Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-26-2005, 06:57 PM   #1
4 Rivet Member
 
Cedars's Avatar
 
1983 31' Excella
Waterloo , Iowa
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 355
Dealerships new, old and otherwise

Yesterday I happened to be in the are of the bright, shiny, new dealership opened by the local Airstream dealer. It is still bright and shiny. It has even got an almost full display lot. I did think it strange there was only one lonely Airstream parked there.... but, hey! Who knows?

Then today, I was told the dealership had lost their Airstream fanchise! The new dealership for Iowa is in Des Moines!

Sounds like some of you my hve to find another place for service and parts!

I did do a dealer search using zip code 50703 on the Official Airstream site, 'find a dealer'... the local place still comes up.... but you know how long it takes to get websites updated!

Supposedly the rumor came from a long time local unit member.....

Don't know anything but what I'm told.

Anyone know anything about this?

Elizabeth in Iowa
__________________

__________________
The carpeting is gone! The carpeting is gone! Long live the cork floor!
Cedars is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2005, 07:27 PM   #2
Cartoon Character
 
Porky Pig's Avatar
 
2004 34' Classic
On The Road , U.S.A.
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 885
Images: 10
A phone call to Airstream should clear the up matter.
__________________

__________________
Porky

TrailerGypsies.com
WBCCI #3405 — Escapees #80360

I live the life I love and I love the life I live.
-- Willie Dixon
Porky Pig is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2005, 08:31 PM   #3
Just an old timer...
 
85MH325's Avatar

 
2004 22' Interstate
Tipton , Iowa
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,238
Images: 37
I dunno, Elizabeth. I've been chatting regularly with Steve Oldani about the repairs on my '53 Flying Cloud... I kinda doubt that rumor to be true. They've been a dealer for some fifty years. The new Airstream dealer in Davenport is also short on stock and doesn't have one Airstream on the lot outside, down from about a dozen in late June. It's the time of the year. They order heavy in the spring, and sell their existing stock before fall. I'm sure if you gave Jim Fogdall a call you'd get the straight scoop. I wouldn't be too concerned. Rumors are generally just that.

Roger
__________________
AIR 2053 Current: 2004 Airstream Interstate "B-Van" T1N Sprinter & 2006 Born Free 32 RQ Kodiak Chassis
Former Airstreams: 1953 Flying Cloud, 1957 Overlander, 1961 Bambi, 1970 Safari Special, 1978 Argosy Minuet, 1985 325 Moho, 1994 Limited 34' Two-door, 1994 B190 "B-Van"
85MH325 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2005, 08:37 PM   #4
_
 
. , .
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,812
hello e in i

here is my view of my favorite state to ride a bike across....


i had the misfortune of visiting all but one of the iowa shops last month.....i'll explain this in a few weeks when the seas calm......anyway yes there is yet another new iowa dealer this time in dm......the shop near you has, for years, been mostly a service center without buying, stocking or selling many new units......it's no surprise that it's a challenge to sell many if the dealer doesn't have enough faith (in the product or the region) to purchase a few....even in the internet age buyers like to touch these things and some times buy what's on the lot. it is a challenge for dealers because they buy from airstream and own what's on the lot.....although they my get special financing from airstream if they are selling well. from my discussions with big wigs last week at the factory, they want dealer/franchises that will stock the product. i'm not saying that your local isn't going to still be a dealer but there sure was a new one listed in the dealer guide dated july 2005.

there are also new dealers in davenport and council bluffs; each is less than one year old.....

the davenport shop runs ads that they are the "largest indoor airsteam showroom in the world".......well the shop was previously a payless cashways lumber place, so yes it's a big newly redone neat'o building......but when i visited they had 3 tubes (bambi and safaris) indoor and 2 campervans outdoors as airstream products and that was it.......while they had 40-60 of their other whitebox brand.... the airstreams seemed more like an after thought.
they couldn's seem to understand why they weren't selling many while the other brand was moving nicely......hummmmmm. and it's sad because they are nice folks and the physical facility (they also have a huge service area) has great potential.....clearly they've decided to focus on the other brand and are using the silver tubes as a halo/draw for customers.

the c.b. shop had about 10 but their indoor customer area was smaller than my trailer, and the units were in a low water mud flat parking lot that really required high water boots to traverse......they share the lot with a tanker truck washing/repair shop, which makes for an interesting buying experience.

