Wednesday, February 06, 2008



RV Business
Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Although few details have been released, FreedomRoads/Camping World and Featherlite Luxury Coaches Inc. yesterday (Feb. 5) announced in terse separate releases that they have called off a Nov. 27 agreement through which FreedomRoads would have become the high-end conversion bus builder’s exclusive U.S. sales and service outlet.

Sales and service operations, under the initial agreement, were to have begun at selected FreedomRoads/Camping World facilities in mid-December.

“Featherlite Coaches, Inc. announced today that it has notified FreedomRoads/Camping World that it has elected to terminate its relationship with FreedomRoads/Camping World,” Conrad Clement, chairman and CEO of Sanford, Fla.-based Featherlite, stated in a one-paragraph release.

And this from FreedomRoads Chairman and CEO Marcus Lemonis in a statement released the same day: “FreedomRoads and Camping World, America’s largest RV and outdoor retailer, today announced it will no longer represent Featherlite Motor Coaches in their dealer network and has terminated its agreement with the manufacturer. Company executives cited that the relationship was not optimal.”

As a company “looking to expand our market presence and price points nationally,” Lemonis further stated, “we’ve had recent success with (Fleetwood’s) American Coach and Monaco (Monaco Coach Corp.) and will pursue other product lines to fill this luxury void.”

Featherlite’s Vantare H3-45 and Vantare XLII lines, both Prevost bus shell conversions, are marketed and sold through factory-direct outlets, and the FreedomRoads deal would have given the company sales and service centers for its luxury motor coaches at selected FreedomRoads locations with a wider geographic reach.

Featherlite Luxury Coaches was formed in October of 2006 following the merger of Cresco, Iowa-based specialty trailer builder Featherlite Inc. with Universal Trailer Holdings Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio.



Feb 6 (Reuters) - Recreational vehicle maker Monaco Coach Corp (MNC.N: Quote, Profile, Research) posted a quarterly profit that handily beat market expectations, as it increased market share and overhauled production lines to improve margins.

Shares of the company, which lost about 40 percent of their market value in the past 52 weeks, rose more than 19 percent to $11.06 in morning trade, making them the biggest percentage gainer on the New York Stock Exchange. Net income for the fourth-quarter was $2.7 million, or 9 cents a share, compared with a loss of $562,000, or 2 cents a share, a year ago.

Analysts on average were expecting a profit of 2 cents a share, before special items, according to Reuters Estimates.

Revenue fell to $292.1 million, from $299.2 million a year earlier, and was short of analysts' expectations of $293.2 million.

Net sales for the motorized recreational vehicle segment rose 1.4 percent to $244.3 million. However, sales for the Towable RV and Motorhome Resorts segments fell.

The recent interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve should help the RV market in the second half of 2008, the Coburg, Oregon-based company said.

Leisure sectors, such as motor homes, had been facing a tough environment as rising interest rates, the slumping U.S. housing market and tighter credit markets combined to weaken consumer confidence.

Looking ahead, the company said it would achieve its prior outlook if the RV market is flat in 2008, which would likely require a rebound in consumer confidence.

In October, the company had forecast 2008 sales to be little changed from 2007, at $1.27 billion to $1.28 billion. Monaco expects its internal improvements and anticipated gains in market share to help post 2008 results similar to 2007 if RV markets were down about 10 percent, it said. (Reporting by Anant Vijay Kala in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy)

Monday, February 04, 2008



Dayton Business Journal

RV and bus maker Thor Industries Inc. reported Monday an increase in preliminary sales for the second quarter and six months ending Jan. 31.

The Jackson Center-based manufacturer said preliminary sales in the second quarter hit $598 million, up 2 percent from $584 million in the prior year's period. RV sales were up 3 percent to $504 million from $491 million during the same period last year.

Bus sales were up 1 percent to $94 million from $93 million in the same quarter of 2007.

Six-month total sales chugged ahead to $1.36 billion up from the $1.31 billion, during the previous year. Bus sales were at a record $193 million, up 4 percent from $185 million during the same six month period last year. RV sales were up 4 percent to $1.17 billion from $1.13 billion in 2007.

Thor's backlog orders also saw an increase to $568 million, from $545 million in January 2007.

Shares of Thor were trading at $35.48 Monday morning, down 3 percent or $1.23 from Friday's close of $36.71.

Thor has 8,500 employees, with about 350 workers at its Jackson Center operations in Shelby County.

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