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Old 04-15-2019, 11:23 PM   #1
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Default Roadtrek has a buyer...

https://www.erienewsnow.com/story/40...dtrek-rv-brand
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Old 04-16-2019, 12:55 AM   #2
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Anybody know anything at all about this company or its products.

It is positive that it is still a family operation. Not that it worked out so well with the German family. Must hit the google...
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Old 04-16-2019, 01:07 AM   #3
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Rapido saved Westfalia from their disaster venture with Daimler Benz and Westfalia is doing well.

Daimler Benz forced Westfalia and WV marriage divorce. Short venture of VW and Winnebago didnít last and the VW van business unable to compete with the blooming SUV market ultimately pulled out from NA.

So, letís hope that Rapido will save Roadtrek as they did Westfalia.
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Old 04-16-2019, 04:47 AM   #4
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Rooting for them!
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Old 04-17-2019, 10:04 PM   #5
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Awesome news. Hope it all works out and they mention they will honor warranties. Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket tonight... my luck is changing.
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Old 04-17-2019, 11:55 PM   #6
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Rapido owns the Westfalia brand for nearly 10 years after they bought it out of bankruptcy. They have bought a number of other small rv companies in Europe. They said they planned to reopen one plant and eventually produce as many as 1000 units annually.
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Old 04-18-2019, 11:08 AM   #7
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So who is going to pay for the warranty work on existing roadtreks? The buyers of the new 1000 a year roadtreks?
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Old 04-18-2019, 03:05 PM   #8
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Of course revenue from current customers pays for the warranty work for past customers and they will ultimately pay for the purchase and all its associated costs as well. There is no free lunch.

Someone suggested that the most likely scenario is that Rapido will pay a third party insurer to cover the warranties. That removes warranty holders from the list of Hymer NA's creditors.
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Old 04-18-2019, 03:12 PM   #9
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So who is going to pay for the warranty work on existing roadtreks? The buyers of the new 1000 a year roadtreks?
Obviously Rapido is going to pay, but just for those Roadtreks purchased before Feb 15. Those who purchased after... at 25-40% of MSRP will likely not be covered, since their prices excluded the warranty presumably. There will be whining... (though many - even most understand that difference and will be happy with the simplified access to parts)

Another group not covered are all the buyers of the units branded Hymer, which are not included in the purchase. This rather leaves all of them out in the cold. Realistically most all of them are not expecting Thor to do anything for them.

The expectation is that the new Roadtreks will not have the same generous warranty that those of us who purchased since 2015 have.
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Old 04-18-2019, 03:36 PM   #10
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I think that if Rapido is as smart and aware of the the market as they appear to be, they will either do a one time insurance expenditure for the warranties as has been mentioned or they will take the money out of cost of the purchase fund. Although none of this would matter to the warranty customers, putting the costs of the past warranty costs into their pricing formula for the new products could skew their pricing excessively and hurt competitiveness. Better to start clean in this, I think.


Of course, all customers that bought from Rapido in the past and future, will be paying for the warranty indirectly as the funds would come from past and future profits, but I don't think they would want to heap all that on only the future Roadtrek customers
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Old 04-18-2019, 03:56 PM   #11
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"since their prices excluded the warranty presumably."

Why would you say that? They certainly had a warranty when the dealer bought them. The description on the Roadtrek website continues to include a warranty. The fact that a bunch of people, including the dealers who sold them and likely most of the buyers, didn't expect the warranties to be honored doesn't mean they weren't legal obligations for Hymer NA. If I hadn't just bought an RV, I would have grabbed one of the new Agiles at a bargain with the expectation that there was a good chance the company might survive and honor its warranty. It looks like that is exactly what happened.

Its also not clear the Hymer units won't be included. That assumes that this is just a goodwill gesture to protect the Roadtrek brand. But for the Hymer NA receiver those Hymer warranties are a legal liabilities of Hymer NA that they need to deal with. Rapido could very easily have made taking on responsibility for those warranties sweeten their offer for Roadtrek's assets. Especially, if all that meant was adding those units to the list they were getting a third party too insure.

We don't know the details of this deal. But, if the financial details are correct, there are going to be some losers whether creditors or owners. By far the largest unsecured creditor is Erwin Hymer Group, now owned by Thor. After that debt is paid, I don't see how there is anything left for the Hymer family as owners unless Rapido paid a huge premium over book value. That's possible, since the Roadtrek brand would appear to be the companies most valuable asset and it isn't listed in the book value.

EHG only took $200 million off their price when they excluded HymerNA from their deal. So presumably Thor didn't think the Roadtrek name was worth more than that unless they expected to recover some of HymerNA's debt to EHG. If they recover all the money HymerNA owed to EHG, then excluding HymerNA from the deal saved them $500 million. The $200 million in price reduction plus the money from the loan repayment. So the maximum value Thor placed on Roadtrek was $500 million and it was probably less than that.
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Old 04-18-2019, 07:30 PM   #12
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.If I hadn't just bought an RV, I would have grabbed one of the new Agiles at a bargain with the expectation that there was a good chance the company might survive and honor its warranty. It looks like that is exactly what happened.
There are no bargain Class Bs in the NA market. Thereís a really high priced, high quality (ARV).

