Posts Tagged ‘Winnebago Industries’

Prior to the recession, Winnebago Industries and the current Monaco RV were giants among motorhome manufacturers. But high fuel prices followed by the crash of the housing market left the entire motorized segment of the RV industry — including Winnebago and Monaco — stalled on the side of the road.

At the 49th Annual National RV Trade Show, both companies have been showcasing their plans for re-establishing themselves in the market. They are confident the recreational vehicles they have on display will resonate with retail customers and create new jobs in their Elkhart County, Ind., factories.

New Towable Line for Winnebago

Winnebago has chosen to return to producing towables after a 30-year absence while Monaco is drawing upon the components and expertise available from its new owner, Navistar International Corp.

While standing in the new Winnebago brand travel trailer, Fred Hershberger, national sales manager, expressed his company’s self-assurance.

“If you can dream it, you can build it,” he said. “We can do anything we want to do.”

New Winnebago Travel Trailers & Fifth Wheels

New Winnebago Travel Trailers & Fifth Wheels

Innovation, Quality & Customer Service Focus for Monaco

Since the summer of 2009, when Monaco Coach Corp. was bought out of bankruptcy by Navistar and renamed Monaco RV, production has returned to the once-closed plant in Wakarusa, Ind. This summer, the Indiana operation was given a boost when Navistar announced it was consolidating motorhome production from Oregon to Wakarusa and creating about 400 new jobs.

Although it is a smaller company trying to regain market share, Monaco has the advantage of the Navistar name and experience, Crews said. Monaco motorhomes, in particular, are built with a Navistar engine on a Roadmaster (a Navistar subsidiary) chassis.

“We are the only manufacturer in the world that builds the engine, the chassis and the house,” Crews said. “We’re not a house builder. We’re a motorhome builder.”

To grow, the company has chosen to focus on innovation, customer service and quality, Crews said. Customers have a “Lexus mentality,” meaning they want the RVs to function properly, which makes quality especially important.

Full Story…

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The evolution of the company formerly known as Affinity Group Inc. (AGI) continues.

The name of the company was changed on May 2 to Good Sam Enterprises LLC, and today during a conference call to bondholders, CEO Marcus Lemonis offered the public a new description of the company.

He said the company could best be described as “a financial services company that has some clubs and magazines as marketing tools.”

“Roadside assistance is the No. 1 service offered by the company today. Roadside assistance has become the product of the day,” he explained.

Good Sam offers road assistance to nearly 500,000 RV, car and truck customers and is close to announcing major private label insurance programs with Flying J (400,000 in its database) and NASCAR (72 million fans nationwide) and is in negotiations on establishing similar programs with leading RV builders Thor Industries Inc. and Winnebago Industries Inc., Lemonis said.

In preparation for the expected membership increase, Good Sam previously announced it has hired senior industry executive Ed Thor as vice president of business development. Thor joins the company after serving for more than 10 years with Coach-Net, a roadside assistance company focused on serving the manufacturers and dealers.

The swing toward the financial services emphasis would be a major redirection for the company which had been best known in recent years for its magazines and club member services.

Lemonis was named CEO less than a year ago but since that time, the company has disposed of six or seven businesses (primarily magazines) deemed not in the core focus.

In its quarterly report filed on Thursday (Nov. 10), the company reported revenues of $128.6 million for the third quarter of 2011 increased by $4.0 million, or 3.2%, from the comparable period in 2010.

Net income in the third quarter of 2011 was $2.0 million compared to $1.8 million for the same period in 2010.

For the nine months, revenues were $362.3 million, an increase of $0.6 million, or 0.2%, from the comparable period in 2010. Net income during the nine-month period was $4.6 million compared to a net loss of $6.2 million for the same period in 2010.

“We feel very good where our business is at today,” Lemonis said.

He said getting the company’s sales, general and administrative costs down has been a primary focus this year. Approximately 100 employees were let go this year from the organization, and Lemonis anticipates no more than a dozen or 15 additional layoffs systemwide.

He noted that the company incurred in the third quarter health insurance costs totaling $600,000 above the third quarter in 2010.

The company also has incurred severance costs this year as well as costs associated with the businesses it sold, he added.

Lemonis concluded saying he would be visiting with investors in California and New York in the coming weeks to expand upon certain details contained in the company’s financial report.

The company intends to make a replay of the conference call available through Nov. 23. The replay may be accessed by logging onto: http://earningscall.goodsamfamily.com/3Qearningscall.mp3

Winnebago Industries , the largest U.S. motorhome maker, posted a lower quarterly profit as rising fuel prices and slowing new job opportunities weakened demand for recreational vehicles.

“We remain concerned the current recovery appears to be slowing,” Winnebago CEO Bob Olson said in a statement.

The company’s third-quarter net income was $1.2 million, or 4 cents a share, compared with $6 million, or 21 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenue rose slightly to $135.6 million.

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