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Old 02-21-2006, 09:44 PM   #1
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Dealer Relationships

I am wondering what relationships exist between Airstream dealers and units. Is your unit in partnership in some form or another with your unit. Specifically does your local dealership;
  • Support your unit (if so, how)
  • Work with your unit to put on events
  • Offer deals on parts or services
  • Include the unit as a valuable part of the Airstream Ownership Experience
Whatever the relationship - good or bad, what is it?
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Old 02-24-2006, 06:33 PM   #2
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Hello?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buttercup
I am wondering what relationships exist between Airstream dealers and units. Is your unit in partnership in some form or another with your unit. Specifically does your local dealership;
  • Support your unit (if so, how)
  • Work with your unit to put on events
  • Offer deals on parts or services
  • Include the unit as a valuable part of the Airstream Ownership Experience
Whatever the relationship - good or bad, what is it?

Hi Tim,I'm a little surprized that no one has responded to this thread as of yet.There has to be some other units like ours that take advantage of a good dealer/unit relationship.I would think everybody benefits.
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Old 02-24-2006, 07:24 PM   #3
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I've had very poor luck with our dealer. They sell high end units as well as
airstream and I can't afford their shop rates. I have a local shop that is very good.
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Old 02-24-2006, 08:39 PM   #4
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Well, I am quite surprised that more units - heck at least one - didn't report having a good relationship with a dealer.
It seems like we do. our local dealership has brought new units out to rallys for people to look through and they even camp out overnight. In essence they are involved with our events and express interest in our opinions. Yes they are selling trailers but i think they realize the benefit of this kind of relationship.

Are we alone???


Copper - I take it then that your local dealership is not really involved with your unit.
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Old 02-25-2006, 12:12 AM   #5
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Our dealer has poor service, in my opinion, others love em. I recently went in to do a trade in for a larger model. I bought my new 31 " classic from them. My dealer sales person was insane that day. The purchace price for the base unit was more than the list price posted on the Airstream web site. After I chose my options I could have bought a new motorhome. I pointed out to the salesman that the price was greater than manufacturers list price listed in the Airstream option list, a lot greater. He insisted that it was the wholesale price and that was as low as he could go "We do have overhead here" he said. I pointed out his mistake that you sell under list not above it and he insisted it was a great wholesale deal. A couple weeks later I went back to te same dealer ship with a different salesman and got a good price. I decided not to buy from that dealer. I took the quote and am shopped around and found a dealer in Oregon. Gee, those Oregon people are nice. They may have a sale.
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Old 02-25-2006, 06:05 AM   #6
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Buttercup -- The word "unit" is a little ambiguous here and I'm a little confused about it in this thread. (And I'm easy to confuse so hang in here with me a minute. ) In your question are you talking about dealership relationships with WBCCI units (as in the New England Unit, for example), or are you talking about individual units (as in AS motorhomes, AS trailers, Argosys -- ex: Our Airstream dealer has 15 units on the lot right now.)? Or maybe you're asking about both? Not sure.

-J
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Old 02-25-2006, 06:15 AM   #7
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Good point - I took it for granted that "unit" can have more than one meaning.

I did mean the local WBCCI unit level.

I did not intend the post to be a discussion of individuals experience with a dealer. I want to know how local WBCCI regions and/or units within the WBCCI are cooperating with the dealers in the area.
Are the dealers and the local unit groups cooperating together to put on events, etc... Do the dealerships support the WBCCI region and unit level activities?
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Old 02-25-2006, 06:51 AM   #8
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Okay, I'll bite.

I'm too new in my WBCCI unit to know anything about it's dealer relationships. My only experience is having walked into a local dealership a few years ago and being given, along with the usual lot tour and sales talk, a copy of the brochure for the Cape Cod Unit and some general information. This was only after I asked about WBCCI. The salesman didn't seem to think I would be interested and thought I was too young for them. At any rate, I ended up with the New England Unit, not the Cape Cod Unit, after we bought a vintage trailer. And the dealer didn't really influence the decision so much as the internet did.

One thing with the dealer/unit/region relationship is it's not 1:1. In New England there doesn't seem to be a single dealership that stands out as the strongest among us. I've talked to members who've bought or shopped at dealers in MA, CT, NH, PA, and NJ. It would be difficult for a dealer to support a single unit without the others in the Region feeling slighted, but I think it would be easier for dealers to support WBCCI at the Region level, and it would benefit both dealers and WBCCI to have a good relationship at this level.
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Old 02-25-2006, 07:44 AM   #9
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I've heard the Bill Thomas works well with the local group in the area of St. Louis. JCanavera could speak more to this than I could.

Here in IL, there isn't so far as in the past been a great dealer (nor a real good unit), so.........
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Old 02-25-2006, 08:07 AM   #10
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Hi All,

I don't know about dealer/WBCCI realtionships as I'm an at-large member, but I can report on 2 dealers. Bates RV Exchange (in FL) and Don Harkins in particular are very good. I bought my CCD from Don and he was there the whole way for me during the delivery and after. Had some problems that had to be resolved with the owner (Frank Bates) and they were taken care of. Mr Bates is very reachable and is one super guy!

