Yet another paragraph in the never ending RV industry saga. Now I know why Winnie was only offering two DP models. https://seekingalpha.com/news/3499431-winnebago-buys-premium-rv-maker-newmar-344m-deal
I don't want to knock Winnebago but I'm really sorry to see more consolidation in the RV industry, further reducing competition and choice. Even though Newmar supposedly will operate as a separate subsidiary, I've spent too much time in corporate conglomerates to believe their practices and policies will be unaffected.
On the plus side, Winnebago finally gets entry into the premium motorhome market that they've struggled to establish for the last decade. It will be interesting to watch and see if they leave Newmar as their sole premium brand (ala Fleetwood and American Coach) or introduce sisters to the Essex and King Aire as high end Winnebago models.
Winnebago flirted with high-end coaches back in early 2000s with the Ultimate's - Ultimate Advantage and Ultimate Freedom, then they decided "that's not us" (a quote from one of their senior people to me years ago.) Then they brought out a blinged up Class A (42 or 45 foot, I forgot.) Their marketing director told me they didn't expect to sell a bunch of them (it's a completely different market) and certainly not every dealer would even want one on their lot.
Now I'm wondering if Winnebago tried to buy Tiffen, I think they are privately held.
I'm kind of with Gary - would have rather had Newmar be a place I could jump to when I wanted to move out of Winnebago. Now I just hope they don't try to meet in the middle. I liked seeing all the premium stuff on the King Air and watching it trickle down into the Dutch Star a few years later.
Winnebago has now taken on over $800M worth of debt to buy Grand Design and Newmar; Fleetwood was highly leveraged and when the economy hit rock bottom about 2007 they were bankrupted. Winnebago had a rough ride then and had to slow production, lay off people, etc. but they survived because there was essentially no debt to service. Most of their executive leadership team has been brought aboard long after those dark days.
There's already been a hiccup with their purchase of the old Country Coach facility and moving Class A production there, that didn't work out.
Tiffin is still privately held by Bob as CEO and the three sons. There has however been some significant changes with their business model over the last few years. Some believe it's the son's starting to impress their ideas on the company for the future. But that is causing consternation among the older Tiffin owners. I just view it as change. That's about the only thing you can guarantee in life is change.
I'll splice this thread on the one in Industry news. I think Winne news actually belongs here since we have a Winnebago specific board, Winnie owners might not check that other board (I haven't looked in there for a couple of months.)
Edit: I think I'll just close this thread and refer to the other one already started.