Spartan Motor Inc. announced today (May 19) that its subsidiary, Spartan Chassis, has been named the exclusive chassis supplier for three of Newmar Corp.’s five diesel-powered motorhome brands for the 2005 model year.
Spartan will be the exclusive chassis supplier for Newmar’s Dutch Star, Mountain Aire, Essex, Kountry Star and Northern Star brands.
Newmar will unveil its 2005 model-year gas-and diesel-engine Class A motorhome and fifth-wheel lineup during its national dealer meeting in Hollywood, Fla., June 10-12.
Kountry Star was Newmar’s lowest-priced diesel coach in 2004 and Dutch Star and Northern Star were the next step up.
Mountain Aire was a step above those in the diesel lineup, followed by the closely held Nappanee, Ind. company’s highline Essex model.
In 2003 and during the first quarter of this year, Dutch Star was Newmar’s most popular Class A motorhome brand, followed by Mountain Aire and Kountry Star, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm.
Dutch Star is only available on a diesel-engine platform while Mountain Aire and Kountry Star both are available on gas- and diesel-engine platforms.
“Our ability to adapt quickly and meet our customer’s needs allows for a complete integration of the chassis and motorhome,” said Richard Schalter, president of Spartan Chassis. “This brings us to a pivotal point in our business relationship with Newmar, and we are excited about this growth opportunity.”
Spartan executives believe the increased business with Newmar will add about 20% more units to Spartan’s current RV chassis business, beginning in the third quarter of 2004.
“Spartan Chassis’ focus on becoming the most desired brand and the lowest total-cost producer is enabling them to penetrate markets where they have not been competitive in the past,” said John Sztykiel, CEO of Spartan Motors.
Newmar ranked No. 6 in retail market share among the producers of gas- and diesel-engine Class A motorhomes in 2003, but it slipped to No. 7 during the first quarter of this year, Statistical Surveys reported.
In 2003, Newmar had a 6.3% share of the combined gas-diesel Class A market. The number of Newmar Class A’s retailed in 2003 was 11.1% larger than the number its dealers sold in 2002. That means Newmar outperformed the Class A market, which, as a whole, grew by 5.4% last year, according to Statistical Surveys.
During the first quarter of this year, Newmar’s share of the combined gas-diesel Class A retail market was 5.4%, and the number of units sold by its dealers grew by a modest 1.1%.
During the first three months of this year, sales of gas- and diesel-engine Class A’s increased by 15.2% when compared with the same portion of 2003, Statistical Surveys reports.