Jayco Seismic toy hauler

Jayco Inc.’s recently completed 2012 Dealer Homecoming in Myrtle Beach, S.C., offered the Middlebury, Ind.-based company a chance to mark its 44th year of operation while giving dealers a broad look at initiatives and programs designed to give them a competitive edge in today’s marketplace.

Topping the list, according to President and COO Derald Bontrager, is a continued emphasis on an aggressive and innovative approach to product development.

“We’re extremely proud of the product lines being unveiled at this meeting – they are a reflection of our resolute commitment to provide our customers with the best value in the marketplace,” Bontrager said to attendees representing 145 dealerships during his keynote address at the Sheraton Resort Hotel and Convention Center. “And, they are a demonstration that the commitment to product engineering that we have promised you is beginning to pay off. We are quicker to market, we are innovative, and we are adding value for our customers.”

Dave Eash, vice president of sales and marketing, reinforced Jayco’s ability to offer product that stood out on dealers’ lots, noting, “For the most recent periods reported this year by Stat Surveys, Jayco’s market share is up in every category. And we are on track to ship more than 27,000 units.”

Newly named Director of Product Development Amy Duthie, taking over for veteran Paul Gardner who moved into a regional sales manager role, added, “In today’s economic and competitive environment, product innovation is more important than ever before. It is a process and a culture that must be continually refueled by Jayco. It is what fundamentally drives economic growth, it increases productivity and, therefore, lowers cost. It adds value to the products and, therefore, increases market share.”

Several all-new lines along with new generations for existing products were unveiled during the June 18-20 meeting. Highlights included:

• Jayco introduced a revamped lineup in its long-standing Eagle towable brand. The Eagle HT fifth-wheel series now features an aerodynamic front cap design, all-new exterior graphics and an exclusive Magnum truss roof system. The interior is set off by decorative wall and ceiling board panel, upgraded carpeting, hard-top valance window treatments and a new slide fascia design. The company’s Eagle line, which replaces the Eagle Super Lite, shares many of the HT’s key features while sporting a chocolate glazed front cap and metal skirting, black extrusion accents and new G20 dark-tint windows. For 2013, Jayco also added the Eagle Premier fifth-wheel, featuring a new deluxe graphics package, accented by chocolate glazed skirting and radius roof metal, and a new clay glazed accent cap. Interiors offer fresh window treatment styling, a slide fascia design that features hardwood, a rear living overhead cabinet design and decorative interior wall and ceiling board panel.

• During the dealer meeting, Jayco unveiled its new Jay Flight DST destination travel trailer to complement its Jay Flight Bungalow line. The new DST is equipped with an atrium-style, gelcoat front cap, 60-inch sliding patio door and a detachable hitch. The full-featured kitchen includes an 18 cubic foot residential-style refrigerator with icemaker, large 60/40 deep-bowl sink with high-rise faucet and glazed Concord Cherry cabinetry. The interior also sports 90-inch interior height, standard ceiling fan, hidden switch command/charging center, Diamondflor vinyl flooring, residential-grade carpeting with padding, and a J-steel jack-knife sofa.

• Jayco’s 2013 Seismic toy hauler “redefines the category,” according to the company, packaged with amenities and styling normally found in traditional fifth-wheels. Interiors include three optional paint schemes, standard frameless windows, curved walls and a full-featured kitchen set off by Washington Glazed Maple stained cabinetry. The Seismic is equipped with extra tall slideouts and extendable dinettes. The garage, accented by charcoal-stained cabinetry, converts into another bedroom, giving the Seismic an additional four-person sleeping capacity. There is also a rear party deck for entertaining.

Management also elaborated on the Jayco Motorhome Group that was formed earlier this year by combining Jayco Class C motorhomes with the Entegra Coach Class A luxury lineup that includes the Aspire, Anthem and Cornerstone brands. Jayco started its Entegra Coach division in 2008 as a result of its acquisition of the assets of the former Travel Supreme Corp.

“We made this move because we believe the time has come to leverage our strengths in the market and to intensify our focus on each product segment,” stated Sid Johnson, director of marketing. “We are convinced this strategic change will enhance both the Jayco towable and the Jayco Class C products, and it will allow the management and staff of each group to focus on the needs of the marketplace for that segment.”

Tadd Jenkins, national sales manager, emphasized that the realignment “affords many opportunities for dealers,” including increased sales training.

“We have increased the frequency of dealer visits, making sure we have the confidence of your sales crew,” he said. “Honestly as we have been out visiting dealerships, and fielding phone calls, responding to both dealer requests and customer questions, I am in awe at the current Jayco sales group and the professional manner in which they have handled all that they have for so many years.”