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Old 01-06-2012, 08:32 PM   #1
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Forbes interview with Bob Wheeler

Just ran across this interview dated 4 Jan 2012. I thought to share it with everyone. Comments?


Rambling With Airstream President & CEO Bob Wheeler - Forbes

I hope the 'lighter' Airstreams of the future don't sacrafice quality!

Philip
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:00 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by PhilipKS View Post
Just ran across this interview dated 4 Jan 2012. I thought to share it with everyone. Comments?


Rambling With Airstream President & CEO Bob Wheeler - Forbes

I hope the 'lighter' Airstreams of the future don't sacrafice quality!

Philip
Very nice little chat there. I was delighted to hear that business is up!
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:05 PM   #3
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From the article:

Quote:
The U.S. RV industry has to get serious about lightweight. Travel trailers in particular, and the tow vehicles people are buying. They’re going to have to follow the path that European RV industry has taken. I think the European RV industry is 15 years ahead of us here in the U.S., simply with the things they’ve done in areas like light-weighting.
The problem is one of the buying public equating mass with quality. One has only to plot the weight of Airstreams since the 1960s to see what has happened.

If you want to build your cabinet work from particle board or other such materials, it is going to be heavy, since these materials are not particularly strong in thin sections.

Barbie built a new vanity for the tin pickle. I doubt it weighs 10 lbs including sink and faucet.

[details in our blog]

If fuel keeps increasing, our 'streams are going to have to go on diets.

- Bart
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barts View Post
From the article:

The problem is one of the buying public equating mass with quality. One has only to plot the weight of Airstreams since the 1960s to see what has happened.

If you want to build your cabinet work from particle board or other such materials, it is going to be heavy, since these materials are not particularly strong in thin sections.

Barbie built a new vanity for the tin pickle. I doubt it weighs 10 lbs including sink and faucet.

[details in our blog]

If fuel keeps increasing, our 'streams are going to have to go on diets.

- Bart
Odd timing...
I'm camped amongst close to 80 Airstreams tonight...my '91 has solid wood interior cabinets... My friend across the street has a trailer that weighs 1/3 mine and has aluminum overhead cabinets... Oh yeah...his is from the early '60's...
What's the old saying about history repeating it's self?
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:18 PM   #5
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Bart,

I think my slide is on permanent weight gain! And the truck is no lightweight either. Im going to need to follow a tanker truck with an IV hookup lol.

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Old 01-06-2012, 10:26 PM   #6
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Thanks for the link. I enjoyed reading it.

Brian
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Old 01-06-2012, 11:52 PM   #7
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Thanks for the link, that was an interesting piece. It's good to see that Airstream are looking to address weight issues; at last!
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:02 AM   #8
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Never realized that Wheeler and I went to the same engineering school and have the same degree. I think we may have overlapped by a year too. Small world.

It will be interesting to see how they get the weight out. Not sure folks would put up with the rustic-ness of my Minuet anymore...

Tom
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:16 AM   #9
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Model: Classic Limited GVWR: 9,000 lbs.

Weight loss=composites=$$$
How much are you willing to pay?

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Old 01-07-2012, 09:18 AM   #10
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An interesting comment by Bob....

"The U.S. RV industry has to get serious about lightweight. Travel trailers in particular, and the tow vehicles people are buying. They’re going to have to follow the path that European RV industry has taken. I think the European RV industry is 15 years ahead of us here in the U.S., simply with the things they’ve done in areas like light-weighting".
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:39 AM   #11
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Airstream already makes a lightweight European model. Saw it at the factory. If I recall, it had hand rails and could be pushed around the parking lot.
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Old 01-07-2012, 10:06 AM   #12
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ITs been about 2 yrs since we have been to the factory and I recall those FOR EXPORT models being on the line. Not only could they be pushed around, they had external hand operated brakes.
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Old 01-07-2012, 10:45 AM   #13
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Found this link:

European Airstream by Airstream Professionals The Netherlands – Europe’s Nr.1 specialist of famous Silver Bullit trailers — Airstream Professionals
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Old 01-07-2012, 10:55 AM   #14
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I think what we're seeing regarding weight is a prediction in the industry that fuel prices will rise very significantly over the next ten years.

This weight isn't going to be engineered out for status quo pricing of fuel.

I had read elsewhere where Toyota predicted Prius would be their biggest seller by 2020. Again in my opinion quite a bit of fundamental change in the fuel prices would be required for this to occur.
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