I've been keeping track all year. Bigfoot is the ninth independent RV manufacturer to close or go into Chapter 11 bankruptcy so far in 2008. I list the other eight in this blog entry:
Man In The Maze » Blog Archive » It’s the end of the mall as we know it
Essentially, any manufacturer who is entirely dependent on bank credit is in severe danger, as the Bigfoot story demonstrates. Those with cash in the bank are much better positioned. The good news is that Airstream's parent company, Thor, reportedly has $189 million in cash and no debt
, so while things are grim for many dealers and manufacturers, we can expect Airstream will weather the storm.
I expect that the smart and aggressive dealers will also be fine, and will take market share from the ones who have shut down or retrenched.