and travel accessories, stories and pictures from owners, and a look ahead to new trends in the industry.
“For years, Winnebago has been an innovator in recreational vehicle product design,” said Kelli Harms, Winnebago’s marketing and sales promotion manager. “With our new goLife website we plan to continue that innovation by bringing unique stories and fresh ideas that readers won’t find in today’s RV publications and websites. Traditionally, manufacturers’ websites are all about specifications and features, but that’s only half the story. We think that taking our readers behind the scenes with owner stories, in-depth interviews with Winnebago executives and designers, fun travel destinations, and unique product highlights will complete the other half of the Winnebago story.”
Chad Reece, director of marketing noted, “Historically, the RV industry is slow to change. Many of the traditional ways our customers used to learn about our products are now less important. Today, by the time customers walk into a dealer, they already know a lot through on-line research. Our goLife website, along with other social media tools, will be invaluable in helping our customers learn about our products and, of equal importance, share the fun and excitement that our Winnebago owners experience.”
“And to best communicate the Winnebago and RV lifestyle, we’ve done something pretty innovative,” Harms continued. “We’ve reached out to one of our Winnebago owners to be our editor/blogger-in-chief. Last year Don and Terry Cohen traveled 25,000 miles in their new Itasca Navion. Don created a personal website to share their adventures and insights with their friends. Don’s been a successful entrepreneur for four decades and has written, photographed and produced award-winning videos for years. As the goLife editor, he brings a true – ‘been there, doing that’ approach.”
“It’s a dream assignment,” says Cohen. “A year before we bought our Navion, I was all over the Internet learning about RVs. While I viewed hundreds of sites and videos, I didn’t see many that were very well written or produced. I’m super excited that the new goLife website is going to add some long overdue sophistication to the RV industry. We know full well that there are a lot of misperceptions about RVing and I think our goLife site is going to be a fresh voice in getting people to think differently about RVing as a fun travel option.”
Winnebago Industries has introduced its all-new Solei Class A diesel-pusher motorhome, offering two floorplans, the 34T and 38R.
According to a press release, the Solei is built on Freightliner XCS chassis featuring a 340-hp Cummins diesel engine coupled with a six-speed Allison transmission. The interior is set off by polished Corian galley countertops, coffee-glazed cabinetry, LED ceiling lights and upscale entertainment features.
Winnebago’s Smart Storage is as an integral part of both floorplans, providing expanded storage.
• Powered driver and passenger seats in leatherette.
• Radio/rear-view color monitor system with 6-inch touch screen.
• Powered mirrors with defrost/side-view cameras.
• Powered MCD visor shade for the front windshield and MCD blackout shades in the coach area.
• Soft vinyl ceilings, LED ceiling lights and vinyl tile flooring throughout.
• Polished Corian galley countertops and tiled backsplash.
• Home theater sound bar with DVD/CD player.
• Full-coach water filtration system.
• 6,000-watt Cummins Onan diesel generator and 2,000-watt inverter/charger.
• Roof A/C with heat pump, hydraulic leveling jacks and heated holding tank compartment.
• Low profile allows unit to fit through 12-foot door opening while having amazing storage of up to 228 cubic feet (38R).
He was only going to work until spring field farm work started, but he’s stayed for 50 years.
Harlan Rodberg will mark 50 years as an employee of Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago Industries Inc. during a Feb. 24 open house at the company’s visitor center. As reported by the Forest City Summit, Winnebago is only 56 years old.
“It doesn’t seem like it,” Rodberg said on recent break from his assembly line job at the Forest City motor home manufacturer.
He started when he was 19 after a neighbor talked him into trying it. “There wasn’t much to do on the farm in the winter except pitch manure,” Rodberg said.
Rodberg intended to return to the farm after several months, but, “I fell in love with the place and the people I worked with. I love to work.”
Rodberg likes that he’s part of a team that creates and builds motor homes.
“It’s fascinating,” Rodberg said. “We do something interesting every year.”
Rodberg said he’s just one of the employees that keep the operation going.
“He’s a good person,” Rodberg’s supervisor Wade Rout said. “He does whatever it takes for the company.”
