You knew it would happen someday and mid-size Class A motorhome builder Damon Corp., Elkhart, Ind., may be the first firm in the RV industry to introduce its new model year products to the dealer body over the Internet.
Details about Damon’s 2003 models will be posted on the company’s website, www.damonrv.com, during the week of June 24-28, said Gary Groom, president and CEO.
In past years, Damon and other Elkhart area RV firms have conducted national dealer meetings in nearby South Bend, Ind. But this year, Groom said, “We wanted to do something more positive: to do a new model year introduction over the Internet to take the product to the dealers … to make it more convenient for the dealers.”
Also, Damon found that it primarily is dealer principals who attend dealer meetings, not the sales personnel who actually sell the product to the retail customer. So, salesperson training for the 2003 product will become available in the “Dealers Only” section of Damon’s website during the last week of June, Groom said.
“We will also have a traditional open house (at Damon’s facilities June 24-28) for those dealers who prefer a traditional look at the products,” Groom said.
Online consumer brochures about Damon’s 2003 products also will be posted on Damon’s website during the week of June 24-28, he added.
Damon builds the Daybreak, Challenger and Intruder gas Class A’s and the Ultrasport and Escaper diesel pushers. “The product lines will remain the same (in model year 2003),” Groom said. “Our focus (for 2003) was to provide an improved product with the same prices that we had on the 2002 product.
“We don’t clone products and we make sure there is differentiation between our brands,” Groom said. “We do focus on building the brand name franchise within each of our five product lines. There’s a desire by dealers to take a product name and advertise it, to have it mean something and not have it go away two years later after they’ve invested in that brand name.”
The only price increases in 2003 will come in the form of Damon passing through chassis price increases, he said.
On the 2002 models, the base retail price range for the Daybreak is $54,000 to $72,200, for the Challenger it is $78,300 to $87,700 and for the Intruder it is $99,900 to $106,000, according to Damon’s website.
The base retail price for the 2002 Ultrasport is $117,600 to $143,000 and for the Escaper, it is $158,900 to $174,000.
The innovations for 2003 will include more availability of full-body paint on the Intruder, Ultrasport and Escaper and triple slide options on the Intruder highline gas and the two diesel brands.