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Old 12-03-2015, 02:11 PM   #81
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I think it would be good for consumers and RT employees if Roadtrek ends up under the Hymer Group umbrella.
Agree. RT has a strong brand in the US, and there is a lot to admire about them. But it has become pretty clear that as a 21st century business, it is pretty much amateur hour up there. They badly need the discipline of a parent organization with real management skills in the industry.

Also, we badly need an efficient conduit of European design and construction ideas into the North American market. A RT/Hymer relationship could go a long way in that direction.
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Old 12-03-2015, 02:31 PM   #82
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And I don't think WGO will sit still. They are going to re-open the old Country Coach plant in Junction City, OR for RV manufacturing. No mention of what products they will produce in that plant. Just 200 employees initially, but Country Coach once had 1800 there.


Winnebago will re-open Lane County RV plant | OregonLive.com
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Old 12-03-2015, 02:36 PM   #83
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They are going to move select diesel Class A production to Oregon and they are going to revive the Country Coach line. Ron Lee, the founder of Country Coach, is selling them the properties and the intellectual property and the service center that will continue to handle old Country Coaches and become the west coast Winnebago servicer center also. Look at the Country Coach Facebook page for his take on it.
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Old 12-03-2015, 02:46 PM   #84
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I agree with all the comments about Roadtrek needing a jolt of the modern world, and business. The new owners claimed that they were committed to doing a business turnaround and modernize the company, but that just hasn't happened.

Having Roadtrek be a part of Hymer, could be as Marko said, very good for all of us. It could also be very for Roadtrek and the employees. It is very hard to work at a company that is total reactionary chaos, and their survival might even be an issue if things continue to go poorly.
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Old 12-03-2015, 03:15 PM   #85
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.........become the west coast Winnebago servicer center also.
Will the WGO service center handle their Class Bs? That would be good news for those on the West Coast.
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Old 12-03-2015, 03:42 PM   #86
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Will the WGO service center handle their Class Bs? That would be good news for those on the West Coast.
They have not provided any details but you would hope it is a service center for all Winnebagos but obviously it will not have access to the amount of replacement parts available in Iowa. There is already a staff there doing service and upgrades on Country Coaches so I would hope they are retained.
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Old 12-03-2015, 03:48 PM   #87
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I agree with all the comments about Roadtrek needing a jolt of the modern world, and business. The new owners claimed that they were committed to doing a business turnaround and modernize the company, but that just hasn't happened.

Having Roadtrek be a part of Hymer, could be as Marko said, very good for all of us. It could also be very for Roadtrek and the employees. It is very hard to work at a company that is total reactionary chaos, and their survival might even be an issue if things continue to go poorly.
I agree that this nothing but good news for Roadtrek for all the reasons stated. I suspect they also are going to face the end of the Chevy van production in the not too distant future so they need to get a strategy in place to keep up sales with far fewer models. They are starting to trim the low selling models as they bring out new models but a long term strategy as part of Hymer seems ideal.
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Old 12-03-2015, 04:55 PM   #88
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Will the WGO service center handle their Class Bs? That would be good news for those on the West Coast.
That was my first thought/hope.
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Old 12-03-2015, 05:05 PM   #89
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One question I would have is if Hymer competes on the low price end in Europe, or not? If that is not the target market, Winnebago may not have quite as much to worry about, unless Hymer goes after the small C market, also.
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Old 12-03-2015, 05:14 PM   #90
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One question I would have is if Hymer competes on the low price end in Europe, or not? If that is not the target market, Winnebago may not have quite as much to worry about, unless Hymer goes after the small C market, also.
They have a complete range of A-B-C's RVs under the Hymer brand

Motorhomes



and also a lot of other brands like BobB was mentioning.

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...

Edwin Hymer Group is a big company. Their RV brands are not just Hymer, but also Carado, Sunlight, Niesmann + Bischoff, and more. Sold 35,000 vehicles last year; 25k motorhomes, 10k trailers. They will bring a lot of engineering and production expertise to the relationship.
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Old 12-03-2015, 05:19 PM   #91
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One question I would have is if Hymer competes on the low price end in Europe, or not? If that is not the target market, Winnebago may not have quite as much to worry about, unless Hymer goes after the small C market, also.
My view is that Winnebago has a very strong position to stay in the lead for Class B sales with their large dealer network, strong brand, current large customer base with strong repeat sales, good value for their products, and good quality. I think it would be hard to take the sales lead away at least for the foreseeable future. All that said, there is no question that a Hymer/Roadtrek will do much better than Roadtrek continuing on their own. The European market seems to have innovations that will sell well in North America.
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Old 12-03-2015, 05:24 PM   #92
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I think it would be good for consumers and RT employees if Roadtrek ends up under the Hymer Group umbrella. What a Class B market place powerhouse that would be!

It's all the better that Winnebago has obtained a strong position in the space. (Actually leading market share for a while now)

The competition could be intense and we'll be the beneficiaries.
Agreed. The best that can happen is Hymer fires Roadtrek's executives and trains their employees.
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Old 12-03-2015, 05:25 PM   #93
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One question I would have is if Hymer competes on the low price end in Europe, or not? If that is not the target market, Winnebago may not have quite as much to worry about, unless Hymer goes after the small C market, also.
Remember it's Hymer Group - more than just the Hymer brand.