For the full story click here.
Winnebago Industries Inc. has agreed to become the North American supplier of motorized rental units for Apollo Motorhome Holidays in the United States, according to a press release.
Apollo, a premier international rental provider, has agreed to purchase Winnebago motorhomes to provide unique travel and vacation experiences for its customers within the U.S.
“Winnebago is proud to be associated with Apollo, a well-established rental provider,” said Winnebago Chairman, CEO and President Randy Potts. “With our highly recognizable name and their experience in the rental business, this is sure to be a win-win partnership for customers looking to experience the RV lifestyle. These rental orders will be delivered primarily during the company’s third fiscal quarter.”
Winnebago Industries Inc. has been recognized by Statistical Surveys Inc., a retail reporting service in Grand Rapids, Mich., for having the top-selling motorhome brand for calendar 2013.
“We are very proud of the continued success of Winnebago in the marketplace and we continue to develop innovative, quality products to promote this iconic American brand,” said Winnebago Vice President of Sales and Product Management Scott Degnan. “We have launched a great motorhome lineup this year, with several brand new, innovative products just entering the marketplace. We believe our new Trend, Viva!, Forza, Solei, and Travato now entering the market will bring us additional incremental growth in the coming year.
“We congratulate our dedicated employees and our strong dealer partners in once again achieving this top selling position. We look forward to the introduction of even more exciting new products at our upcoming Dealer Days event this spring and we will continue to provide industry-leading support for our dealers and retail customers.”
Winnebago Industries Inc. and Ram had the perfect venue this week at the Chicago Auto Show to exhibit the 2014 Winnebago Travato, a Class B motorhome based on the Ram ProMaster chassis.
According to a report by Cars.com, that’s because the record cold temperatures and near record snowfall this very, very long winter have pushed Chicagoans over the edge — ready to pack up their belongings and join the “snowbirds” heading for the sun.
Roughly the length of a full-size pickup truck at 20 feet, the relatively compact Travato could sit in the driveway off to the side and once the thermometer drops into negative territory, this home would be pointing south.
Just reading the Travato’s feature sheet is a giant tease for Chicagoans in February. The outside has exterior speakers, a retractable power awning with LED lighting, an outside-facing TV jack and household AC jacks that are a recipe for a giant picnic we can’t attend for another four months.
On the inside is a kitchen with stove, refrigerator, freezer, microwave, stainless-steel sink, LED lighting and 22-inch TV. There is also a bathroom with toilet, shower and sink. The bed in the back is quite small, though — a corner “double,” a portion of which flips up against the sidewall to store bicycles or other large items with access from rear doors.
For the full story click here.
Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago Industries Inc. was named “Newsmaker of the Year” for 2013 by RVBusiness Magazine and RVBUSINESS.com.
“We picked Winnebago as our 2013 Newsmaker of the Year over and above other companies that also benefitted from last year’s recovering marketplace because the Iowa-based RV builder has to a great extent reinvented itself as it strives to become more of sales-driven company versus a manufacturing-centric firm,” said Sherman Goldenberg, partner and publisher of RVBusiness, in a press release. “This transformation is largely a response to challenges posed by a revamped senior management team led for the past three years by Chairman, CEO and President Randy Potts, a 30-year Winnebago veteran, and, more recently, by Scott Degnan, a former Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. exec who now serves as vice president of sales and product management. And in the final analysis, RVB’s staff concluded, the rebirth of Winnebago, a company billing itself as ‘The Most Recognized Name in Motor Homes,’ is in many ways emblematic of the entire industry’s ongoing recovery.”
“It is a great honor for Winnebago and all our employees to be recognized by RVBusiness for this prestigious award,” said Winnebago Industries Chairman, CEO and President Randy Potts. “We’ve worked very hard in this recovering market, literally reinventing ourselves in every aspect of our business from the way we manage the product development process to branding our products and beyond. We look at every day as a new opportunity for continued improvement and will continue to make the changes necessary to grow profitably as we go forward. We’re very excited about what the future holds for Winnebago.”