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Old 02-23-2016, 08:08 PM   #21
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Hmmm... I feel better about our video now!
Not that you ever really had anything to feel bad about, you just happened to be operating the video camera while Hymer did the talking...

Just not something Roadtrek wanted revealed quite yet...
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Old 02-23-2016, 08:33 PM   #22
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It was funny how JH would "bristle" at the idea they were a contract assembler. Well, I don't see how being acquired is a much different status in this world. I'm sure in his mind he sees this as a merger or an investment as a reward for how well he's managed RT. Who knows, maybe he ended up with a big payday to stay on as Pres.
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Old 02-23-2016, 08:41 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by gregmchugh View Post
Not that you ever really had anything to feel bad about, you just happened to be operating the video camera while Hymer did the talking...

Just not something Roadtrek wanted revealed quite yet...
We all thought you were more likely correct than the info from Roadtrek, I think

It has shown that the information from Hymer was way, way, more upfront and accurate than that out of Roadtrek, but based on past history of Roadtrek information accuracy, that is not all the surprising. I hope the Hymer transparency and willingness to give out information is sign of how things will be with them in the future.
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Old 02-23-2016, 08:43 PM   #24
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Hmmm... I feel better about our video now!
Yes, in your video Hymer made it very clear that Roadtrek would be their NA builder. The question is who will sell Hymer. They were also mentioning in your interview that Hymer would have their own network of dealers. Maybe they changed that with the recent acquisition deal. Or maybe they will have them in separate networks and eventually would merge it all when the phasing out of certain RT models will be complete. Again I don't think the invasion of the NA market will be done with Bs. They made it very clear that they want the whole Hymer Armada. The Grand Canyon is only the reconnaissance ship.

The low end, no-nonsense North American SRT Zion at 85K (with big fridge, microwave, black tank etc.) would not be really competing with the Euro-chic spartan Grand Canyon at 105K? Curious to see what will be their marketing strategy on multiple fronts.
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Old 02-23-2016, 08:44 PM   #25
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It was funny how JH would "bristle" at the idea they were a contract assembler. Well, I don't see how being acquired is a much different status in this world. I'm sure in his mind he sees this as a merger or an investment as a reward for how well he's managed RT. Who knows, maybe he ended up with a big payday to stay on as Pres.
IMO, being acquired is way worse than being a contract manufacturer. If you are on contract, you have some leverage on things, and can always end it and get other business. If you are acquired, you build what you are told to, how you are told to, when you are told to, and all the bluster and name calling won't change any of that for the better for you.

Maybe Hammil was hoping it would fall through until the very end.
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:11 PM   #26
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I think the contract manufacturing stuff was pure Spin talk, they both knew very well where this was headed....

Seems like developing a whole new dealer network for Hymer products would take too long, just pick the best current Roadtrek dealers to start things going. Some may want to be dealers and others not. Avoid the dealers who are crap, no reason to reward them with Hymer products that they are unlikely to be able to handle up to standards Hymer should be looking for. Good opportunity to weed out some of the weak ones...
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:24 PM   #27
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I suspect what they'll do is offer their existing franchisees a "free" Hymer franchise. They may weed out a few dealers they want to get rid of by not offering. Normally you'd have to pay a franchise fee to carry a new product, but in the case of mergers & acquisitions that is normally not what happens. Of course, some states have laws that affect how this is all done that they'll have to adhere to.
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:29 PM   #28
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Hmmm..... Where have I heard this before......

Huge, Conservative, German, manufacturer takes over a Small, Independent, company with a gunslinger culture for trying new things.....

I hope this doesn't go the way of the Mercedes/Chrysler merger.
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:33 PM   #29
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Probably still time to grab some new identities on Facebook before they are taken...

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Old 02-23-2016, 09:33 PM   #30
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I would find it a shame if the Roadtrek brand were to be completely eliminated, if only for the resale value of the existing fleet. If things go the way I would like, my RT will be so old when I finish with it that resale value won't matter. But what about the people who just shelled out $100K for a Roadtrek and want to sell it in a few years?
I suspect they will at least keep part of the lineup, maybe calling it "Roadtrek by ..." like we see with other brands.
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:40 PM   #31
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It would make sense to keep making the typical Roadtrek design under the Roadtrek brand and the more European style units under the Hymer brand.

One brand for the traditional customers and one to attract new customers.

Or to put it another way, one brand for the generally older demographic and one brand for the generally younger demographic...
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:54 PM   #32
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From what I saw of the layout of the Grand Canyon, it was not my cup of tea. I have a SRT on order, the thing I hope for is between now and then the factory is having it's A game to impress the Hymer folks.
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:56 PM   #33
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It would make sense to keep making the typical Roadtrek design under the Roadtrek brand and the more European style units under the Hymer brand.

