At a time where exclusive vendor-OEM arrangements are becoming more prevalent, Winnebago Industries Inc., of Forest, City, Iowa has designated Freightliner Custom Chassis LLC, Gafney, S.C., to exclusively supply chassis for Winnebago’s diesel-pusher motorhome brands.
Fleetwood Enterprises Inc., Riverside, Calif., and Newmar Corp., Nappanee, Ind., recently entered into similar agreements with Spartan Motors Inc. On Aug. 1 Fleetwood also began using Caterpillar engines exclusively in its six diesel lines.
Winnebago’s partnership with Freightliner to provide chassis for Winnebago Journey and Vectra motorhomes, as well as Itasca Meridian and Horizon diesel pushers, is intended in part to lessen disputes and expedite solutions between OEM’s and chassis manufacturers when problems crop up.
“There are key advantages to this agreement and there are also performance clauses which all parties must adhere to,” Winnebago Vice President of Sales Roger Martin said in announcing the partnership during the company’s Dealer Days July 25-28 at Paris Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
“Part of our discussions,” he added, “have centered on finding ways to better and more quickly resolve serious customer disputes.”
Winnebago Chairman and CEO Bruce Hertzke told RV Business he expected such exclusive arrangements with suppliers to increase as OEM’s work to achieve increased customer satisfaction.
“Our objective is to have more service points and less hassle when there are service problems, so they will be resolved much faster,” Hertzke said.