Suncoast RV, a multi-location dealer based in the Southeast, recently opened an outlet in Elkhart, Ind., offering several brands including Winnebago.
According to a report in the Elkhart Truth, Winnebago products have not been available in the traditionally high-volume Elkhart market for 20 years.
Jacksonville, Fla.-based Suncoast Properties, which currently operates 19 southeastern dealerships primarily in Florida and Georgia, bought property from a prominent Elkhart auto dealer last summer.
Kevin Hesch, a former wholesaler for Nappanee, Ind.-based Gulf Stream Coach Inc., partnered with Suncoast and will serve as general manager for the dealership.
According to the Truth, Hesch and Suncoast spent approximately $1.5 million in improvements on the new dealership.
The 31/2-acre site includes some 33,000 square feet under roof, featuring two large showrooms along with a parts and full-service department. The site also offers a two-acre parking lot and can accommodate overnight RV visitors.
Besides Winnebago, which Hesch considers his “draw card,” the dealership will offer products from Monaco Coach, Gulf Stream, Sun Valley, Camp Master, Starcraft and Four Winds.
“My goal is to sell between 250 and 300 units my first year,” said Hesch.
Salem Hassan, vice president of Suncoast, revealed last summer, when his firm purchased the property, that Suncoast had been looking at the Elkhart market for quite some time.
Winnebago, one of the few high profile brands not built in northern Indiana, also felt they needed a presence in Elkhart.
“It’s an area we’ve looked at. With Elkhart County being the hub and with us not being here, we felt like we needed to be in,” said Steve Schumacher, Midwest district sales manager for Winnebago.