as a contrast the new (2yrs) dealer in arkansas usually has 20 or more units of all models in stock and lots in the pipeline.....they are all out doors but it's a mild climate and the lot is very nice as is the indoor facility and service area which is small.......and he sells them at a brisk rate to buyer from all over.

so it's a little odd that a state the size of iowa has 3-4 dealer while other midwestern states with much greater populations and larger cities have just one or none.......

so my hope is the d.m. venture can be closer to a complete shop than any of the others have been to date.

cheers
2air'
2airishuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2005, 09:43 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
CanoeStream's Avatar

 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,280
Images: 19
Blog Entries: 3
Interesting Elizabeth ... I'll be closing my deal in just over a week so will make inquiries and post back here. The Cedar Falls/Waterloo dealer has a superb reputation -- and welcomes business even if you have an older Airstream! The "new" Des Moines dealer is an offshoot of an RV/Airstream dealer in our state, just about an hour from our home. (wink)
__________________
Bob

5 meter Langford Nahanni

CanoeStream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2005, 09:09 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
CanoeStream's Avatar

 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,280
Images: 19
Blog Entries: 3
Cedar Falls, IA dealer

We had a very good experience picking up our new Safari SE on the 8th -- and an even better short weekend camping in the ....! (gawrsh, gotta come up with a name now) First objective was making it thru heavy thunderstorms to the very nice Backbone S.P. Then we headed up to the state park at Dodgeville, WI -- nice area!! Artsy and yuppish -- what more could a millionaire want?

I did ask a couple dealer employees about staying with Airstreams and was met with looks that said, "What are you talking about?" Yes, even Fogdall's greatest numbers are in white boxes. The impression I received was that Airstream will stay among their offerings.

I would say that Minnesota's dealer maintains much more inventory on the lot, again diluted by a profusion of white boxes. Minnesota's dealer is the one opening the new Des Moines dealership. Reading (and writing) between the lines I would suspect the Des Moines business will have to really perform to threaten other regional dealers! And Fogdall's service reputation is a high hurdle!!
__________________
Bob

5 meter Langford Nahanni

CanoeStream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2005, 07:56 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
sovereignrwe's Avatar
 
1972 31' Sovereign
Currently Looking...
Lake Wlmo , Minnesota
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 587
Can someone explain to me why I would want my next trailer to be a new trailer if the dealers that provide service are being abandoned for “dealerships” focused only on the sales floor?

Since I live in the region and have experience as a customer with Ace and Shorewood, I’d be glad to discuss this and maybe provide the “voice – of one – customer”. I’m positive Kimber and I fit in a market segment with interest to Airstream.
__________________
Mark
72 Sovereign: L couch, mid-twin, rear-bath
"When you come to a fork in the road, take it"
"It was impossible to get a conversation going; everybody was talking too much."
"If you don't know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else." - Yogi Berra

sovereignrwe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2005, 09:14 AM   #8
Site Team
 
, Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 7,318
Images: 59
Mark,

Did you ever look into Hart Trailer Sales in Long Prairie, MN? http://www.hartrv.com/

(They're just north of Round Prairie)
markdoane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2005, 09:53 AM   #9
Moderator
 
jcanavera's Avatar

 
2004 30' Classic Slideout
Fenton , Missouri
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 9,280
Images: 143
Send a message via AIM to jcanavera Send a message via Skype™ to jcanavera
Quote:
Originally Posted by sovereignrwe
Can someone explain to me why I would want my next trailer to be a new trailer if the dealers that provide service are being abandoned for “dealerships” focused only on the sales floor?

Since I live in the region and have experience as a customer with Ace and Shorewood, I’d be glad to discuss this and maybe provide the “voice – of one – customer”. I’m positive Kimber and I fit in a market segment with interest to Airstream.
I would guess that being an Airstream dealer also probably means getting a protected market area. Quite honestly thinking like a businessman, why should I give you a market protection when you aren't selling the product?

Why do some dealerships thrive and others don't? It's interesting that the biggest volume Airstream trailer dealer for the past few years has been my dealership here in St. Louis. Why does a dealership out on an Interstate highway 40 miles west of downtown, with lots of SOB's and pop ups on the lot sell more Airstream trailers than areas with much greater population densities?

It has a lot to do with service, reasonable deals, and the interaction between the ownership and the customers. You just don't put out the sign and find that folks flock into the store. There is a lot of business development that goes on. My dealership supports the local WBCCI unit, they show up and provide service at almost every International Rally that occurs in the central area of the country, they host a dealer rally at the Missouri State Fairgrounds that attracts 300+ units every other year. And they do lots more for their customers.