One brand for the traditional customers and one to attract new customers.

Or to put it another way, one brand for the generally older demographic and one brand for the generally younger demographic...
I think a lot of it will be how many models they figure the can afford to have in the short, medium, long term. I would certainly think the Chevies will go away quickly now, as Hymer has no expertise with them, and there would be no sharing of stuff with the other models. Promasters will be a natural, Sprinters also, but maybe not as much. I don't think Hymer uses Tranists, so that probably would kill that if true.

We also don't know how much effort will go in to trailers vs motorhomes, so it all will be fun to watch. Hymer certainly will have a different take on things than Roadtrek or other North America builders.
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:58 PM   #34
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Does Hymer have production processes that would raise the normal quality level of North American production Class B and C rvs?
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Old 02-24-2016, 12:58 AM   #35
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I think we have a skewed value of the Roadtrek brand. Most RV shoppers probably have no idea what Roadtrek is.

But you'd get 99% recognition if you mention Airstream or Winnebago. Those are brands that have tremendous value. Roadtrek and Hymer in the US? Not so much.

I think you'll see a big push to get the Hymer name out there. They won't spend effort promoting two names - especially when hardly anyone recognizes either. Expect to see marketing with claims of being the world's largest and oldest RV builder.
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Old 02-24-2016, 12:02 PM   #36
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Just posting the full Press Release:

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Erwin Hymer Group (EHG) acquires Roadtrek, North America’s leading manufacturer of Class B motorhomes.

· This strategic acquisition allows EHG to enter the North American market as the first European manufacturer of RVs.
· Erwin Hymer Group will rely on the existing Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc. management team in order to introduce further EHG brands – first and foremost HymerCar – into the North American market.
· The agreement includes comprehensive commitments on the safeguarding of work places.
· The production facility in Kitchener, ON (Canada) is to be extended further to allow for the local production of vehicles from different brands of EHG.
· The transaction is to be completed on 24 February 2016 (closing date).
· Thus, Roadtrek Motorhomes, Inc. will become Erwin Hymer Group North America, Inc.

Bad Waldsee (Germany), Kitchener, ON (Canada), 23 February 2016 – Erwin Hymer Group, Europe’s largest motorhome and caravan manufacturer and Industrial Opportunity Partners, LLC (IOP), a capital investment fund from Illinois (USA), have agreed to the acquisition of all shares in Roadtrek Motorhomes, Inc. including its U.S. subsidiary Roadtrek Motorhomes USA, Inc. by Erwin Hymer Group.

After the closing date the company name will change to Erwin Hymer Group North America, Inc. Jim Hammill, formerly the CEO of Roadtrek Motorhomes, Inc. will become the president and CEO of this newly formed company.

Roadtrek – for 25 years the no. 1 in the Class B segment

Roadtrek Motorhomes, Inc. is a Canadian manufacturer of Class B motorhomes (compact leisure vehicles) with headquarters in Kitchener, Ontario (Canada). Founded in the 1970s, the company employs a staff of 300 and operates mainly in the U.S. and Canada. It runs two production facilities in Kitchener (Ontario). In the course of the firm’s history, its dedicated team of engineers has repeatedly developed innovative technology such as the use of solar energy, lithium batteries as well as heating and air conditioning controls via smart phone or tablet. Roadtrek maintains a market share of 30% in the North American market for class B motorhomes which makes it the market leader in this segment.
Roadtrek Motorhomes, Inc.’s management team possesses excellent knowledge of the U.S. and Canadian markets which makes it the ideal partner for EHG to successfully position its products on the North American market.


German engineering – European design

Furthermore, the resulting entity Erwin Hymer Group North America, Inc. provides a perfect starting point from which to introduce Erwin Hymer Group’s additional brands into the U.S. market. HymerCar, Hymer’s Class B model has already been introduced to the public and dealers at various trade shows in the U.S. and was able to impress with its well thought through special concept when compared with American models as well as with its high-quality European design. HymerCar is now produced at Erwin Hymer Group North America, Inc.’s Kitchener production facility. Its market launch is scheduled to take place in early summer 2016.

“The strategic acquisition of Roadtrek allows Erwin Hymer Group to enter the world’s largest RV market – the U.S. and Canada – as the first European manufacturer of motorhomes and caravans,” says Martin Brandt, Chairman of the Board of Erwin Hymer Group AG & Co. KG. “With the acquisition of Roadtrek, we pursue our sustainable international strategy of growth. It is our goal to further extend our leading position in Europe and to become a global supplier of high-quality motorhomes and caravans. This acquisition is characterised by a spirit of partnership. We happily welcome Roadtrek’s employees to Erwin Hymer Group,” Brandt continues.

