Coachmen RV Dealer Puts Tennessee Titans On The Road
For the second year, Nashville Easy Livin’ Country RV, a Coachmen RV dealer, helped promote the NFL’s Tennessee Titans by loaning the team a 31-foot 2002 Coachmen Mirada for its team caravan. The two-week caravan visited parts of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama and was designed to give the team’s fans — particularly children — an opportunity to meet some of the Titans players.
From April 5 through April 20, 2002, the caravan covered 4,000 miles and visited 61 cities. The first stop was Fort Campbell, Kentucky, home of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborn Division, where Titans players and staff spoke with the troops and signed autographs before dining with the soldiers. The group also visited 27 schools during the journey, as well as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, and numerous Kroger stores in Kentucky and Tennessee.
Promotions Announced At Featherlite Luxury Coach
Featherlite Inc., C6803, recently announced two management promotions in its Featherlite Luxury Coaches division, C5238. The division, based in Sanford, Florida, manufactures Featherlite Vantare H3-45 and XLII Prevost bus conversions.
James Wooley has been named president and chief operating officer of the division. Since joining Featherlite in 2001, Mr. Wooley served as vice president and chief operating officer. Prior to that, he was president and chief executive officer at Alternative Resource Technologies Inc. He also has held the position of CEO or COO at five other companies and was the managing partner of an Oklahoma law firm.
The company also announced that Preston Watts has been promoted to vice president of sales and service at Featherlite Luxury Coaches. Mr. Watts joined the division in 1996 as a cost accountant and subsequently was promoted to manufacturing accounting manager, and later to director of sales administration and service. In addition to his tenure at Featherlite, he has more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing and more than 12 years of experience in banking and finance.
RV/MH Heritage Foundation Holds Benefit Raffle
The RV/MH Heritage Foundation, located in Elkhart, Indiana, is holding its ninth annual raffle to benefit the National RV/MH Hall of Fame, Museum, and Library.
The RV/MH Heritage Foundation was formed in 1972 by a group of trade and consumer magazine publishers to maintain the national RV/MH Hall of Fame, which recognizes industry pioneers and leaders, and to perpetuate the history of the industry through its museum and library.
First prize this year will be a 2003 motorhome or 2003 manufactured home of the winner’s choice valued at up to $100,000, or $75,000 cash. The second-place winner can choose between a $15,000 dream vacation to anywhere in the world or cash. Third prize is $5,000, while fourth and fifth prizes are $1,000 each. Ninety-five other ticket holders will win between $150 and $500.
Only 3,500 tickets will be sold at $100 apiece. The drawing will take place at the foundation’s offices on December 18, 2002, at noon. Those interested in purchasing tickets or obtaining more information can call (800) 378-8694, or visit the foundation’s Web site at www.rv-mh-hall-of-fame.org to register online or to print out a faxable entry form.
Farber Specialty Vehicles Acquires Custom Coach Corp.
Farber Specialty Vehicles, a manufacturer of customized specialty vehicles headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, announced in mid-August that it has acquired the assets of Custom Coach Corporation. Custom Coach is regarded as the world’s first motor coach modification company. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. In April 2002, Custom Coach Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Steve Farber, president of family-owned Farber Specialty Vehicles, said the acquisition positions Farber as one of the top five manufacturers of specialty vehicles in the United States and expands its product lines to include high-end motor coaches. With the addition of the bus conversion business, Farber now will offer more than 75 products, serving a wide range of industries.
In addition to the acquisition, the company also announced that it has hired Kirwan Elmers to oversee product development of Farber’s new motor coach division. Mr. Elmers and his father, Miles, founded Custom Coach Corporation in 1955.
The manufacturing and assembly facility for the motor coach division will be moved to Americana Parkway on Columbus’ east side and will be located in an existing 50,000-square-foot building. An additional five acres of land adjacent to the facility have been purchased to provide room for future needs.
Company CEO Ken Farber indicated that Farber Specialty Vehicles will retain approximately 30 employees, and recruit an additional 30 employees over the next several years.
HWH Corporation Celebrates 35th Anniversary
HWH Corporation, C731, a manufacturer of RV hydraulic leveling and room extension systems, is celebrating its 35th year of business.
The company was founded by current president Paul Hanser in Rock Island, Illinois, in October 1967. Twelve years later, Mr. Hanser moved the company to its current site in Moscow, Iowa. HWH now has more than 8-1/2 acres of manufacturing facilities under roof at its Moscow and Wilton, Iowa, locations.
HWH manufactures nearly all of the parts it uses for its RV leveling and slideout room extension systems and has been a leading innovator for these types of RV products. Numerous motorhome manufacturers and coach conversion companies use HWH systems in their products.
For more information about the company, call (800) 321-3494 or visit www.hwhcorp.com.
Baby Boomers Boost RV Ownership To Record Levels
A study conducted by the University of Michigan revealed that U.S. ownership of recreation vehicles has reached record levels, with aging baby boomers leading the way. In addition, the study also indicated that more current and former RV owners intend to purchase another in the future.
The study, commissioned by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), updates similar consumer research that’s been collected every four years since 1980. Telephone interviews were conducted from January 2001 through June 2001 with 3,000 consumers randomly selected to be representative of all U.S. households.
The study found that nearly one in 12 U.S. vehicle-owning households — nearly 7 million households — now owns an RV, an increase of 7.8 percent during the past four years. A leading force behind this upswing in RV ownership, according to the study, is the baby boomer market of consumers who are 35 to 54 years old.
Since the last study, in 1997, the number of RVs owned by those 35 to 54 grew faster than all other age groups, “underscoring the success of industry marketing efforts aimed at the baby boomer,” said Richard Curtin, Ph.D, director of the University of Michigan’s Survey Research Center. The industry-wide Go RVing advertising campaign was launched in 1997, the same year this research was last done.
The study also revealed several other interesting facts:
- Nearly 10 percent of those 55 and older own an RV, slightly exceeding the 8.9 percent ownership rates of the 35-to-54 year-old group;
- The average RV owner is married, owns a home, and has an annual household income of $56,000;
- Reflecting the aging population, the median age of all RV owners is now 49 years, up slightly from the previous study, which recorded a median age of 48.
The study also points to long-term signs of RV market growth. As baby boomers enter their prime RV buying years in the next decade, Mr. Curtin estimates the number of RV-owning households will rise to nearly 8 million by 2010 — a gain of 15 percent, outpacing the overall U.S. household growth of 10 percent. “Primary RV demand remains very good and the potential for future sales remains quite bright,” Mr. Curtin concluded.
The appeal of RV travel is further demonstrated by intentions of current and former owners to purchase RVs again. In fact, six in 10 current owners intend to purchase another RV, with 40 percent of those saying it would likely be a new vehicle. And while there are slightly more former owners than current owners, nearly one out of three former owners expect to purchase another RV in the future.