Custom Winnebago Will House ‘Mobile Museum’

April 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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.

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Upham Named Winnebago District Sales Manager

April 4, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

James UphamWinnebago Industries Inc. has named James Upham to the position of district sales manager.

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.

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Winnebago Overcomes Weather to Post Solid 2Q

March 28, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Winnebago's Randy Potts

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.

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Winnebago 2Q Income up 52.6%; Sales Rise 29%

March 27, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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.

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Winnebago Names Hunt Service District Manager

March 19, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Russ Hunt

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.

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Winnebago to Issue 2Q Financials on March 27

March 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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:

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,  The event will be archived and available for replay for the next 90 days.

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Winnebago Launches RV Lifestyle-Oriented Site

March 13, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Winnebago goLife website

Winnebago Industries Inc. today (March 13) announced the launch of a new RV lifestyle website. According to a press release, the site,, 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.”

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Winnebago Introducing New Solei Diesel-Pusher

February 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

New Solei Class A from Winnebago

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.

Highlights include:

• 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).


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Winnebago Worker to Mark 50 Years on the Job

February 19, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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.

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Winnebago to Supply Rental Coaches for Apollo

February 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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.”

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