Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. President and CEO Ed Caudill appeared this morning (May 18) on cable channel CNBC’s Squawk Box in an apparent effort to reposition Fleetwood as an RV company, rather than a manufactured-home builder.
Squawk Box reporter Joe Kernan said to Caudill during the broadcast, “Whenever I report on Fleetwood, for some reason, I was thinking manufactured housing, not RVs.”
When thinking about the RV industry, Kernan said, the names Winnebago, Thor and Monaco Coach pop into his mind. But Caudill told him that Fleetwood is No. 1 in terms of RV sales revenue.
“Thor builds more units but we actually sell more in dollars because we sell a lot more major motorhomes than Thor does,” Caudill said. “They (Thor) primarily sell trailers.”
Fleetwood’s RV sales revenue during the 12 months ended April 29 totaled $1.78 billion while Thor’s amounted to $1.40 billion for the nine months ended April 30, according to reports issued recently by both firms.
The remainder of Caudill’s appearance on Squawk Box, a program geared toward stock market investors, was spent showing Kernan the operational and interior features of an American Eagle, the firm’s top-of-the-line quad-slide luxury diesel-engine motorcoach outside CNBC’s headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.
“A lot of people think because of the size, that these (motorhomes in the 40-foot range) are very difficult to drive, but they are not,” Caudill explained. “They are very easy to drive with some reasonable training. Just a couple of days getting comfortable with the unit.”
Caudill also pointed out the side-mounted cameras drivers can use while backing up, gauges that monitor the holding tanks and other systems, highline kitchen appliances and entertainment systems.
The unit shown by Caudill will retail for “a little under $400,000,” he said.