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Old 12-29-2009, 07:46 AM   #1
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Positive RV Story on AS

Ran across this AS pr on an RV trade magazine site:

December 14, 2009
Manufacturer of Iconic “Silver Bullet” Travel Trailers Considered a Barometer for Industry Turnaround and Economic Recovery
Airstream Increases Production to Meet Market Demand; Doubles Travel Trailer Output in Five Months
Airstream, a leading RV manufacturer in North America, announced that it has increased its production by 25% since October in order to meet growing market demand. Furthermore, the company is scheduled to expand production by another 25% in January.

In addition to doubling its net output in five months, Airstream’s production backlog has also more than tripled since last year. As a result, Airstream will expand its production workforce by 35% to support the boost in production and demand.

Despite the adverse economic climate in the RV industry over the last 18 months, Airstream’s recent performance may well indicate a turnaround for the industry as a whole. Historically, the RV industry has also served as an indicator for the general health of the overall economy.

“Like any other industry, ours took a significant hit over the last couple of years,” said Bob Wheeler, CEO of Airstream. “As difficult as it was to streamline our operations during this period, we now feel optimistic that Airstream is back on the road to recovery.”

Wheeler also noted that dealer confidence for the upcoming selling season appears to be strong and that lenders seem more willing to provide commercial credit to the industry as a whole.
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Old 12-29-2009, 08:27 AM   #2
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Glad to hear that,wonder if some people are saying sell the house,let`s full time.Dave
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Old 12-29-2009, 11:26 AM   #3
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Interesting article, Dennis. When we were at JC at the end of October, production was about 16/week. A 25% increase would be to 24/week and another 25% next month would be 36 or 32. That depends on whether they are talking about two increases based on the October production or the second on 25% of post October. This would indicate a plan for between 1,664 and 1,872 for 2010. Seems pretty optimistic to me. Some of it may be to build inventory at dealers and may also show Airstream will again be financing dealer inventory if dealers cannot get loans elsewhere.

If sales pick up substantially, there will be little incentive for the company to improve QC.

Gene
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Old 12-29-2009, 12:05 PM   #4
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My opinion is this is nothing but Wishful Thinking. But time will tell.

As for QC it's already perfect - Wheeler told us so. How can you improve on perfection?
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Old 12-29-2009, 12:51 PM   #5
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GE pulled the plug on AS consumer financing last summer. There was a story about Thor in the WSJ last month that was very upbeat. With a hugh number of RV manufacturer's going out of business, Thor may well be hitting the numbers as there will always be a market for high end RV's in spite of the economy.
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:08 PM   #6
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I read somewhere, probably on the Forum, a month or more ago, that customers weren't having many problems getting financing for trailers, but dealers were. It was said Airstream used to finance dealer inventory, but had stopped. It may have been part of the post about the Denver dealer only having 3 Airstreams and considering dropping the brand. When we bought a trailer there in 2008, they had at least 10.

It would seem Thor thought it more important to lend $20M to Camping World than finance dealer inventory.

I am perplexed about how Airstream can more than double it's production so quickly unless they are figuring they have to restock dealer inventory to sell trailers. I don't know how many dealers they have now—they've lost a lot—but if they have 50 and each one adds 5 trailers to inventory, that's 250 out of increased production, 10 trailers would make it 500. The latter number seems reasonable as it would account for 40-50% of the production increase.

This is all based on a lot of guesses. Maybe we'll learn more. Dennis, keep reading.

Gene
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Old 12-30-2009, 06:57 PM   #7
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This article was in our local paper also.
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Old 12-30-2009, 08:06 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
Interesting article, Dennis. When we were at JC at the end of October, production was about 16/week. A 25% increase would be to 24/week and another 25% next month would be 36 or 32. That depends on whether they are talking about two increases based on the October production or the second on 25% of post October. This would indicate a plan for between 1,664 and 1,872 for 2010. Seems pretty optimistic to me. Some of it may be to build inventory at dealers and may also show Airstream will again be financing dealer inventory if dealers cannot get loans elsewhere.

If sales pick up substantially, there will be little incentive for the company to improve QC.

Gene
A 25% increase from 16 would be 20/week. But, still an increase is an increase.
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis4x4 View Post
GE pulled the plug on AS consumer financing last summer. There was a story about Thor in the WSJ last month that was very upbeat. With a hugh number of RV manufacturer's going out of business, Thor may well be hitting the numbers as there will always be a market for high end RV's in spite of the economy.
Interesting since my Thor loan on the Airstream was changed over to GE this summer. I'm still sending it to Thor's mailing address but the name was changed. I'm not sure if GE bought out the Thor consumer loans with Thor exiting the consumer loan market.

Jack
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Old 12-31-2009, 04:50 AM   #10
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AS could gold line the units, and we would still have negative comments. I am sure that those called back to work are upbeat. Great news!! mel
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Old 12-31-2009, 09:20 AM   #11
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AS could gold line the units, and we would still have negative comments. I am sure that those called back to work are upbeat. Great news!! mel
.
Unfortunately this is too close to the truth. Some people are experts on everything and think they could RUN Airstream better than the people that are there. If they were given a chance, most of them would probably RUIN Airstream.

Great to hear that production is being boosted and Americans are returning to the workforce.
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:28 AM   #12
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AS could gold line the units, and we would still have negative comments. I am sure that those called back to work are upbeat. Great news!! mel
Hi Woppa: Some people look for the black lining in every silver cloud. It's just their approach to life. . To everyone else, Happy New Year!

To those black liners, well, you know, this coming New Year will be full of disappointments and shortcomings, so there won't be much to be happy or joyful about. Just put up with it as best you can. But on the positive side, you can broadcast all those disappointments and shortcomings to others so they won't miss them too!
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Old 12-31-2009, 02:53 PM   #13
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A Happy New Year to you FRED!!My daughter graduated from U CO. She has lived near E Park for a number of years. At my age; if my feet hits the floor in the morning. It,s going to be a great day.Wife/I plan on spending most of 2010 in our AS. Mel
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:34 PM   #14
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very interesting article! I'll put a vote in on the thinking positive side of things... Maybe some of the new workers will boost the overall Quality by their pride in their work, and push those not so happy around them to pick up the pace with some good old-fashioned competitiveness. Anything moving forward is a good thing. Maybe I will be able to read the newspaper again soon...
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