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The sharp increase in retail sales experienced by Gulf Stream Coach Corp. during the recently completed Pennsylvania RV & Camping Show is indicative of the growth the closely held company has experienced all year, said Claude Donati, national sales manager.
Gulf Stream, based in Nappanee, Ind., sold 45 motorhomes, including 25 Class A’s and 20 Class C’s, during the five-day retail show in Harrisburg, Pa., which ended Sunday (Sept. 15), Donati said.
The company’s nationwide retail sales of Class A and Class C motorhomes were up 30.2% year-to-date through the end of July, Donati said, citing Statistical Surveys Inc. data. Meanwhile, retail sales of Class A’s and Class C’s built by all manufacturers were up 8.5% when the first seven months of this year are compared with the same portion of 2001, which means Gulf Stream is out-performing many of its peers by a wide margin, Donati added.
Gulf Stream’s retail sales of Class A’s were up 28.1% during the first seven month of this year to 579 units and its Class C retail volume was up 31.6% during the same period to 845 units.
Meanwhile, Gulf Stream’s motorhome wholesale shipments were up 76.2% year-to-date through the end of August, “so we’re expecting even better retail numbers this fall,” according to Donati.
At the Harrisburg show, Gulf Stream was represented by Stotlzfus RV & Marine of West Chester, Pa., the Long View RV Superstores’ Windsor Locks, Conn., location and Sunbird RV of Lakewood, N.J. “Our dealers committed a large number of sales personnel (to the Harrisburg show) and our refreshed product” contributed to Gulf Stream’s success at the show, Donati believes.
Gulf Stream’s best-sellers at Harrisburg were its Sun Voyager triple-slide gas Class A, its Independence entry-level Class C and its B Touring Cruiser, another Class C, he said.
Gulf Stream’s retail dealers were able to close sales at Harrisburg without having to discount prices, Donati added.
Gulf Stream has been able to increase its RV production volume by 76.2% so far this year without having to add more factory space because it has adopted “lean manufacturing techniques,” said Brian Shea, co-CEO.