Posts Tagged ‘RV brands’

Livin' Lite Travel Trailer

Livin’ Lite Travel Trailer

Thor Industries announced Tuesday that it acquired the assets of  recreational vehicle maker Livin’ Lite through a wholly-owned subsidiary. The purchase is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed by Aug. 30, 2013.

“We are pleased to welcome Livin’ Lite to the Thor family of RV brands. Adding such a creative RV maker to Thor’s strong stable of brands will enable us to expand our industry-leading position in new product development into camping trailers and truck campers,” said Bob Martin, Thor president and chief executive officer.

“We see many opportunities for expanding Livin’ Lite’s market presence through the Thor dealer network, and the ability to leverage their lightweight aluminum and composite construction technology in other Thor products. This transaction represents a solid example of executing our strategic plan to grow our RV presence through the acquisition of brands and technologies that complement our existing business.”

Founded by former Heartland executive Scott Tuttle, Wakarusa, Ind.-based Livin’ Lite is known for its advanced lightweight aluminum construction applied to a variety of smaller RVs, including travel trailers, toy haulers, camping trailers and truck campers. Livin’ Lite also markets its products in partnership with a number of leading consumer brands including Jeep. Having recently been named to Inc. magazine’s list of fastest growing companies for the third consecutive year, Livin’ Lite is expected to generate sales of approximately $24 million for calendar year 2013.

“We are excited to join forces with Thor, the leading company in the RV industry, and we are looking forward to the new growth opportunities we should see as a result,” said Scott Tuttle, president, CEO and founder of Livin’ Lite. “We have worked diligently to grow Livin’ Lite over the past five years and expect to extend that growth as we bring the distribution, operational and financial strengths of Thor to bear on our business. As the newest company to join Thor, we also expect to add to our combined development efforts as we apply our proprietary technology to a broader array of existing product lines and bring our combined market strength to camping trailers and truck campers.”

Thor expects to offer Livin’ Lite’s current 35 models to its current dealer network upon closing of the transaction. The Company expects Livin’ Lite will continue to operate out of its existing Wakarusa facilities with minimal disruption to its current business resulting from the acquisition.

For more information about Thor Industries, Inc., visit www.thorindustries.com.

Boomers first RVMany boomers may have doubts about their nest eggs, but at least one symbol of retirement prosperity is rolling along quite nicely, thank you very much. The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association says that it expects sales of RVs and motorhomes to reach 307,000 units in 2013, which would make this the industry’s best year since 2007. For the year to date, shipments to dealers are up 13% over last year’s levels, the association reported in its most recent sales update.

The mega-camper business all but collapsed during the last recession, thanks to the combination of economic upheaval and high gas prices, with sales falling 58% from 2006 to 2009. Shriveling credit markets played a role, too, with many lenders being unwilling to finance RV and motorhome purchases even as they freed up money for car loans in general.

A spokesman for Thor, the company that makes Airstream and other popular RV brands,reports buyers can now “get financing pretty easily up to about $150,000.” Interest rates on RVs start at around 4.4%, compared with under 3% for the typical auto loan.

RV salespeople say that retiring “snowbird” boomers are their biggest customer group; the trade group doesn’t publish specific age breakdowns, but its literature suggests that ownership rates are highest among those between age 55 and 75. Speaking of snowbird stereotypes, the archetypal motorhome, in which the driver’s cabin and the living quarters are all on the same chassis accounts for only about 12% of RV sales. “Travel trailers” that get towed behind another vehicle, like the Airstream, make up the majority of the market. Some of those are quite modest, but price tags on the most luxurious models can top $90,000.

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Airstream, manufacturer of the iconic “silver bullet” traavel trailer and one of the most recognized RV brands in the world, debuted its 2011 Interstate 3500 Class B motorhome. The partnership between Airstream and Mercedes-Benz has yielded a Touring Coach that fuses the legendary quality and design of the Airstream brand with the comfort, control, and luxury of Mercedes-Benz.

The 2011 Airstream 3500 Interstate continues the tradition of extraordinary design and handcrafted quality that has made the Airstream a style classic for nearly 80 years. The unique blend of these two premium brands has produced a fuel-efficient, luxurious, safe, and comfortable way for RV travelers to explore the open road.
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