Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. and National RV Holdings Inc. have taken different approaches to sales incentives to help their dealers sell excess inventories of model year 2000 units.

With model year 2001 beginning next month, both firms feel pressure to clear-out model year 2000 motorhomes to make room for model year 2001 units.

Since June 1, National RV has provided its dealers with $4,000 rebate coupons to lower the retail price on motorhomes that were built at least six months ago, said Joe McDermott, manager of motorized sales and service. National RV dealers can give a “$4,000 off” coupon to retail buyers and if the sale is finalized, the dealer will get a $4,000 cash rebate from National RV, McDermott said.

The dealer also is entitled to a $1,500 credit on its National RV account upon completion of the sale of a model year 2000 unit that was built during 1999.

National RV built a high percentage of single slide-out units late last year but consumer tastes quickly moved in favor of double slide-out units, creating the excess inventory situation on National RV dealers’ lots, McDermott said.

Consequently, National RV felt it would be more help to its dealers to discount the units it sold wholesale several months ago, instead of discounting units that recently rolled off the assembly line, he said.

Meanwhile, Fleetwood recently started discounting motorhomes “that had just been shipped” to dealers, said Paul Bingham, senior vice president/finance.

“We’re giving dealers an opportunity to buy at a discounted price units that they could sell quickly,” Bingham said.

The amount of the wholesale price discount varies depending on the model. Bingham declined to estimate an average.

Fleetwood is not discounting the price of its towables, Bingham said.

The Press-Enterprise newspaper of Riverside, Calif., inaccurately reported last week that Fleetwood shutdown all of its motorhome assembly plants, Bingham added. The company temporarily closed its motorhome plant in Riverside about three weeks ago, but Bingham said model year 2001 production will begin in Riverside “relatively soon.”

Motorhome production at Fleetwood’s plants in Chico, Calif., Decatur, Ind., and Paxinos, Pa., is continuing, although at reduced rates, he said.