Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. will not build standard production versions of the NexGen concept motorhome, although it will incorporate elements of the NexGen in some of its future models, said Ed Caudill, president and CEO.
The NexGen Activity Support Vehicle (ASV) was shown to Fleetwood dealers and reporters during the Louisville Show late in 2000. According to Nelson Potter, Fleetwood’s president and COO at the time, the NexGen was intended to appeal to the extreme sports-enthusiast children of Baby Boomers who want a motorhome that is “more in tune with the rugged outdoors as opposed to the comfortable outdoors.”
However, because of Fleetwood’s financial difficulties the last two years and senior management turnover last year, the NexGen remained only a concept.
But now, Caudill, who joined Fleetwood in August, has concluded that Fleetwood could not price the NexGen at a level that would make it attractive to its intended buyers.
“We’re looking at pieces of that (NexGen) product or strategies around that product and how they can be incorporated in other products,” said Caudill, who joined Fleetwood from truck manufacturer PACCAR. “That product by itself, would never see enough demand. It never came out because, even though, conceptually, it’s a wonderful idea, there aren’t enough people who’d raise their hand and say, ‘Yeah, I’ll buy one of those.’
“The market (for a NexGen-type product) isn’t necessarily too small, but for the price it was too small,” Caudill continued. “Generally, those (NexGen target market customers) are looking at something a little more rugged that they could go off-road. You’ll see a little more of that in the continued evolution of the SUT (sport utility trailer).
“If that happens, (NexGen-type products) will be in the smaller motorhomes that will have some all-wheel drive capability, something that they could really go off-road in,” he said. “NexGen really wasn’t focused on that.”