The new Coleman by Coachmen series of towable RVs will be “a new, innovatively designed” product series that will not be a clone of one of Coachmen RV’s existing brands, according to Mike Terlep, president of the Coachmen RV Group of Coachmen Industries Inc.
Coachmen announced Thursday night (Jan. 29) that it had signed a long-term exclusive licensing agreement with The Coleman Co. to produce a full line of Coleman brand RVs.
Coachmen replaces Fleetwood Enterprises Inc., which built folding campers under the Coleman name from 1989 unit last year, when Coleman canceled the agreement because it believed Fleetwood had breached their contract.
To produce Coleman by Coachmen units, Coachmen will build a new assembly plant in Centreville, Mich., Terlep said. Construction has not started, but Terlep believes the new factory will be operational by October or November.
In the interim, some Coleman by Coachmen units will be built in Coachmen’s Viking folding camper plant in Centreville and in a mothballed Coachmen plant in nearby Middlebury, Ind.
The Coleman by Coachmen series will include folding campers, travel trailers, sport utility trailers (SUTs) and hybrids, also know as hard-sided folding campers. There will be only one Coleman by Coachmen model for each product category, Terlep said.
The Coleman by Coachmen folding campers will be launched in the summer, the travel trailers in the fall and the SUTs in early 2005.
Coachmen has recruited “a half dozen dealers, most of whom were Coleman dealers, to serve on a product development advisory board,” Terlep said.
Some of the dealers on the advisory panel did not carry any Coachmen product, Terlep added.
Coachmen will assemble a separate dealer body to sell the Coleman by Coachmen series , and, Terlep noted, “We intend to broaden our distribution network.”