Winnebago Industries Celebrates 40 Years On New York Stock Exchange
On September 9, 2010, Winnebago Industries Inc. commemorated 40 years of trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), as several company representatives took part in the Closing Bell ceremony to end trading on the floor that day.
Participating in the event were Winnebago Industries’ chairman, chief executive officer, and president Bob Olson; vice president and chief financial officer Sarah Nielsen; and public relations and investor relations manager Sheila Davis.
“Ringing the closing bell on the NYSE was a very special moment,” Mr. Olson said. “We were humbled to participate in an event with this organization that has such a long and remarkable history. Our 40-year tenure on the New York Stock Exchange has been very rewarding in an age when many companies have not been as fortunate.”
Forest River Gives Iconic Shasta Brand New Life
Forest River Inc., based in Elkhart, Indiana, announced that it is reviving a familiar name to the RV industry with the launch of the Shasta RV division this fall. The stand-alone business unit will be led by industry veteran Brad Whitehead, who said he expects the startup to create approximately 100 production jobs, with a projected total workforce of 300 employees in the future.
The Shasta operation will be housed in two former Pilgrim International Inc. facilities in Middlebury, Indiana, which will provide approximately 200,000 square feet of manufacturing space. Once full production begins, the company plans to build a complete line of Type C motorhomes, travel trailers, and fifth-wheels at the facility.
The Shasta brand initially was developed by Coachmen Industries, whose RV division was acquired by Forest River in 2008 and now operates as a separate division. But Mr. Whitehead emphasized that the Shasta division will not be part of Coachmen RV.
According to the company, the Type C motorhome debut will feature a smaller, budget-conscious floor plan, with more features and layouts introduced as the line evolves.
Mr. Whitehead, who began his RV career with Gulf Stream Coach in 1984 and most recently served as director of travel trailer sales for Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC, indicated that the company plans to have display units ready for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s National RV Trade Show, which will take place November 30 through December 2, 2010, in Louisville, Kentucky.
Fleetwood RV Launches 2011 Storm Crossover Motorhome
Fleetwood RV Inc. recently introduced the 2011 Storm, which the company describes as a “crossover” motorhome that features the sleeping capacity and value of a Type C motorhome with the roominess and storage capacity of a Type A motorhome.
The 2011 Storm is available in three floor plans: a 28-foot single-slideout, rear-bedroom configuration with a walk-around queen-size bed and an oversized wraparound booth dinette (28MS); a 31-foot dual-slideout, side-aisle layout that includes an opposing dinette and sofa in the living room (30SA); and a 31-foot dual-slideout floor plan with standard traditional bunk beds or the optional “Bunk Bed-n-Breakfast” space-saving two-person dinette with convertible bunk beds (32BH). The innovative “Hide-a-Loft,” a queen-size, electronic drop-down bed with air mattress located above the driver/passenger captain’s chairs, is an available option on all floor plans.
Standard features on the 2011 Storm include a one-piece windshield; an 82-inch interior height; Soft Touch Flexsteel cockpit seats; a Soft Touch Flair sofa; a convertible Dream Dinette with two cup holders; a 26-inch LCD wide-screen TV with DVD player; pleated night shades; full-extension drawer guides and transit-ship locks; high-gloss fiberglass sidewalls; a full basement exterior with enclosed, heated holding tanks and luggage compartments; pass-through storage; an Onan 4.0-kilowatt MicroQuiet generator; a 15,000-Btu ducted air conditioner; a patio awning; a rear-vision camera with monitor; power heated remote mirrors; a power entry step; stainless-steel wheel simulators; a black tank sani-flush; an exterior shower; a Fan-Tastic Vent power roof vent; dual deep-cycle auxiliary batteries; a 1-inch (inside diameter) water tank drain; and a full-coach water filtration system.
The base manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the 2011 Storm starts at $82,000. For more information about this motorhome model, or other Fleetwood RV Type A and Type C motorhomes, call (800) 322-8216 or visit www.fleetwoodrv.com.
Bernhard Bus Service Adapting Coaches For Special Needs
Bernhard Bus Service LLC of Quakertown, Pennsylvania, has provided converted coach alterations, repairs, and maintenance for owners from throughout the United States and Canada for the past 30 years. Bernhard Weihs, owner and founder of the company (an FMCA commercial member), has extensive experience in building, diagnosing problems, and servicing custom motor coaches.
Mr. Weihs also found out from friends and customers with disabilities how difficult traveling had become as they grew older. So, he created a number of innovative transportation solutions “” in addition to maintenance and repairs “” that his company offers to accommodate the changing needs of this growing group of travelers. These solutions include wheelchair lift installation and repairs, wheelchair-accessible bathrooms, an overhead Hoyer-style lift, and fire extinguishing systems.
Mr. Weihs, who also owns Specialty Transportation & Service, a division of Bernhard Bus Service, has designed a wheelchair-accessible full-size Sprinter van. This van, said to be the first of its kind, offers an onboard rest room that is equipped with a Hoyer-style lift for ease of transfers. This gives the traveler peace of mind knowing that they will always have access to a rest room that can accommodate their needs. This specially outfitted vehicle is available for short-term or long-term rental, or for purchase.
Alterations to customers’ current coaches are designed according to individual preferences while ensuring compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association standards.
For more information about Bernhard Bus Service LLC, visit www.bernhardbus.com. To learn more about Specialty Transportation & Service, visit www.specialty-van.com. Both companies can be contacted by calling (215) 679-8943.
States Increasing Efforts To Eliminate Distracted Driving Habits
In June 2010 the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) released a report that provides the first comprehensive look at state activities and programs that address the growing problem of distracted driving. The report, “Curbing Distracted Driving: 2010 Survey of State Safety Programs,” reveals that states are aggressively pursuing solutions to reduce the problem.
State highway safety agencies from every state as well as the District of Columbia, Guam, and American Samoa participated in the survey. The report indicated that distracted driving has emerged as a priority for state highway safety agencies. It noted that 27 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam now include the topic in their Strategic Highway Safety Plans.
The report also revealed that states have improved data collection efforts; are educating new drivers about distraction by adding special sections in their driver license manuals and are making it a component of the driver license test; are passing distracted driving laws, including banning text messaging and hand-held cell phone use by drivers; are emphasizing public education; are increasing public and private partnerships to address the problem; and are using new technology, such as Twitter and Facebook, to promote anti-distracted driving messages.
“As a nation, if we are going to successfully address driver distraction, it must be done comprehensively, through a multifaceted approach including education, laws and enforcement, data collection, and private sector involvement,” said GHSA chairman Vernon F. Betkey Jr. “Our new report shows states are already going down this road. We know from our experiences with drunk driving and seat belt use that there is no magic bullet, and the same holds true with distracted driving.”
For more information about GHSA, or to view a copy of the survey, visit www.ghsa.org.