About 250 dealer personnel gathered Tuesday (Sept. 24) inside what will eventually become the lamination facility for Alliance RV as officials outlined the company’s business plan, which includes the debut of a luxury full-profile fifth-wheel by the first of the year.
The morning event in in Elkhart, Ind., was moderated by Coley and Ryan Brady, the brothers who previously had worked at Heartland RV before leaving the Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary earlier this year to form Alliance RV with their father, Brian Brady, a former Heartland RV president who also addressed the dealer audience several times.
“You never know what to expect,” Ryan Brady told RVBUSINESS.com. “We put a press release out last week and reached out to some dealers, but the response really was overwhelming. I think we had 250 dealer principals and staff out here; it was extremely encouraging. We’re excited — very excited.”
Coley Brady added that he especially appreciated the interaction with dealers following the presentation. Several asked very pointed questions about product, pricing and dealer support, and Brady said that healthy discussion is important in that it will “help drive our overall strategy.”
“We have a preliminary strategy in place, but there’s definitely some opportunity to fine-tune that strategy,” he said. “It was great to talk to them today, and we’re going to be talking to them more later today and Wednesday and Thursday. There’s a lot of interest and we’ve got a lot of work to do in the next three days after we get out of Open House to figure out where it makes sense for us to go and what dealers we should partner with. But I’m thrilled with the response. I’m thrilled at the turnout.”
Throughout their presentation, the Bradys stressed that Alliance RV is committed to quality, trust and service. They said they have sufficient capital to remain an independently-owned manufacturer for many years to come and that such a company is “healthy for the industry.”
Bill Martin, vice president of customer service, noted that Alliance RV is a “truly independent and owner-operated manufacturer. Several of our team have skin in the game. These aren’t bank loans. This is our actual money. We need to be successful, and we know that if we take care of the customers — and I mean the retail customers and our dealers — we believe that we’ll be successful.”
With regard to how the company will build its dealer base, Alliance RV management is promising one dealer per market, one product per price point, and no product cloning. It was agreed that determining an attractive MSRP will be up for further discussion, as was utilizing either minimum advertised pricing (MAP) or MSRP.
Martin and the Bradys unveiled a few details of the company’s first product, a luxury full-profile fifth-wheel whose prototype is still under construction. The line will debut with five floorplans at the first of the year before eventually expanding to as many as nine configurations. In fact, Alliance RV is set to introduce the as-yet-unnamed fiver at the Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa as well as several other consumers shows in key markets in early 2020.
The line will target the 3/4- and one-ton tow vehicle market, and units will range from a rear-living model just under 35 feet to two 40-foot, 4-inch long floorplans, with one being a rear kitchen unit. All five 101-inch wide floorplans are front-bedroom with three slide units, which Martin said will feature “best in class running gear” including Dexter 4K HD springs, MORryde HD shackles and wet bolts, MORryde CRE 3000 suspension system, 4,400-pound G-rated all-steel tires, a tire pressure monitoring system and optional disc brakes.
Other highlights include: three air conditioners, color-coded wiring with schematics, plumbing shutoff valves, “travel-full” holding tank reinforcements, residential-sized showers and ovens, PVC roof membrane, MCD shades, and prepped for slide toppers, solar and Wi-Fi.
Future plans include introducing one new product every year, including a toy hauler at the 2020 Elkhart RV Open House.
Additionally, the company is expecting to complete construction of its 112,000-square-foot production plant by the end of this year, with an attached corporate office to come sometime later. With a 112-acre property located on the southeast corner of Elkhart, the Bradys noted Alliance RV has plenty of room for growth in the heart of the RV capital of North America.
After their presentation, the Bradys and Martin also acknowledged that their excitement and enthusiasm for launching a brand new RV manufacturer has kept them up at nights.
“I’ve got to be honest with you, it’s given me like a whole new energy,” Coley Brady said. “And it makes you want to work harder. I can’t let these dealers down, and that’s what I told them here today: ‘We can’t let you down if you guys give us an opportunity to partner up with you. We’ve got to deliver on all fronts. And that’s on the quality front. That’s on the product design front. That’s on the marketing back-end support front. There can’t be any area that we miss on.’ So we’re working to make sure we cover all of our bases, to make sure that we hit on all those notes. I’m very energized about what’s going on here and excited to get to work.”