I've told the story elsewhere on the forum, but our dealer had his son drive a customer's tow vehicle and trailer back from a North Dakota International Rally when the owner had a stroke. When the owner approached the dealer as to reimbursing him for doing this, the dealer refused stating that "We are family".

Airstream needs a lot more dealers like this one, so I don't begrudge them wanting to end a protected market relationship which may doing little business with them. After all you can have the best service shop in town, but if you aren't selling the trailers, you will have very few to service.

Jack
__________________
Jack Canavera
STL Mo.
AIR #56
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
jcanavera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2005, 11:36 AM   #10
Rivet Master
 
sovereignrwe's Avatar
 
1972 31' Sovereign
Currently Looking...
Lake Wlmo , Minnesota
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 587
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
Quite honestly thinking like a businessman,
Good that makes two of us.

I agree with your analysis, your introduction into the discussion of protected markets, and the strong link required between service and new trailer sales.

I also agree with your statement that "I don't begrudge", I wouldn't either.

My question still stands.
__________________
Mark
72 Sovereign: L couch, mid-twin, rear-bath
"When you come to a fork in the road, take it"
"It was impossible to get a conversation going; everybody was talking too much."
"If you don't know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else." - Yogi Berra

sovereignrwe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2005, 01:22 PM   #11
Moderator
 
jcanavera's Avatar

 
2004 30' Classic Slideout
Fenton , Missouri
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 9,280
Images: 143
Send a message via AIM to jcanavera Send a message via Skype™ to jcanavera
Quote:
Originally Posted by sovereignrwe
My question still stands.
My direct answer to your question it that I personally wouldn't buy from a new dealership with little service or inexperienced service. I looked at that long and hard when I bought my Safari in 2001, and chose the local dealer even though I could have saved a few hundred dollars buying out of town.

Now if I lived much closer to Jackson Center I probably wouldn't have such feelings. We have heard enough stories on the forum about poor repair and minimal orientation or dealer prep services to know that you need to look closely at who you buy from.

Unfortunately this is not like a auto dealer where service abounds. Price can be your leader since you have a plethora of servicers. Not so for our shiny friends. You need to choose wisely.

Jack
__________________
Jack Canavera
STL Mo.
AIR #56
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
jcanavera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2005, 01:57 PM   #12
Just an old timer...
 
85MH325's Avatar

 
2004 22' Interstate
Tipton , Iowa
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,238
Images: 37
Mark,

I believe that the new Airstream market is a niche market, and that niche is for folks who are willing to spend the extra money for the service and a long-term relationship that a full-service dealer is willing to spend. I think you'll find that the 'sales floor only' recipe won't work very well in the long-term for Airstream dealerships. Time will tell, I guess.

Roger
__________________
AIR 2053 Current: 2004 Airstream Interstate "B-Van" T1N Sprinter & 2006 Born Free 32 RQ Kodiak Chassis
Former Airstreams: 1953 Flying Cloud, 1957 Overlander, 1961 Bambi, 1970 Safari Special, 1978 Argosy Minuet, 1985 325 Moho, 1994 Limited 34' Two-door, 1994 B190 "B-Van"
85MH325 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2005, 10:51 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
CanoeStream's Avatar

 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,280
Images: 19
Blog Entries: 3
Airstream Forums operates with a certain grace from Jackson Center. ASForums does sell units (as I can attest!) and will keep doing that long after any fad has run its course. Leaving good tastes in people's mouths is why the product is having a 75th anniversary celebration.

A number of new trailer dealers lurk or chime in on these forums. Might they complain of critical comments? I've searched for what I know are negative comments on one of the dealers mentioned in this thread. I cannot find those threads. To be fair, it seems the search function does not do universal word finds for all the content of all the threads.

Thor has not shown an inclination to pluck the golden goose for quick profits and they have not run the factory into the ground -- just the opposite thank goodness. Being in it for the long run, it is good to let the cream rise to the top -- whether that is dealers or customer support groups (like this website). Ford, GM & Chrysler let wealthy metro dealers dictate closure of small town dealers -- citing low volume and cutthroat pricing without having to staff the service departments. That's not the whole story on the Big Three's declining market share but brand loyalty cuts both ways. We seem to be agreeing that dealers that act "small" and remember their customers aren't classified by simple big- or small-city operations.

