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Newmar Corp., Nappanee, Ind., introduced the Essex “entry-level highline” diesel and the Scottsdale mid-price gas Class A motorhome during its national dealer meeting which began today (June 10) in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
The introduction of the Essex and Scottsdale provide the first evidence of Newmar’s effort to give its brands a clearer focus, said Dick Parks, president.
The full basement Scottsdale has “a whole new look” and it replaces the Dutch Star gas Class A. The Scottsdale comes standard on the Ford F-53 chassis with two slides. The length ranges from 32- to 36-feet and the suggested retail is from $88,285 to $94,233, placing it below the Kountry Star gas and Mountain Aire gas.
Meanwhile, Newmar continues to build the Dutch Star diesel because it is “our bread and butter product,” Parks said.
The new Essex diesel pusher replaces the Mountain Aire Limited. It’s a 43-footer on a Spartan K2 chassis with a 500-horsepower (hp) Cummins engine, full pass through basement storage and two or three slides.
Its suggested retail price is $321,860, positioning it between Newmar’s Mountain Aire and London Aire diesel models. “The Essex will be a little higher priced than the Mountain Aire diesel, it’ll be the next step up,” Parks said.
Consequently, Kountry Star remains Newmar’s lowest priced diesel and it is followed by Dutch Star, Mountain Aire, Essex and London Aire in terms of the company’s diesel coach retail price hierarchy.
During model year 2002, Newmar had three brands, the Kountry Aire, Kountry Star and Mountain Aire, which included both fifth-wheel and motorhome models. But Parks said, “We’re probably going to work on changing that so people know which products are motorized and which products are towables. That’s something that will happen over time.
“We want to clean-up our whole brand strategy so customers could understand what our brands are and where they fit,” said Parks, Newmar’s president since November.
“We just wanted to get rid of some of the confusion on the motorized side of the business (involving) Kountry Star and Dutch Star,” he continued. “We want what the brand stands for to be clear in the customer’s mind and that will help the dealer sell the product.”
Also, Newmar did not introduce a 2003 Kountry Aire diesel pusher this summer and Parks said, “We’ll probably re-position that product down the road.”
Newmar also might, eventually, separate gas engine motorhome brands from diesel pusher brands, said Parks, the former head of the Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. RV Group.
Otherwise, in terms of price, Parks has no plans to move Newmar products out of the mid to highline price ranges where they now compete.
“We want to be involved in market segments we’re good at and we’re really good at medium to high-priced units in towables, gas and diesel,” Parks said. “I don’t think you’ll see us try to get into entry-level travel trailers.”
“We don’t feel any big pressure from the larger manufacturers,” Parks continued. “We do our thing and we’ll do it as well as we can for the customer.
“We hope we’ll build more product and believe we will build more product with our new Scottsdale and the Essex,” he said. “We’ll let nature take its course.”