“We are all very much looking forward to our future plans,” says Jim Hammill, President and CEO of Roadtrek Motorhomes, Inc. “Becoming part of Erwin Hymer Group allows us to better utilize strategic chances and to generate demonstrable value for our customers and employees, both in the short and the long term.”

– THE END -

About ERWIN HYMER GROUP
With a turnover of more than 1.4 billion Euros, ERWIN HYMER GROUP is Europe’s largest manufacturer of motorhomes and caravans. The group sells more than 35,000 vehicles annually and employs a staff of some 4,400 in its associated companies.
The following motorhome and caravan brands are part of ERWIN HYMER GROUP: Bürstner, Carado, Dethleffs, HYMER, Niesmann+Bischoff, Laika, LMC and Sunlight, Europe’s largest motor home rental company McRent, the chassis specialist Goldschmitt, the accessory specialist Movera as well as the tent caravan manufacturer 3DOG camping.
ERWIN HYMER GROUP

About Roadtrek
Roadtrek is North America’s leading manufacturer of Class B motorhomes (compact leisure vehicles). The company has a turnover of 86 Mio Euros (96 Mio dollars) annually and employs a staff of 300 at its two production facilities in Kitchener, Ontario (Canada).

Press contacts:
Jacqueline Casini
Head of Corporate Communications
Erwin Hymer Group
E-mail: Jacqueline.casini@erwinhymergroup.com
Tel.: +49 (0) 7524-999-8448
Cellphone: +49 (0) 151 – 44 34 55 83

Karyn Torcoletti
Director of Marketing
Erwin Hymer Group North America, Inc.
E-mail: karynt@erwinhymergroupna.com
Tel: 519-745-0711 ext. 1175
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Old 02-24-2016, 12:47 PM   #37
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Erwin Hymer Group (EHG) acquires Roadtrek, North America’s leading manufacturer of Class B motorhomes.

Really? By what measure?
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Old 02-24-2016, 01:37 PM   #38
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While Roadtrek management doesn't get much respect here, I will make the case that the company has managed to get through the transition of being bought by an investment firm and now sold to a company that seems to be aligned with their traditional values, much worse things could have happened...

My take on the deal...

Hymer gets an accelerated entry into North America with an existing plant with experienced employees, access to an existing dealer network, design and engineering experience familiar with the North American market, and access to some new technology that can be used across their product lines. All of these would have taken time to develop in their own.

The main thing the new entity in Kitchener gets is the long term stability of being in a very large family run company that seems to have values that align with their traditional values rather than being sold by the investment firm to a large public company driven by the bottom line or dissolved if a buyer could not be found.

I see these as the major reasons why this can be viewed as a win-win.
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Old 02-24-2016, 02:01 PM   #39
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Hymer gets an accelerated entry into North America with an existing plant with experienced employees, access to an existing dealer network, design and engineering experience familiar with the North American market, and access to some new technology that can be used across their product lines. All of these would have taken time to develop in their own.

The main thing Roadtrek gets is the long term stability of being in a very large family run company that seems to have values that align with their traditional values rather than being sold by the investment firm to a large public company driven by the bottom line or dissolved if a buyer could not be found.
I agree with the first half of this.
But, as has been said, this was an acquisition, not a merger. The main thing that the (former) Roadtrek gets is money. They no longer exist. All that is left that is uniquely "RT" is a brand and some van designs. I'm sure that Hymer will attempt to get value from those things, at least in the short run as it builds the Hymer brand in the USA. If the market responds well, then those things may endure. If it doesn't, then, all things RT will just fade away. As you say, even if that happens rapidly, Hymer got plenty of value for its money.
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Old 02-24-2016, 02:40 PM   #40
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I agree with the first half of this.
But, as has been said, this was an acquisition, not a merger. The main thing that the (former) Roadtrek gets is money. They no longer exist. All that is left that is uniquely "RT" is a brand and some van designs. I'm sure that Hymer will attempt to get value from those things, at least in the short run as it builds the Hymer brand in the USA. If the market responds well, then those things may endure. If it doesn't, then, all things RT will just fade away. As you say, even if that happens rapidly, Hymer got plenty of value for its money.
If you are referring to the former Roadtrek as the investment group then I agree in terms of them getting money in the deal. I guess I should have said that the Roadtrek I was referring to in terms of getting a more stable future is the existing workforce. Given the other outcomes that could have happened I think they got a very good outcome.

For current owners it could have been worse if the company was dissolved.

Will the brand and the traditional character of a Roadtrek van (whatever that is?) survive in the long term? Maybe, maybe not...

Will future owners be better served? I think so...

Will things change for the better? I believe so but time will tell. I think the new entity in Kitchener will be heading back towards the qualities that owners appreciated before it was sold to the investment group.
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