Thor Industries Inc.’s Four Winds subsidiary International Inc. has received an order to build around 1,000 Class C motorhomes on Ford chassis for rental firm Cruise America Inc.
The order represents a 70% increase over last year’s shipments from Thor to Cruise America and may be the largest unit order ever received by an RV manufacturer, Thor Chairman Wade F.B. Thompson said.
Cruise America will pay around $45 million for the minimotorhomes, which will be shipped in April, May and June, Cruise America Randall Smalley said.
“This order reaffirms our confidence in the special features and quality provided by Four Winds (of Elkhart, Ind.) as our primary supplier,” Smalley said.
Thor and Cruise America have had a close relationship since 2000, when Thor provided financial help to brothers Randall and Robert Smalley Jr. so they could repurchase Cruise America from its former parent, car rental firm Budget Group. However, Thor does not have an ownership stake in Cruise America.
As of 2000, Thor’s business with Cruise America amounted to around 750 Class C motorhomes per year, worth about $30 million.
The Smalleys had sold Cruise America to Budget in 1998. The Smalleys paid $131 million to buy back control in 2000.
Meanwhile, Thor’s Thompson also announced today (Jan. 5) that Thor’s RV retail sales volume was up 19% in November and December, which is expected to be well in excess of the overall industry growth rate. Thompson’s assessment included retail sales from Class A motorhome and park model manufacturer Damon, which Thor acquired Sept. 2.