I believe Airstream is enough of a specialty market that Thor would want to nurture good dealers. That will be to their advantage in lean times -- did I hear "$4-a-gallon" more than once in tonight's Hurrican Rita news?
__________________
Bob

5 meter Langford Nahanni

CanoeStream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2005, 06:35 AM   #14
Rivet Master
 
sovereignrwe's Avatar
 
1972 31' Sovereign
Currently Looking...
Lake Wlmo , Minnesota
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 587
I completely agree with everyone's statements.

Roger is right on, thus my frustration with this appearent short-term decision.

Jack is right on. Slowly my region is falling apart. The decision is made in Ohio, and I'm not going to drive all the way there for service every time I need something Airstream specific done.

Canoe Stream is on the mark with why this decision bothers me:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canoe stream
Thor has not shown an inclination to pluck the golden goose for quick profits and they have not run the factory into the ground -- just the opposite thank goodness. Being in it for the long run, it is good to let the cream rise to the top -- whether that is dealers or customer support groups (like this website).
My big fear is that this is the first inclination of a short-term focus, or at least the first one to be called out. I am now going to decide if I should still consider a new trailer for my second trailer, or go to the secondary market and get something I know I can get help fixing.
__________________
Mark
72 Sovereign: L couch, mid-twin, rear-bath
"When you come to a fork in the road, take it"
"It was impossible to get a conversation going; everybody was talking too much."
"If you don't know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else." - Yogi Berra

sovereignrwe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2005, 06:47 AM   #15
3 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 233
Also Indiana...

For some reasons there were similar changes over the last year in Indiana. It did hurt when the dealership ("thriving") where we bought our treasured tube closed. Thoughts of having long-term relationships certainly went by the wayside. And no one has had any good explanations either. I only hope Ewald's in Milwaukee (new) lasts a long time.
__________________
Tom and Frank
Evanston, Illinois
2004 Safari 28 ft Slideout "Lucy" 4 HI CAMP
2004 Ford Excursion 6.0 PSD PWRSTRK,
and Brittany, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
PWRSTRK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2005, 08:41 AM   #16
Moderator
 
jcanavera's Avatar

 
2004 30' Classic Slideout
Fenton , Missouri
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 9,280
Images: 143
Send a message via AIM to jcanavera Send a message via Skype™ to jcanavera
Quote:
Originally Posted by sovereignrwe

My big fear is that this is the first inclination of a short-term focus, or at least the first one to be called out. I am now going to decide if I should still consider a new trailer for my second trailer, or go to the secondary market and get something I know I can get help fixing.
Well I certainly would let the folks at JC know if you perceive things this way. Obviously we don't know the story at the individual dealership level. It could also be a dealer's choice to disassociate themselves. Bottom line you need to make sure that the Airstream folks understand what is important to you as a future customer.

Jack
__________________
Jack Canavera
STL Mo.
AIR #56
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
jcanavera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2005, 01:05 PM   #17
Rivet Master
 
sovereignrwe's Avatar
 
1972 31' Sovereign
Currently Looking...
Lake Wlmo , Minnesota
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 587
Thank you to all that have been willing to discuss this, and do so in a civil manner. This is exactly the type of discussion that keeps me coming back to the forum and excited about Airstreams.

To be clear here, if I didn't care about the future of the trailers I love, this discussion would never happen. I would just sit back, shake my head and accept that a new trailer isn't the way to go.

I am certainly open to communicate with anyone (including 2airishuman) if there is interest. If there isn't an interest in the public forum, please feel free to PM me. My goal is to find a way to make sure that Thor/Airstreams future isn't just that of any other trailer.

I'm with PWRSTRK, I want a long-term, or even better, life-long relationship. Why pay for new, if I can't have that?

There he goes asking questions again!
__________________
Mark
72 Sovereign: L couch, mid-twin, rear-bath
"When you come to a fork in the road, take it"
"It was impossible to get a conversation going; everybody was talking too much."
"If you don't know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else." - Yogi Berra

sovereignrwe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2005, 02:20 PM   #18
Moderator
 
jcanavera's Avatar

 
2004 30' Classic Slideout
Fenton , Missouri
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 9,280
Images: 143
Send a message via AIM to jcanavera Send a message via Skype™ to jcanavera
Quote:
Originally Posted by sovereignrwe
I am certainly open to communicate with anyone (including 2airishuman) if there is interest. If there isn't an interest in the public forum, please feel free to PM me. My goal is to find a way to make sure that Thor/Airstreams future isn't just that of any other trailer.
This has been a good thread and while we know that folks from Airstream frequent this site, there is nothing better than a call, letter or email sent directly to them to make sure they understand your concerns. Keep up the discussion.

