Dealer and consumer demand for the Coachmen RV Division (CRV) units has increased dramatically since November and the subsidiary of Coachmen Industries Inc. gained even more momentum during its Dealer Seminar in Kissimmee, Fla., July 21-23, according to CRV President Mike Terlep.
Representatives of 171 dealerships and 488 dealership personnel attended the gathering at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center and their response to CRV’s 2003 product offerings was “absolutely fabulous,” said Terlep, who also is responsible for the Shasta and Sportscoach brands.
This was indicated by the fact that dealer seminar order volume was up 37% compared with CRV’s gathering in Las Vegas a year earlier, he said. Class A motorhome dealer order volume was up 91%, Class C’s we’re up 57%, travel trailers up 98% and fifth-wheels up 18% compared with the dealer seminar in 2001, he said.
CRV’s order volume was strong during the weeks before the dealer gathering, so dealer seminar figures were not inflated by retailers withholding orders for 2002 product prior to the introduction of the 2003 models, Terlep added.
“There’s tremendous momentum at CRV,” Terlep said during a recent interview at his office in Middlebury, Ind. “Our output in June was up 42.6% over what it was in January and we’re planning on another 25% increase over next 90 days.”
Strong wholesale and retail demand led to CRV’s decision to reopen an idle motorhome assembly plant in Middlebury in May. The division is assembling Class C motorhomes in the recently reopened plant. As a result, CRV now is operating two Class A motorhome and two Class C assembly plants in Northern Indiana.
CRV’s goal was to deliver by the end of October all units ordered at the division’s dealer seminar in July, Terlep added.
Concerning the possibility of CRV opening another towables plant, Terlep said the division, which also operates a towables factory in Fitzgerald, Ga., is “refining a vision for future towable capacity growth.”