Hard to judge how Euro prices translate to US prices - exchange rates, shipping of certain parts/assemblies (while Grand Canyon may be "built" in US, I assume certain assemblies - cabinets, etc, may be shipped), any import taxes, etc. A Hymer Grand Canyon on a UK dealer website was listed around £47,000 - current conversion is $70,975. Don't know how or if RV's are discounted in Europe, though, like they are in US.
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Old 12-03-2015, 05:33 PM   #94
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Agreed. The best that can happen is Hymer fires Roadtrek's executives and trains their employees.
Now remember, they are in "cooperation" mode not acquisition or merger. Let's see how the "dating" phase goes first.
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Old 12-03-2015, 06:06 PM   #95
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Now remember, they are in "cooperation" mode not acquisition or merger. Let's see how the "dating" phase goes first.
Understood. There is no way a company like Hymer could evaluate a company like Roadtrek and think they need anything other than the brand name.
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Old 12-03-2015, 06:21 PM   #96
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Understood. There is no way a company like Hymer could evaluate a company like Roadtrek and think they need anything other than the brand name.
I agree, but a good brand is not a trivial (or inexpensive) thing.
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Old 12-03-2015, 06:36 PM   #97
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It is simply amazing that Roadtrek manages to sell any vans and stay in business with how terrible their management, employees, dealers, and products are, simply amazing
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Old 12-03-2015, 06:47 PM   #98
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It is simply amazing that Roadtrek manages to sell any vans and stay in business with how terrible their management, employees, dealers, and products are, simply amazing
What's wrong with their employees?
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:14 PM   #99
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What's wrong with their employees?
There was a suggestion from someone that Hymer would need to train them...

I personally think they seem to have a great workforce but the company could use a healthy dose of quality improvement focus, something their current owners claim to be experts at but don't seem to have implemented...
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:21 PM   #100
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I think Hymer needs more help from Roadtrek than vice versa. For one, they have to develop their vans for a North American market that will want air conditioning and tank/dump toilets, bigger refrigerators and microwaves. They already struck out once last year with a so what bomb of an RV, IMO.

Secondly, they need a good dealer network and marketing team. You can't deny Roadtrek doesn't have the best in both those categories.

What exactly could Roadtrek gain from Hymer that they don't already have?

Cabinetry? Just different styles the market in North America expects. I see nothing in a Hymer that converters haven't already done here and quite frankly a lot of converters have better looking interiors and finishes. Hymer takes me back to my early architecture career in the 1970s when we designed hospital and nursing home millwork and cabinetry.

Design? The HymerCar (B) have a very limited design vocabulary that the Travato hasn't already solved. Hymer's small van sacrifices a lot of space for those two crammed together uncomfortable traveling seats to create what they call a living room facing the turned around cab seats. So, it seats 4, travels 4 and sleeps 2. To sleep 4 you need their optional pop top upper bed which requires a bit of agility to get in to. The problem is North American standards load their roofs with the air conditioner, the exhaust fan, solar, TV, wifi and cellular. Hymer has not shown or indicated the pop top option, but they still maintain the 4 seats in a very small van.

Technology? Other than Truma heating and hot water they bring nothing I see to the table. They don't indicate solar, lithium ion batteries, larger battery banks, generators or second alternators. They don't seem to have integrated propane systems. That's all stuff most all North American converters know about and Roadtrek claims to be a leader. Criticize as much as we have, Roadtrek has at least pushed the envelope on battery systems and off the grid living.

Windows? They have double pane. Whoopie! They are plastic (ugh!), small and not very pleasing aesthetically on the exterior. North America has fallen in love with the continuous all window look.

Bathrooms? Roadtrek, Leisure Travel Vans and Great West Vans have already tried movable out of the way sinks in one form or another. Truth be told, they might be cute, but I think the majority of owners would prefer fixed in place sinks. Their bathrooms don't look all that great functionally. Aisle enclosure showers are no longer appealing to new buyers when the market is growing toward small Class Cs of which one feature is expressly a better bathroom with separate enclosed shower.

Sleeping? High beds make for great space gain for storage and hauling versatility but again needs agile and may I say fit people. Cross sleeping is not a desired feature. Piled up foam mattress segments is not an elegant design.

The Hymer designs seem to me to appeal to a different market that I don't know if it exists in significant numbers in North America. The North America market it seems to me has been more empty nest baby boomers who drive longer distances and stay out for longer periods. Hymer designs look more family, young, weekender, short vacation and tailgater oriented. They are small enough to be better every day drivers as well. That market demands a lower cost which the Promaster chassis has provided. Winnebago is a formidable competitor in that market and has stepped up its quality in recent years. It is not a premium market.

There is a lot of knock on Roadtrek. I don't particularly like their interior layouts as I have expressed many times, and their cabinetry is somewhat popular American traditional kitsch. But you have to understand, they had been number one for years and there is always a reluctance to not upset what works. Also, they came close to going under in the recession and an investment group probably doesn't want to retool any more than they have to. That would require capital in a market that does not show a lot of growth potential. They have been the leader in pushing into a new market appeal to create growth in that being the boondocking off the grid travel. You can't say they are not trying as they are leading and not following.
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