The Country Coach division of National RV Holdings Inc., introduced redesigned versions of its highline Magna and Affinity luxury motorhomes at this week’s Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) convention.
The introduction provided more evidence that the company’ “aggressive” product development strategy is paying off, President and CEO Brad Albrechtsen told an investor conference on Thursday (March 18).
“The product did extremely well at that show (the FMCA International Convention in Albuquerque, N.M.), really setting a record in terms of the number of sales and orders taken at the prerally and at the event itself,” Albrechtsen said at the B. Riley & Co. Investor Conference in Las Vegas.
The FMCA convention began Tuesday (March 16) and concluded Thursday.
“We launched a redesigned Magna and Affinity, highline coaches retailing above $400,000 and $500,000,” said Albrechtsen. “They were completely redesigned, new tooling, a complete new look, and those products were received very well. The backlog on those products today is in to the third quarter.”
Country Coach slightly more than doubled the size of its dealer body in 2003, going from 14 at the beginning of last year to over 30, Albrechtsen said Thursday. Two more Magna dealers were added during the FMCA rally, he said.
“We are going to complete this year the redesign of the remaining models of our high-end product with, again, new tooling, a complete new look, adopting the features that the customers of highline coaches have come to expect,” Albrechtsen said.
“We will relaunch our Tradewinds diesel motorhome in the $250,000 price range” at the National RV division in Perris, Calif., he said. “Tradewinds was a very successful product for National RV in the late ‘70s but we got off course in the development with that product. So, we’ve taken our time and we really feel that we’re going to leap-frog the market in many ways when we introduce this product a little bit later this year. It’s been completely redone from the ground up.
“We’re also are focusing on increasing our ramp-trailer business.
“National got into the towables business four or five years ago in a serious way. It grew fairly dramatically, but it didn’t have a real focus on which types of towable products we were going to develop.
“We were a little bit all over the board, but we’ve focused that today. We’re only building toy haulers, that market is growing dramatically particularly in the Southwest, where we intend to focus that business. We are seeing slightly higher (profit) margins on the ramp trailers than on the traditional travel trailer and that business has a lot of promise for us if we focus there.”
National RV currently is operating at about 50% capacity at its complex in Perris, building about 10 motorhomes per day. The plant is capable of putting out 20 per day, Albrechtsen said.
“But at our Country Coach facility (in Junction City, Ore.), we’re probably closer today to 80% to 90% capacity,” Albrechtsen added. “Over the next couple of years, to grow revenue there, we’ll have to add capacity.”
Asked whether National RV or Country Coach are offering price incentives to encourage sales, Albrechtsen replied, “We’re not having to do that really at all. The product is hitting the lots and, in some cases, turning at a record pace.”
He added that National RV Holdings, which achieved $342 million in sales revenue in 2003, is capable of reaching $600 million to $700 million in annual sales using its existing facilities in California and Oregon.