Executives at mid-to-highline towables manufacturer Carriage Inc. believe the company will set records during model year 2003 due to the hearty reception its dealers gave to its redesigned product line-up.
The Millersburg, Ind.-based company received a record number of orders during its national dealer open house in July and it anticipates operating at full production capacity at least into next year, said Dave Lawson, vice president of sales and marketing.
“We came out of our open house (July 25-28 in Indianapolis) with the best order backlog this company’s ever had,” Lawson said about the 34-year-old firm. “Dealers really stepped up, seeing what we did for the 2003 model change, and bought product.”
All four of Carriage’s brands – Cameo SEL, Cameo LXI, Carri-Lite, Carriage and Royals International – when through major redesigns that increased storage capacity through the use of “our unique basement design that allows us to have not only storage in the front, but storage in the rear,” said Greg Kitson, director of engineering. “We increased our storage capacity over other manufacturers by 30% to 40%.”
Carriage’s models for 2003 also feature “increased interior heights, slideout heights and we provided more space in the bath areas as well as the bed areas,” Kitson added.
In particular, the Carri-Lite and Carriage brands went through major overhauls that included significant price and weight reductions. The difference between retail prices for the Cameo LXI and the Carri-Lite was $12,000 to $15,000 the last few years, but now the difference is about $8,000, Lawson said.
“We’re not losing a price point (between Cameo LXI and Carri-Lite),” Kiston said.
Suggested retail for the Cameo LXI ranges from the mid-$40,000s to the low-$50,000s, while retail for the Carri-Lite ranges from $55,000 to $57,000.
Meanwhile, the price point for the Carriage brand was lowered by $20,000, to the $65,000 to $70,000 range, “and, weight-wise, we have floorplans that now can be pulled by a one-ton truck that, historically, had to be pulled by a dully (medium-duty truck),” Kitson said.