You will not see them for more than a year, maybe never, but Coleman by Coachmen-brand motorhomes is a possibility, Claire Skinner, chairman and CEO of Coachmen Industries Inc., said during an interview with RVBUSINESS.com today (May 13).
Coachmen signed a licensing agreement with camping equipment manufacturer The Coleman Co. in January giving Coachmen the right to market, under the Coleman name, RV products that Coachmen builds.
Coachmen also signed an agreement last month to buy one of Jayco Inc.’s factory buildings north of Middlebury, Ind., for producing Coleman by Coachmen units. Coachmen plans to take possession of the building in July and to begin producing Coleman by Coachmen folding campers in August or September, Skinner said.
“Our first efforts will forcus on the nonmotorized products starting first with the camping trailers then the hybrid trailers and SUTs (sport utility trailers) and light trailers,” Skinner said. “Then, most likely, fifth-wheels and then, after that, we’ll consider evolving into the motorized product.”
Distribution of Coleman by Coachmen SUTs and hybrid trailers should begin early next year. Conventional travel trailers will follow “so fifth-wheels are close to a year away,” Skinner said. “Motorized will come after that.”
She declined to provide a more specific timetable for the possible launch of Coleman by Coachmen motorhomes.
Even though Coachmen has a strong brand name, particuarly in travel trailers and fifth-wheels, the licensing agreement with Coleman is extremely important to Coachmen because “Coleman is a powerhouse in and of itself, and it’s powerful in a market that is slightly different than the Coachmen brand’s market,” Skinner said.
“Specifically, I’m talking about the outdoor enthusiasts,” she continued. “The Coleman name has been exposed in our industry only in camping trailers up to this point. Our focus is on the strength of the name with people who have not necessarily been in the (RV lifestyle) with camping trailers, but who are very avid outdoors enthusiasts who have an extremely high regard for the Coleman brand.
“We feel it gives us a great opportunity to expand our reach to a new customer base: the outdoor enthusiasts; the younger families; the more active person that we hope to attract into the RV industry. And we intend to do so with products that are specifically designed for that buyer.”