The Coachmen RV Group of Coachmen Industries Inc. has entered into a long-term exclusive licensing agreement with The Coleman Co. to design, produce and market a full line of new Coleman-brand towable RVs, the companies announced Thursday night (Jan. 29).
“Under this agreement, Coachmen will be working closely with Coleman to develop a comprehensive new line of innovative RVs specifically targeted to appeal to active outdoor enthusiasts who have looked to Coleman for quality recreational products for over 100 years,” said Mike Terlep, president of the Coachmen RV Group.
“The initial product offerings will be a line of camping trailers which we will launch this summer, followed by travel trailers, scheduled for a fall 2004 introduction, and then a line of sport utility trailers (SUTs) planned for early next year,” Terlep said. “A separate dealer body will be developed for the exciting new ‘Coleman by Coachmen’ recreational vehicles.”
Coleman, which had a licensing agreement with Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. from 1989 until Coleman terminated the arrangement in May last year, picked Coachmen “after an extensive search for a new marketing partner,” said Bill Phillips, Coleman’s president and CEO. “Coleman is very pleased to be joining forces with Coachmen because their proven values of integrity, commitment to quality and customer satisfaction are so consistent with our own.
“Coleman is excited about continuing its legacy as the strongest brand in the camping trailer market and expanding into new RV products with Coachmen,” Phillips continued. “This partnership allows the Coleman consumer to stay with a Coleman product throughout their entire RV life cycle.”
Coachmen Industries Chairman and CEO Claire Skinner added: “The Coachmen and Coleman brands are powerful in their own right and combining our respective experience to develop innovative products for outdoor enthusiasts makes this a perfect alliance between two fine companies.”
Coleman terminated the agreement with Fleetwood because it felt Fleetwood was not satisfying the agreement’s terms. Fleetwood disagreed with Coleman’s conclusions and filed a lawsuit.
However, a Kansas state court issued an injunction in August prohibiting Fleetwood from using the Coleman brand name on any of its products. Consequently, Fleetwood’s Folding Camper Division plant in Pennsylvania has launched the Fleetwood Folding Trailers line.
Fleetwood has appealed the Kansas court’s ruling and was prepared to take the matter to trial. Fleetwood officials were not immediately available for comment today (Jan. 30).