Former consultant and Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. executive Dundee Kelbel, 43, has purchased RV dealerships in Lexington, Ky., and Prosperity, W.Va., because he believes this is the ideal time to be involved in RV retailing.
Kelbel worked for Fleetwood from 1996 until 2001 in a variety of areas ranging from human resources to corporate strategy for Fleetwood’s RV and manufactured housing groups. After leaving Fleetwood, he worked as a consultant for various clients, including manufacturers, retailers, an executive search firm and investment banking groups involved with the RV and manufactured housing industries.
He acquired the two dealerships on July 24 and named the Lexington location Bluegrass RV and the other, near Beckley, W.Va., Little Valley RV.
Kelbel has obtained floorplan credit from GE Commercial Distribution Finance and at Lexington he in his inventory Dutchmen travel trailers and fifth-wheels, Coachmen folding campers, the full line of Forest River motorhomes, and he is awaiting delivery of Newmar gas and diesel Class A’s. In West Virginia, he has Winnebago Class A’s, Fleetwood, Dutchmen, Keystone and Nash travel trailers and fifth-wheels, Fleetwood’s Coleman-brand folding campers, Four Winds’ Dutchmen-brand Class C’s and he was negotiating to obtain most of Forest River’s motorhome line.
“Having done consulting, I trust the demographics that support the outlook for the industry,” Kelbel said. “Plus the industry is becoming more sophisticated in its advertising and promotions. RVs aren’t just for camping any more.
“It’s a good time to be in the industry,” said Kelbel, who added that the manufacturers must provide “higher quality, more versatile products” for the business to live up to its full potential.