Regards,

Jack
__________________
Jack Canavera
STL Mo.
AIR #56
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
jcanavera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2005, 04:31 PM   #19
_
 
. , .
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,812
hello sovereignrwe (mark) and others

like everyone else i have an opinion about business models, what airstream does with dealerships and service centers, long term viability for the brand (i've owned an airstream for 25 years or half my life) AND how i'm personally treated when ever i visit a dealer/service center or vendor associated with the brand.....

having said that.........

i've stayed out of this thread because
i cringe whenever i read the words 'ugly' and 'rumors'....in this context...

so now that someone has modified the title

to suggest
the subject is

'dealerships new, old and otherwise'

i'd gladly join in.....in fact why doesn't someone just baaaaaaalete the title for something fresh....or splint the thread into the first few posts about iowa and the "dealerships new, old and otherwise" which is now the topic......

come on mods.....just do it.


so now, mark.......what did you want to discuss, or what did you want me to voice an opinion regarding? did i miss a p.m. from you or something? were you asking a specific question directed to me? i'm happy to join the public forum....maybe you'd like to start a new thread?

looking back in this thread........it looks like this was your initial question.

"Can someone explain to me why I would want my next trailer to be a new trailer if the dealers that provide service are being abandoned for “dealerships” focused only on the sales floor?"

let me take a stab here.......there are many reasons to want a new trailer....and fewer reasons to want a new airstream trailer.....issues like the wider body, new factory innovations, new interiors/materials, new appliances, new framing/structure, new skin appearance and so on....including a 'new' warranty.

also one could just "want" new..........well just because.

since i ordered and purchased a new 34 this year, i went through the entire logical and through decision process and still there was an emotional component to buying 'new' and well....and i'm not sure anyone can explain that part.

i am very happy i purchased a new airstream trailer.

the next part of your question suggests that service oriented dealers are being abandoned for sales oriented/volume dealers..........and i don't know of any evidence to suggest this is true.....new dealers are/have been added and some are lost, but who suggested that dealerships with great service centers are being abandoned?

current owners and future customers live nationwide and dealer/service issues vary based on residence, travel volume, new vs old and so on.......but when something happens close to home, that affects us personally, we might assume it suggests a univeral trend....

i share your concern that airstream make sound long term decisions since i'm part of the brand for the long haul. i'm clearly one of the folks who 'cares and loves' the brand.....as you've identified yourself.


i've had cause to question some of their new dealer additions.....but not posted about it here......i did however have a long discussion with one of the bosses....so they know my personal feelings about what characteristics i want and do not want in a franchise owner. i've also had an absolutely horrible experience with one of the famous dealers oftened toasted on this forum....who is angry that someone living with 300 miles might buy elsewhere and is willing to punish all customers from specific dealerships (by not providing any service) to make a point with the factory.....and this is an issue i consider a greater long term risk to the brand than internet/nationwide sales efforts by dealerships willing to tap those markets......

how's that?

cheers
2air'
2airishuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2005, 11:03 AM   #20
Rivet Master
 
sovereignrwe's Avatar
 
1972 31' Sovereign
Currently Looking...
Lake Wlmo , Minnesota
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 587
2air'...

Thank you…
I appreciate knowing that you have been keeping up with this thread. I know that as an agent of Thor/Airstream you need to be careful of what is said in a public forum, and I fully appreciate that. I also understand that none of the people in this thread have all of the information that has gone into this decision in Iowa. Nor do we have all of the information on decisions that were made in the past in Minnesota.

I have kept away from sharing a fair amount of non-scientifically gathered or informal marketing information, customer feelings, etc. about dealers in the area. I have tried to keep it to questions, with hints of my experience, without boring everyone with all of the details.

What I hope Airstream is taking into account when making decisions…
Departing slightly from the strategy mentioned above, I have personally heard many mentions of disbelief that Airstream has dropped dealerships in our region, with a great reputation for service. The word “mistake” is often used. I should note that we’ve owned our trailer for just over 1 year so if I’ve heard this much concern, it could well be a topic of discussion with far greater impact than I am privy to. I do feel it is important to communicate the perception of some of these business decisions by those out here watching. Current Non-Airstream owners won’t probably notice, and those of us watching shouldn’t overlook this.

