Cole Davis, now the president of the Keystone subsidiary of Thor Industries Inc., saw the combination of Keystone and Thor, which was completed Monday (Nov. 12), as a perfect match.
“Our business models are very similar,” Davis said about the operating structure which provides department heads with a significant amount of autonomy and allows sister companies to compete against each other.
Among Keystone’s most important competitors is Thor’s Dutchmen Manufacturing Co, which, like Keystone, is headquartered in Goshen, Ind.
“We will compete with Dutchmen as we have in the past,” Davis said on Tuesday. “Just because you compete doesn’t mean you don’t like them.
“We will continue to try to build Keystone,” Davis added. “We’d like to double in size again.”
Keystone operates two business units: Keystone RV Goshen and Keystone RV Elkhart.
Three weeks ago, before the Keystone/Thor merger plans were revealed, Keystone announced that Ron Fenech was named president of Keystone RV Goshen, which means he is responsible for the Sprinter/Springdale, Cougar/Bobcat Division, Montana/Mountaineer Division and Lite Way divisions.
At that time, Bill Fenech, brother of Ron Fenech, was named president of Keystone RV Elkhart, meaning he is responsible for the Hornet, Challenger/Everest and Laredo divisions.
The Fenech brothers, and all other members of Keystone’s management team, remain with the company following the Thor acquisition.
As Davis said last month, “It is critically important that we maintain design separation and a ‘noncloning’ policy as our division managers develop new products. We appreciate Ron’s and Bill’s talents in accomplishing these goals in the past. With their continuing leadership, we anticipate more growth and innovation.”
Although Keystone was founded only six years ago, it grew to be the retail market share leader in the fifth-wheel category, with the Montana, year-to-date through Aug. 31, being the top-selling brand, according to Statistical Surveys Inc. data.
The Keystone acquisition made Thor the retail market share leader in the combined travel trailer/fifth-wheel category with a 25% market share, according to Statistical Surveys.
The combination with Thor will benefit Keystone in terms of gaining access to larger quantity discounts off the price of materials along with sharing best practices with Thor’s other RV operations in administrative functions, manufacturing operations and pricing policies, Davis said.