Impacting Boomer RV Awareness and Attitudes
A new study measuring the effectiveness of
the Go RVing national advertising campaign shows advertising recall has more than doubled,
RV attitudes have improved significantly, and purchase intentions are increasing. Since
the ads began running on TV and in magazines in February 1997, recall of their central
message, "Recreation Vehicles. Wherever You Go, You're Always at Home," has
grown to 21% among baby boomers with children, the campaign's target audience.
The three TV commercials sponsored by the Go RVing
Coalition have now been seen by one in six of the target audience.
Baby boomers increasingly agree with specific statements
pertaining to family travel in RVs, in comparison with the benchmark set prior to the
There was more positive movement after the second run of
ads, between January and July 1998, than there was after the first five months of
advertising in 1997.
Over a fourth of those surveyed now agree with the
statement, "Owning a recreation vehicle would make travel more convenient and less
stressful," a key message identified in pre-campaign research. The percentage who
disagree with this statement declined by almost 10%.
Other attitudinal perceptions which changed significantly
- "I think owning an RV might make me more satisfied
with my life"--up 34%
- "People who own RVs are the kind of people I would
want to have as friends"
- "RVs are primarily for older-retired
- "Spending time in an RV campground would be a good
way to make new friends"--up 6%
RV attitudes were significantly more favorable among
those who recalled the Go RVing ads.
For example, over a third of those aware of the campaign
slogan agreed owning an RV would make travel more convenient and less stressful, compared
to approximately one-fourth of those who didn't recall it.
RV buying intentions among boomers with children also
showed positive movement. Nationally, nearly a fourth claim they will someday purchase,
and the number of those who say it is unlikely decreased 9 percent.
The likelihood of purchasing is significantly higher
among those who recall the ads (31 percent versus 21%).
The study was conducted by SIR Marketing and Opinion
Research of Richmond, VA, among a national sample of 1,600 persons representing all
consumers age 30-49, with children, some college and a household income of $35,000 or
A comparable sample of consumers was surveyed prior to
the campaign launch in 1997 to set a baseline for RV ad awareness and level of agreement
with messages in the ads.
Richard Steele, executive vice president of SIR, said
"The Go RVing Coalition should be very pleased with these results. Considering the Go
RVing advertising campaign's duration, the changes in awareness and attitudes are on track
with other successful advertising studies we've conducted."
The advertising effectiveness assessment was commissioned
by the Go RVing Coalition to help measure the campaign's performance against its
established goals of image enhancement and attitudinal impact.
Call'em "Recreational Park
Trailers" Not "Park Models"
The Recreation Park Trailer Industry Asso-ciation (RPTIA)
is urging its members to designate the products they manufacture as Recreational Park
Trailers rather than Park Models. Bill Garpow, RPTIA's executive director, said, "The
board wisely concluded that the term 'Recreational Park Trailer' would establish
immediately that our products are vehicles that are designed and intended for recreational
and/or seasonal use, and included that designation in the bylaws when the association was
formed in 1993. Unfortunately, the term still in common use, 'Park Model' adds confusion
to the definition and fosters some unwelcome headaches with zoning and taxation issues.
'Park Model' implies more of a residential flavor to our product which leaves agencies of
government with a feeling of 'I'm not sure what this is but it looks like a small
residence - not a camping vehicle.'"
Garpow said the association hopes its members will
consider these facts when developing brochures and creating advertisements.
National RV Has Record Third Quarter
National R.V. Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: NRVH), announced
its results of operations for the third quarter ended September 30, 1998. Net sales for
the third quarter of 1998 increased 25.6% to $96.4 million from $76.8 million for the
third quarter of 1997. Net income for the third quarter of 1998 increased 59.4% to $6.6
million from $4.1 million for the third quarter of 1997. Diluted earnings per share were
$0.57 compared to $0.40 in the third quarter of 1997.
Net sales for the nine months ended September 30, 1998
increased 30.8% to $267.6 million from $204.6 million in the first nine months of 1997.
Net income for the nine months ended September 30, 1998 increased 79.8% to $17.3 million
from $9.7 million in the first nine months of 1997. Diluted earnings per share were $1.52,
compared to $0.95 per share in the first nine months of 1997.
Wayne Mertes, National's president and CEO, said,
"We are pleased to announce record results for the quarter. Both demand and backlog
for both Country Coach's and National RV's products continues to be strong. The company's
Class A retail market share has increased to 8.1% for the latest reporting period compared
to 7.5% for the same time period last year.''
California RV Show Enjoys Strong Sales
Strong sales and increased consumer attendance
highlighted RVIA's 46th Annual California RV Show, held Oct. 10-19 at the Fairplex in
More than 32,500 people, an increase of 4% over last
year, attended the event to see the latest RV products. More than 100 representatives from
40 dealerships also attended the show, which once again featured a popular
This year's California RV Show was the largest in the
history of the event with 60 manufacturers and 110 supplier exhibitors covering more than
545,000 square feet of exhibit space.
Distribution Continues to Show Profits
The Coast Distribution System (Amex: CRV) recently
reported financial results for the third quarter and nine months ended September 30, 1998.
Revenue for the third quarter ended Septem-ber 30, 1998
increased 10% to $41.5 million, as compared to $37.8 million for the third quarter of
1997. For the nine months sales increased 10% to $126.1 million as compared to $114.7
million, for the same period in 1997.
