|May 2003||Volume 28 - Number 10|
RV Industry News
Foretravel to Convert to Independent Dealers
Foretravel, Inc., a privately held maker and retailer of luxury class A motorhomes has announced a new marketing concept for its retail operations. Effective April 21, Foretravel will begin the process of developing an independent dealer network to sell and service their complete line of Foretravel motorhomes.
With the anticipated growth in the RV industry, Foretravel sees a need to gain wider exposure in the class A market than can be effectively provided through its existing group of 5 factory-owned stores. While Foretravel will maintain some of their existing dealer network for the immediate future, the company ’s long-term goal is to divest themselves of all outlying retail operations as they establish an independent dealer network.
Ray Fore, President and General Manager said “While our factory-owned dealer network has served us well in the past, we recognize the need to gain broader market exposure for our product. We feel our product is more competitive than ever, and plan to offer a select group of independent dealers the opportunity to market a very special product to a group of very special customers.” Foretravel anticipates a smooth transition to an independent dealer network. “We feel we are especially well-equipped to work with dealers because of our hands-on experience operating our own retail stores ”Fore said.
Inquiries concerning dealer information should be directed to Andy Baer, Foretravel ’s Director of Dealer Operations at 1-800-955-6226 ext.212.
Home & Park Motorhomes Supports U.S. and British Troops in Iraq
“When the safety and security of your immediate neighbor is threatened, whether now or in the future, you need to be there to support him, even if goes against the opinion of many others both at home and abroad, ”said Jeff Hanemaayer, Chairman of Home &Park Motorhomes. “Our prayers are with all the American and British military personnel and their families with the hope that this war can end quickly and without too many military and civilian casualties.”
The war in Iraq is the most contentious issue facing Canadians since the Free Trade debate of 1988.As in the United States, there have been differences of opinion amongst Canadians including former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, politicians, business executives and athletes.
Home &Park manufactures Roadtrek, the #1 selling camper van (class B motorhome) in North America since 1990, and has been building camper vans since 1974.Home &Park is also registered to ISO 9001:2000.
RVIA Board Backs 2003-2004 Satellite-Delivered RV Service Technician Training Program
"The RV Service Training Council has worked hard during the past three years both to launch this program and then to take it to the next level, which it has successfully achieved," said Council Chairman Mel Adams. "With RVIA's backing, this program can continue to train thousands of technicians each year which will ultimately result in improved service and increased customer satisfaction. It's a win-win for all involved."
The program, which runs from September to May, offers RV dealer locations the opportunity to provide their satellite broadcast instruction of RVIA's RV Service Technician Training courses every Wednesday, as well as additional product specific training on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Enrollment costs a dealer $1,300 per year and is unlimited regarding the number of personnel taking the instruction at each dealer location. Dealers are required to purchase a compatible satellite system to receive the transmissions.
Run in partnership with the Florida RV Trade Association, enrollment for 2002 equaled 205 dealer locations ó 157 of which were located outside of Florida. Should national (non-Florida) enrollment reach or exceed the projected 200 dealer location projection, the program will recoup all costs. The March 8 Board vote included a statement that any additional funding received will be set aside solely for educational purposes.
"We have every confidence that this program will experience another surge in enrollment during 2003 and exceed our projections," said Adams. "Of the 53 dealer locations enrolled in the 2001 pilot program, which included Florida dealers, only three did not come back for the second year. That bids well for the value this program affords our industry."
For more information, contact RVIA's Standards and Education Department at (800)336-0154,ext.323.
Emerald Coast V Center Holds Annual Awards Banquet
Emerald Coast RV Center of Gulf Breeze, Florida recently held its 9th Annual Awards Banquet.
In attendance were representatives from the Manufacturing and Finance sources honoring the Top Salesperson of the year for their products.
Al Binford, Owner and President of Emerald Coast RV Center, presented Five, Ten, Fifteen and Twenty Year Employee Service Awards.
Emerald Coast Service, Warranty, Detail and Parts Departments voted Damon Motor Coach as the best all around Manufacturer.
The Sales Departments voted Larry Walter of Forrest River's Wildcat Division as the best all around Manufacturers Representative.
The F and I Departments voted Union Planters Bank as the best all around Finance Source.
Thor Wins $17 Million RV Order
Thor Industries, Inc. announced that it had received an initial order for 375 Class C motorhomes totaling approximately $17 mil- lion from Cruise America, Inc., the largest RV rental operator. The order will be shipped primarily in May and June by Thor's Four Winds division.
Thor also announced that it was selected by Business Week as one of the best performing companies in the Standard and Poor's Small Cap 600 index based on one and three-year market performance.
Thor is the largest unit manufacturer of recreation vehicles and the largest builder of mid-size buses.
Increased Warranty Coverage for Holland Neway Motorhome Air-Ride Suspensions
Holland USA has announced that effective April 1,2003,the new warranty extends parts and labor coverage for all suspension components supplied by Holland to 36 months or 45,000 miles, which ever comes first, on Holland Neway steer, drive and auxiliary axle suspensions.
“In addition to the extended period of coverage ”, states Roger Elkins, Holland Product Manager,“ our new warranty covers parts and labor for 36 months on all suspension components that we supply. Most warranties limit coverage on wear items, like shocks and bushings, to only 12 months. We ’re confident in the quality of every component we made, so we don’t add this limitation. We believe motorhome owners will appreciate the benefits of our new warranty.”
Holland USE, headquartered in Muskegon, MI, is the leading manufacturer of air-ride suspensions for diesel pusher motorhomes in North America.
Lazydays’ Florida Market Share At All-Time High
Lazydays RV Super Center, the number one RV dealer in the U.S., has achieved a market share of 42.5% in January for new Class A motor homes sold in the state of Florida as reported by Statistical Surveys, Inc. This is an all-time high for the dealership and compares with a Class A market share of 37.5% in 2002 and 34.7% in 2001.
“These positive market share trends have resulted from our constant commitment to providing great customer service and pursuing our number one goal of making customers for life,” says Lazydays’ Founder and CEO, Don Wallace .“These trends also keep us on track to reach our goal of achieving one billion dollars in annual sales.”