> SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE! 

Gas engine Class A motorhomes, particularly the Pace Arrow and Southwind brands, are fueling the revival of Fleetwood’s RV business, according to John Draheim, vice president of sales and marketing at the Riverside, Calif.-based company’s RV Group.
During the first seven months of this year, retail sales of Pace Arrow gas Class A’s increased 85% to 449 units, Draheim said, citing data from Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm. During the first seven months of 2001, only 243 Pace Arrow gas models were sold by dealers across the country, Statistical Surveys reported.
Meanwhile, Southwind gas sales climbed 64% higher in the first seven months of this year to 654 units, compared with 399 units retailed during the same period a year earlier, Draheim said.
Bounder gas models also outperformed the gas Class A market, Draheim added. Bounder gas retail sales increased 18% year-to-date through the end of July to 856 units, versus 727 units sold to retail buyers a year earlier.
The entire gas Class A market grew by 9% during the first seven months of this year to 12,810 units retailed, compared with 11,718 units sold during the same period a year earlier, according to Statistical Surveys.
“The attention to quality, the redesigned products and strategic price positioning have contributed to the company’s successful retail sales results,” said Draheim, who added that Fleetwood’s dealers sold 435 gas Class A’s, including all brands, in July, making Fleetwood the retail market-share leader among all gas Class A manufacturers for the month.
The strong consumer demand for Fleetwood’s motorhomes explains the 57% increase in new motorhome sales so far this year at Mike Thompson’s RV Superstores, a three-location dealership company in Southern California, said Frank DeGelas, the dealership’s president.
“The redesigns of the Pace Arrow, Southwind and Bounder motorhomes have been extremely well received by our sales staff and customers,” DeGelas said. “Couple this with Fleetwood’s brand-name recognition and excellent reputation for after-sale service and parts support, and you’ve got a winning hand.”
Mike Thompson’s locations are in Santa Fe Springs, Fountain Valley and Colton, Calif.