The other dealer that several of my friends have bought A/S units from is Bill Sutton in Oregon. Very forthright in their dealings. My buddies are all very satisfied with their experiences there.

I can't comment on service issues as I deal with them myself, considering that I have more training and certification than 90% of the RV techs at the dealers!
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Old 02-25-2006, 08:49 AM   #11
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Hi folks,

We bought our 25' Safari in 2004 from Marty's US RV. They are high end RV dealers and carry Airstream as one of their lines. They have limited stock but are very obliging and willing to order an AS at a reasonable price. Post sale service has been excellent! We are currently thinking of upgrading, and will definitely give them our business again!

If any of you folks are interested, ask for Ray or Fernando and mention our names. The folks at Marty's are professional, courteous, and very helpful.


Regards,
T & Gail
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Old 02-25-2006, 01:20 PM   #12
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new dealership

To WBCCI's credit this (the Adopt a Dealer program) is another one of the programs they have created in the last several years to try and meet the needs of the membership and to do something to emcourage membership development. The others I can think of are the 1st year free membership, which apparently fizzled, and the Merit Award program. Why do these programs seem to gain so little traction? Why do they fizzle? I think partly it has to do with communications and leadership. That is a whole different thread.

To address what Buttercup was trying to find out, and expand on what he said about our Unit, here is what the SNU has done. We got a new Airstream dealer in our area just about one year ago. We discovered this by accident and also through a purchaser who bought his AS about 3 months after the company became the authorized AS dealer. This purchaser became an SNU member. Within a month of discovering this dealership, our Unit participated in the dealers Royal Kick Off event. The relationship has continued to grow since then. At the time, the SNU was unaware of the WBCCI Adopt-a-Dealer program. We have developed this relationship all on our own.

2005 Dealership Open House

Most of the active SNU members were at the open house all day.

We had a table set up with lots of materials, the photo albums, and display photographs.

We talked with people, answered questions etc. We represented the Airstream way of life and we could answer question the sales staff couldn't. We could talk from actual experience not just a sales pitch.

note: Although I don't know the final result, I know for a fact the SNU members are responsible for keeping one potential sale going. There was a family that was really interested. The SNU members were talking with them. When it really looked like they were serious one of the SNU members went and got a sales rep.

Other opportunities


The dealer has brought brand new Airstreams to two SNU rallies. The first time was up a dirt road to a minimally developed campsite. He left the Airstream overnight for us to explore and examine. We thoroughly enjoyed that opportunity and it led to one of our members purchasing a new Airstream.

We have provided the dealership with newsletters, SNU brochures, and other materials to display in the office and to put in each new Airstream.

We have asked the dealership to ask new owners if it is OK for the dealership to pass their name and address to the SNU for followup.

We asked and the dealership supports most of the costs of our snail mail newsletter.

We asked and the dealership supported most of the cost of the SNU 30th Anniversary commemorative mugs.

We designated an SNU member as a primary contact with the dealership

One or the other of our members is going by the dealership on a fairly frequent basis just to visit.

We have suggested the dealership put our rally schedule on the events calendar on their website.

We have made numerous suggestions regarding the interests, ideas, and needs of Airstream owners in our area. The dealership has listened and seems to be implementing some of them.

We invited the owner to the SNU's 30th anniversary luncheon. He, his wife and the new sales rep for Airstream attended.

We are planning to participate in the 2006 dealership open house. These plans include one of our members doing seminars on remodeling Airstreams, setting up a display table, and some other creative ideas still in the works.

The SNU is cognizant of the need to keep it's own identity and not be perceived as a commercial component of the dealership. With that in mind, we are exploring opportunities and looking forward to developing a very good, very solid relationship between the SNU and the dealership.
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Old 02-25-2006, 01:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
I've heard the Bill Thomas works well with the local group in the area of St. Louis. JCanavera could speak more to this than I could.

Here in IL, there isn't so far as in the past been a great dealer (nor a real good unit), so.........
Our dealership works hard to support our local unit. Everything from hosting rally's at his local, to meals for the attendees and some free repairs. We've taken over his service department, his showroom, I really can't say enough.

Those of you attending the Moraine View rally will be recipients of some of his support.

He considers each owner as part of the family. Those of you in the midwest should consider attending a rally that he does every other year at the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia Missouri. It's quite an event.

Jack
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Old 02-26-2006, 08:49 PM   #14
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Jack - That is exactly the kind of stories I am looking for. Thanks for this. is your unit involved in the Adopt a Dealer program?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
Our dealership works hard to support our local unit. Everything from hosting rally's at his local, to meals for the attendees and some free repairs. We've taken over his service department, his showroom, I really can't say enough.

Those of you attending the Moraine View rally will be recipients of some of his support.

He considers each owner as part of the family. Those of you in the midwest should consider attending a rally that he does every other year at the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia Missouri. It's quite an event.

Jack
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