Net earnings for the third quarter of 1998 were $69,000,
or $.01 per diluted share, as compared to a loss of $1,450,000 or $0.28 per diluted share,
in 1997. For the nine months ended September 30, 1998, the company recorded $1,729,000, or
$0.33 per diluted share, as compared to a loss of $1,593,000, or $0.31 per diluted share,
for the same period in 1997.
Tim McGuire, chairman of Coast said "A year ago, we
made the decision to divest ourselves of two equity investments and focus on our core
business, We are very pleased with the ensuing results. Coast's sales have increased 10%
during the first nine months of 1998 and we have increased our gross margin by 200 basis
points during the same period.''
Fleetwood RV Sales Rose 18% In 2nd
Fleetwood Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE:FLE), announced
preliminary sales for the second quarter and six months ended October 25, 1998.
Consolidated sales for the second fiscal quarter rose 16%
to approximately $895 million, the highest quarterly sales ever recorded by the company.
Six-month revenues were also up 16% to a record $1.7 billion. These gains reflect
continuing revenue growth for the company's core manufacturing businesses, as well as
sales from its newly-formed manufactured housing retail business.
Recreational vehicle sales climbed 18% to $432 million,
an all-time high for the second quarter, compared to $366.7 million a year ago. All RV
divisions posted record second quarter revenues, with the motorhome division setting the
pace. Motorhome sales of $265 million were 23% ahead of last year's second quarter
primarily due to increased demand for the company's Class A products. In the towable RV
categories, travel trailers and folding trailers both increased 10% to $135 million and
$32 million, respectively.
Monaco Coach Sets Three For Two Split
Monaco Coach Corp. said its board of directors has
approved a three-for-two split of its common stock.
The company said the stock split will be effected as a
stock dividend. Stockholders of record on Nov. 16, will be issued a certificate
representing one additional share on Nov. 30 for every two shares held on the record date.
The split will increase the number of shares outstanding
from about 8.3 million shares to 12.45 million.
The company said the move was intended to improve the
marketability of the common stock.
Rexhall Forecasts Third-Quarter
Rexhall Industries Inc. (Nasdaq:REXL) announced that the
company's successful restructuring process is continuing.
William J. Rex, president and chief executive officer
said, "Production efforts for September 1998 reached an all-time production high for
the Lancaster, CA facility. The energy exhibited by the Rexhall employees during this
restructuring process has been literally amazing to witness.''
Rexhall Industries' sales for the third quarter are
projected to increase 12% over the same period for 1997.
Rexhall Industries further announced that Judge McDonald
of the Orange County Superior Court has approved the class action settlement of Masterjohn
vs. Rexhall Industries Inc., et al. The class action settled pursuant to the terms and
conditions as previously reported.
SMC Corp. Reports Loss in Third Quarter
SMC Corporation (Nasdaq: SMCC) reported its results for
the third quarter of 1998. For the quarter ended September 30, 1998, net sales decreased
2.5% to $50.3 million, compared to $51.6 million in 1997. A net loss of $2.5 million was
reported for the quarter compared to net income of $1.2 million reported a year earlier.
1998 third quarter loss per share was $(.38) on 6.5 million diluted shares outstanding,
compared to 1997's earnings per share of $.18 on 6.6 million diluted shares outstanding.
Jay L. Howard, president of SMC Corpor-ation, said,
"The disappointing results in the third quarter were primarily generated by
significant production difficulties at our Safari plant in Harrisburg. The 1999 model
change process resulted in much higher than anticipated labor and material costs. We are
encouraged by the strong market acceptance of the new model pro duct at Safari, but
to get there, we incurred significantly higher costs than we planned as can be seen in the
third quarter. We have corrected the production issues related to the model change and
believe these problems are behind us."
Thor Industries Announces Record Sales
for Quarter; Record Backlog
Thor Industries, Inc. (NYSE: THO) announced record
preliminary sales for the quarter ended October 31, 1998.
Sales for the quarter were $189.1 million, up 14% from
$165.5 million last year.
Bus sales in the quarter jumped 27% to $50.7 million, up
from $39.8 million last year. Recreation vehicle sales in the quarter were $138.4 million,
up 10% from $125.7 million last year.
Backlog on October 31, 1998 was $160 million, up 52% from
last year. RV backlog was up 27% and bus backlog was up 73%.
Lazy Days Cleans House at Fleetwood's
Lazy Days RV SuperCenter, was recently honored at
Fleetwood Enterprises, Inc.'s 1998 National Dealer Meeting and Top Dealer Awards Program
held at the Convention Center in Washington D.C. During the event Lazy Days walked off
with a lot of hardware . . . awards, including Number One Fleetwood RV Dealer. In addition
the dealership was named Number One Fleetwood motorhome dealer and Number One Fleetwood
American Coach Dealer.
In addition to these top industry awards, Lazy Days was
also recognized as the "Number One" dealer for these brands: Discovery, American
Eagle, American Dream, American Tradition, Bounder, Flair, Pace Arrow, Pace Arrow Vision,
Tioga, Avion, Westport and Savanna.
Along with these dealer-ranking awards, Lazy Days RV
SuperCenter took home the Fleetwood Circle of Excellence award.
Country Coach Employees Receive
Country Coach, Inc. (CCI) reported record sales in the
third quarter of this year, surpassing the previous company record sales within a single
quarter by 22 percent, set in the third quarter of 1998. As a result of reaching projected
quarterly goals 520 qualified employees were awarded $323,530. This is the twelfth
consecutive quarterly bonus pay-out in a two-part profit sharing plan based on sales goals