Bob Barker Escorted In Fleetwood Motorhome
Legendary television host Bob Barker of “The Price Is Right,” and the Barker Beauties, arrived at the 34th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, held June 15, 2007, in a Fleetwood diesel motorhome. Stepping out of Fleetwood’s 2007 Discovery and onto the red carpet, Mr. Barker made his way into the Kodak Theatre, where he won two Daytime Emmy Awards, bringing his lifetime total to 19.
Earlier in the day, after 35 seasons on the air, “The Price is Right” wrapped its final episode with Bob Barker. The show will resume this fall with a new host. Mr. Barker had hosted the show since its premiere on CBS in 1972, making it the longest-running game show in television history. To make his finale truly memorable, Mr. Barker gave contestants the chance to win a Fleetwood Terra LX type C motorhome, the most expensive prize ever offered on the show, with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of more than $100,000.
“Fleetwood had the privilege of being part of the show for over 20 years. It was always exciting to watch contestants vie for a number of our products, from folding trailers to motorhomes,” said Paul Eskritt, president of Fleetwood’s RV Group.
Fleetwood RV products also have appeared on other television programs, including CBS’s “The Early Show,” NBC’s “Today Show,” ABC’s “The Bachelor,” MTV’s “Road Rules,” The Travel Channel’s “Made in America,” and Discovery Channel’s “Monster House” and “Monster Garage.”
TL Enterprises Founder Art Rouse Dies
Art Rouse, founder of Southern California-based TL Enterprises Inc., which published RV magazines and campground directories and operated the Good Sam Club, died June 15, 2007, in Santa Monica, California. He was 89.
As an advertising executive in 1958, Mr. Rouse saw increasing public interest in travel trailers, motorhomes, and other types of camping vehicles as new vacation-travel options. He bought Trailer Life magazine, established an office in Toluca Lake, near Hollywood, California, and quickly developed a keen sense of what RV owners and prospective buyers would find interesting about the travel-related lifestyle.
He brought sons Denis and Richard into the business and, together with a small staff, increased circulation from approximately 11,000 at the time of the purchase to more than 300,000 in less than 10 years.
As public awareness and industry momentum increased, Mr. Rouse founded MotorHome magazine in 1968, recognizing a trend toward motorized RVs. During the same year he acquired the fledgling Good Sam Club. Other outgrowth publications included the Trailer Life RV Parks, Campgrounds & Services Directory, and Rider, a motorcycle magazine.
Mr. Rouse penned a monthly column in Trailer Life and was widely recognized as “Mr. RV” during his tenure at the helm of the company he founded. He wrote an autobiography, My Life on Wheels, in 1984. He was one of the nine founders of the RV/MH Heritage Foundation in Elkhart, Indiana, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1986.
Mr. Rouse sold TL Enterprises to Affinity Group Inc. in 1988, but he went on to partner with Outdoor Resorts of America in developing the exclusive Motorcoach Country Club in Bermuda Dunes, California. In 1991 he opened the campground of his dreams, Big Bear Shores RV Resort, an upscale park on the north shore of Big Bear Lake, California.
He is survived by his wife, Tony; sons Denis and Richard; daughter, Lori; 12 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
GM Agrees To Sell Allison Transmission; Allison Delivers 5 Millionth Transmission
General Motors Corporation announced in June 2007 that it has reached a definitive agreement to sell its Allison Transmission commercial and military business to The Carlyle Group and Onex Corporation for approximately $5.6 billion.
The sale agreement covers substantially all of Allison Transmission, including seven manufacturing facilities in Indianapolis, Indiana, and its worldwide distribution network and sales offices. The manufacturing facility in Baltimore, Maryland, which is dedicated to the production of conventional and hybrid 2MODE transmissions used in GM’s retail pickup trucks and SUVs, will remain with GM. According to the GM press release announcing the sale, the transaction is structured to preserve GM’s and Allison’s competitive strengths in their respective product lines and is expected to close as early as the third quarter of this year pending union and regulatory approval.
Allison Transmission also passed a major milestone on June 8, 2007, when it announced the delivery of its 5 millionth automatic transmission. The transmission was produced at Allison Transmission’s manufacturing facility in Szengotthard, Hungary. The 3000 series transmission was fitted to a Renault refrigerated truck and delivered to leading French chilled distribution operator TFE (Transports Frigorifiques Europeens).
The delivery of the 5 millionth transmission coincided with the company’s confirmation that 2006 was a record year for unit sales and revenue. Demand for Allison transmissions has reached record levels in several regions including Europe, Asia, and North America.
Allison Transmission is the world’s leading designer, manufacturer, and seller of medium-duty and heavy-duty automatic transmission for trucks, buses, off-road and military vehicles, and RVs. The company pioneered the commercial-duty automatic transmission concept in 1947 when it built its first automatic transmission for a General Motors bus. Today, Allison Transmission delivers more than 80 percent of the world’s commercial vehicle fully automatic transmissions and supplies more than 250 OEMs around the world, in applications ranging from buses to heavy-duty off-highway equipment.
Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, Allison Transmission employs approximately 3,400 people and sells transmissions through a worldwide distribution network with sales offices in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. The company generates annual revenues in excess of $2 billion.
Thousand Trails Partners With Official NASCAR Members Club
Thousand Trails, one of the nation’s largest private camping clubs, announced a marketing partnership with the Official NASCAR Members Club (ONMC). Through terms of the partnership, Thousand Trails will provide 15 of its properties to function as local ONMC Headquarter Campgrounds near NASCAR racing venues, and will also offer discounts to ONMC members and NASCAR fan RV owners.
ONMC has agreed to promote Thousand Trails resorts as the official campgrounds for NASCAR fans, and the two organizations will join with select RV dealers to host special NASCAR-themed events at properties during race weeks.
Jim Henderson, vice president of marketing for Thousand Trails, said that the rapid growth of NASCAR, coupled with the large number of RVs that surround every major racing event, led both organizations to form this partnership.
Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, ONMC is the only member club licensed by NASCAR that is open to all race fans ages 13 and above. The group works to bring together drivers, race teams, tracks, and sponsors to offer race fans unprecedented access, information, and special offers. For more information, visit www.onmc.com.