Gulf Stream Coach Inc. will add a second Class A motorhome production line in one of its existing buildings in Nappanee, Ind., because demand for its models surged during the summer months, according to Claude Donati, vice president of sales and marketing for Gulf Stream’s Motorized Division.
Gulf Stream had a decent first half of 2003 in terms of retail sales of its Class A motorhomes. The company, which ranked No. 10 with a 2.8% retail market share during the first half of this year, saw its retail sales of gas- and diesel-engine Class A’s increase 14.7% when the first six months of this year are compared with the same portion of 2002, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm.
However, Gulf Stream’s Class A shipments increased 107% since June, when its 2004 models were introduced during the company’s dealer meeting early that month. Improved weather and retail sales during the Great North American RV Rally in Louisville late in June also boosted demand for Gulf Stream units, particularly its Crescendo entry-level diesel and the quad-slide, highline Atrium 40-footer, Donati said.
The new production line will allow Gulf Stream to build three more Class A’s per day, increasing its output capacity to nine units per day, he said.
Currently, 48% of Gulf Stream’s Class A volume is diesel engine coaches and Donati said the company plans to evenly divide its Class A production between gas and engine coaches after the new production line is operational.
However, by March, when the gas Class A market typically shows its strength, Donati expects about two-thirds of Gulf Stream’s Class A production to be gas models with the remaining one-third being diesels.
The 36-foot, double super-slide Crescendo on a Freightliner raised-rail, 27,910-pound GVWR chassis with a 330-hp Caterpillar engine carries a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSPR) of $141,000 to $142,000, Donati said.
A triple-slide version of the Crescendo, with an MSRP of $159,000 fully loaded, will be introduced during the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s California RV Show in Pomona Oct. 10-19, he added.