Thereís high priced, okay to good quality (Pleasure Way, Safari Condo)

high priced, poor quality (Roadtrek, Thor)

And tolerably priced, acceptable quality (Travato)

Unfortunately bargains are no where to be found in NA unless you have a ton of money and you consider paying 3-400k for exactly what you want to be a bargain. In that scenario, Iíd agree with you.
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Old 04-18-2019, 07:56 PM   #13
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Bargain is in the eyes of the beholder, but there are a lot of people who disagree with you about Roadtrek and are satisfied customers. I think a new Agile for less than $80,000 is a bargain to most people. You can't up-build one yourself on a Mercedes chassis for that price. But that isn't really relevant to this discussion, which was whether the warranty was included in that price.
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Old 04-18-2019, 08:06 PM   #14
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Let's just hope that the new owners have more of a commitment to quality than the old ones did. Initial build quality at this price point has been a disgrace for more than a decade.
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Old 04-18-2019, 09:07 PM   #15
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Let's just hope that the new owners have more of a commitment to quality than the old ones did. Initial build quality at this price point has been a disgrace for more than a decade.
In 2012/13 we were looking for a B-class van and look at Roadtrek Agile, didnít take much time to see that fit and finish was lacking quality. I remember difficulties closing the tilted bathroom door and the sliding door screen falling off. Fit and finish is usually a good indicator of what hides under the skin. Airstream was about the same, pantry on the bottom was off by 1Ē, very different if compared with their trailers.

About the same time, I sold a large item and the buyer picked it up with a new Chevy Based Roadtrek, there was big difference in fit and finish quality between previously seen Agile and this one, perhaps because of older design. But we were looking for high sliding doors so Chevy was out, hence DIY matching well our needs.

I believe that EU RV manufacturers use more of automotive level manufacturing methods resulting in quality. Extensive use of CAD, NC tools, plastic molding, automation will result in higher fit and finish quality than often used carpentry tools in NA. Hymer had access to these methodologies but didnít bring them here for B-class, perhaps their trailers manufacturing was more advanced.

I said this before, big advantage for Rapido is potential to extract value from Hymerís fiasco.
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Old 04-18-2019, 09:58 PM   #16
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The new owner should have no trouble learning from Hymer’s mistakes and setting up a high quality production system and identifying a target market that will differentiate their offerings from the rest of the crowd. Competitive pricing and high quality are not that difficult to achieve in parallel using modern production systems.
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:23 PM   #17
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The new owner should have no trouble learning from Hymerís mistakes and setting up a high quality production system and identifying a target market that will differentiate their offerings from the rest of the crowd. Competitive pricing and high quality are not that difficult to achieve in parallel using modern production systems.

Totally agree although I do think it may take a bit of time to get implemented. They will likely be going into an existing facility, probably the Shirley plant, that is set up very old school if it is still like when we went through some years ago. The production crew will probably be an interesting challenge, as they likely will be many of the original Roadtrek building crew who will be very experienced, certainly motivated, but not used to working in a (hopefully) well run, efficient, participative environment. They probably will also will be dealing with left over, less than stellar quality, old parts and designs for a while. Certainly not insurmountable and if done well, the results will be very rapid improvement and enthusiasm. Let's all be hopeful.
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:23 PM   #18
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.....................Competitive pricing and high quality are not that difficult to achieve in parallel using modern production systems.
Indeed, modern production can result in high quality and low price. For my cabinetry I used aluminum frame designed on CAD and cut at the 8020 factory with 0.005Ē tolerance. HDPE panels were cut on CNC machine to even better tolerance by Impact3D folks. Assembly was similar to assembly of Legos with the final fit and finish unattainable using hand held routers, or table saws, or miter saws, or staplers from Home Depot.
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Old 04-18-2019, 11:00 PM   #19
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Totally agree although I do think it may take a bit of time to get implemented. They will likely be going into an existing facility, probably the Shirley plant, that is set up very old school if it is still like when we went through some years ago. The production crew will probably be an interesting challenge, as they likely will be many of the original Roadtrek building crew who will be very experienced, certainly motivated, but not used to working in a (hopefully) well run, efficient, participative environment. They probably will also will be dealing with left over, less than stellar quality, old parts and designs for a while. Certainly not insurmountable and if done well, the results will be very rapid improvement and enthusiasm. Let's all be hopeful.
I wonder if it is reasonable to continue with most of the current RT designs. They will surely stop using the Chevy chassis and maybe focus on the Promaster initially for any new models if they are using Westfalia designs. I think the short Sprinter would be a good option since there isnít really much competition there. Take time to hire back the right people who are receptive to a new management approach, have them involved in retooling the production process, and pick a couple designs to start production. Will definitely take awhile...
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Old 04-18-2019, 11:18 PM   #20
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A few years ago, we took a tour of the Airstream factory in Jackson Center, OH. The tour guide, a long time employee, proudly announced, "There's one thing you won't see at Airstream, robots." They seemed to actually be proud of their old-school production methods, although I would argue that a CNC router (which they had plenty of) qualifies as a "robot" in my book. Mind you, they were producing trailers, so to me the remark was even stranger. One might make the argument that robots might be hard to implement inside a Class B van.
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