The economic trends…
Without seeing the marketing intel, Its obvious that there is a big push to be on the leading edge of the baby boomer retirements and hopefully be the business to sell this generation a trailer. The growth in cost of vacation and second homes along with the physical and time demands of upkeep also play into the growing demand in the RV industry. I also know several couples that are downsizing and using their Airstream RV or trailer as a full-time option while they transition to a new town home. 9/11 had a positive impact on domestic travel and interest in domestic retirement plans, and now oil/gas prices are having an inverse impact. What will be the net impact? Only time will tell, but the one thing everyone knows is that there is going to be a growth period in the annual retirees, although it is going to be slowed by the slow growth in the stock market, and correlated slow growth in many 401ks.

I can say that I have watched the volume-sales-floor RV businesses grow in numbers for several years. I won't pretend that being a part of these trends isn't important to Airstream, because it is.

Focusing only on the sales floor presentation for a moment...
I do wonder if a dealership with 1 or 2 Airstreams among 10 white boxes on the sales floor is any less impressive than 5 airstreams among 100 white boxes and busses. While I appreciated having the opportunity to shop the 5 in one spot, I certainly wouldn’t have stopped if I didn’t know they sold Airstreams already. In a 10 box shop the Airstream is probably going to be the focus, or at minimum part of it. In my real life experience, the 5 Airstreams were not prominently displayed; they were in the 3rd and last (10th?) rows of the “lot” – strange that they couldn’t put 5 trailers together so that at least there was at least a presence. Why should they be prominently displayed when there are $800,000 busses that the dealer wants to take center stage? Opinion: It was a very nice bus. On the other hand, big box retail suggests that it is better to have the volume traffic, even with less presence.

I spend a lot of time asking myself what I would do if it were my business. The ratio is an observation that I’m analyzing, and I’m not going to pretend that I have a right answer, nor that there is one.

Back to the value of Airstream…
I am fully behind the need to have an inventory available to the buyer that can be touched, felt, experienced. Airstream certainly has the wow factor, and there is a need for “the experience” to truly fall in love and that emotion will certainly influence the new buyer. This is the exact reason that we gladly open our trailer door with a smile in an Iowa State Park to welcome 3 different couples in who want to see our trailer. We are mindful to present our trailer to our visitors as an example of how the Airstream trailer is built to last. I’m not going to suggest that I’m altruistic. I’m well aware that growth in demand for Airstream is good for the secondary market too, but I do not treat our trailer as an investment, and do not expect to reap a financial profit in selling, if I can ever bring myself to sell it.

The information that I hoped to provide, and several other folks in this thread have eloquently supported with their personal feelings, is that one of the key customer value propositions is longevity. “The trailer you buy today, will be in your family for years to come.” I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard that as a sales pitch for Airstream. Longevity, and the Aluminum wow factor, require a long-term relationship with a dealer that knows and understands that Airstreams are not white boxes and require a greater level of quality and knowledge.

It is that exact statement that now causes me to be very thankful that Camping World refused to install my water heater. Reason given? We don’t like to work on Airstreams, and you won’t be happy. I guess the downside of the elite customers Airstream sells to is that they expect quality in the trailer and quality in the service. Human nature pushes them to expect that at a reasonable price.

The Airstream customer segment that already has knowledge of Airstreams has an acute awareness that longevity means having a relationship with service. I am good at sharing that knowledge and experience with my Brother’s family and my parents as they look for their first trailers in Iowa and Nebraska. In one case, they are looking specifically in the secondary market.

I know that longevity is a double-edged sword for Airstream. There is a relationship between demand for new trailers and availability of older trailers. It is tough to meet the customer desire of longevity, and only sell them a trailer or two in their lifetime, vs. have lower quality, less longevity, and squeeze two or three new trailer sales out of a single customer.

The interesting thing about Airstreams is there are a lot of people that have more than one. I myself stated that we were talking about a second trailer. We aren’t talking about selling ours first, and then buying another one. We are buying a second trailer, new or old.

Will this guy shut up already? Or, in closing…
This is a lot of “stuff”. I’ve downloaded a bit here and ideally would have spent more time making it fit together better, but life isn't perfect.

I am only one future customer, and current "volunteer" salesman, with one set of perspectives. Thank you for the time spent reading and thinking about some if not all of my thoughts, and thank you once again for providing your input.
__________________

__________________
Mark
72 Sovereign: L couch, mid-twin, rear-bath
"When you come to a fork in the road, take it"
"It was impossible to get a conversation going; everybody was talking too much."
"If you don't know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else." - Yogi Berra

sovereignrwe is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
×