During the last several years, Forest River Inc. has diversified into several product segments that are outside of the RV industry. But Pete Liegl, president and founder, said Forest River will continue to rely upon the RV industry for most of its revenue.
Eighty percent of Forest River’s $600 million in sales revenue in 2001 came from building RVs and Liegl believes the closely held company’s sales will grow to $800 million this year, with 80%, once again, coming from the RV sector.
Forest River is a major manufacturer of towable RVs but a relatively small producer of motorhomes. Possibly for that reason, Liegl believes, “Motorized is where the opportunity lies. We hope to become a higher volume producer of Class A’s. I think we’ll be a player to be reckoned with.”
The non-RV products built by Forest River include cargo/utility trailers, temporary offices, pontoon and bass boats, transit and shuttle buses and specially equipped vans for use by the handicapped.
Liegl said he moved Forest River into those non-RV product categories as part of a strategy to get discounts from suppliers by virtue of being a higher-volume customer. “The person who has the right product at the right price will always have sales,” he said. “But you need a certain volume to buy right in order to sell right. That’s why we’ve gotten into these other businesses: to buy right.”