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Old 01-26-2006, 04:23 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
As has been pointed out, the demand is still there and, if you get the standard 18% off list, you're not really paying sticker, unless you want to.
Although I now see I was quoted a price for the wrong model, for what it's worth the price I was given was for about 22% off list. That was for a straight sale with no trade-in, and with no negotiations regarding the price quoted - although

The factory Airstream sales guy at the show did say that he would consider adding additional money to the dealer's discount if needed to close a deal -- so I assume a person may have done somewhat better than 22%.
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Old 01-26-2006, 04:47 PM   #16
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I'd love to know what it costs to build various size Airstreams.

I read somewhere it costs about $10 to build a Lincoln Navigator, and the retail price is in the high $40s, low $50s.

Not to sound greedy, I'd take dealer cost over build cost if I could get it. Seems there is a good deal of wiggle room built into these things. 22% is the best I've heard yet, except for model year blowouts that without any negot, are at 25% in some cases.
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Old 01-26-2006, 05:27 PM   #17
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There is quite a good profit margin on RV's. A dealer friend of mine once told me that he could sell a travel trailer at 25% off MSRP and still make a reasonable profit. So really what controls the dealer's bottom line is his overhead and what he wants as a return. 25% is getting harder to get these days and a good deal is probably at the 18% level.

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Old 01-26-2006, 06:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
I'd love to know what it costs to build various size Airstreams.

I read somewhere it costs about $10 to build a Lincoln Navigator, and the retail price is in the high $40s, low $50s.

Not to sound greedy, I'd take dealer cost over build cost if I could get it. Seems there is a good deal of wiggle room built into these things. 22% is the best I've heard yet, except for model year blowouts that without any negot, are at 25% in some cases.
The factory provides additional sales incentives for this show, the same as I assume they do at other shows and/or at other times of the year. That probably explains the larger discounts than you might see otherwise.

They also pay for the considerable space at the show that the dealer (Bates) uses to display his units. And, if you ever go to this show (one of the country's larger ones), Bates and Airstream have one of the 2 or 3 most prominent displays at the entire show - right inside the front door beside those $1.5 million Prevosts. It has to cost them MEGA bucks! The "poor" Airstream dealers who don't get this super treatment are really second class citizens.

As a former employee and (not so happy) present shareholder of Ford stock, I can assure you that whoever said a Lincoln Navigator only cost about $10,000 to build wasn't in the same finance department that I was in! I bet the employee and retiree health care costs alone amount to $2,000 per vehicle. Considering that Ford had net losses of $1.6 billion in North America last year (that's not worldwide, just in North America) one might argue that it actually cost them them closer to $60,000 to build each Navigator. (I'm just throwing out a hypothetical figure, and haven't the real numbers, but I'd bet it's directionally correct).
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Old 01-26-2006, 07:01 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
I'd love to know what it costs to build various size Airstreams.
I'll make a SWAG on it (that's a Scientific Wild-Aszz Guess).

If you use a $50,000 MSRP for example, I'd guess the dealer's cost is $35,000 (and he has a 30% margin).

Overall, Thor reported they made a 17% Gross Margin on towable unit sales in 2005 (versus motorized units), with Selling, General and Administrative expenses of 5.5% of sales, and Net Profit Before Taxes of 11.5%.

Since Airstream is an older, established product and sells for a higher price than the the average towable that Thor sells, I'd bet Thor makes more profit, and has a higher gross margin on them than they do on other towables they sell.
I'd guess it is in the neighborhood of a 25-30% gross margin, and a net profit befrore tax of 15%, or possibly a bit more.

If that's true, then it costs them somewhere around $30,000 to build an Airstream that lists retail for $50,000.

Anyone have a better guess?
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Old 01-27-2006, 08:44 AM   #20
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bought my 2005 25ft International last year for 22% off list. the dealer initially showed me the retail price but quickly accepted the counter offer. I had no experience in purchasing Rvs or Airstreams at the time but did call around to different dealers around the country for quotes. I suspect he still made a decent profit on my purchase.
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Old 01-27-2006, 10:14 AM   #21
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You sometimes get what you pay for, and there are some dealers out there that are willing to give you those great prices, but end up either charging a dealer prep fee, or give you very little dealer prep. The other issue is service after the sale and again if the dealer is cutting his margins, the quality or availablity of service may be questionable.

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Old 01-27-2006, 11:15 AM   #22
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We really can't do anything about the retail pricing directly as consumers. The best thing is to be well informed before the purchase, research the market and the dealer. Also, don't be too stuck on getting the absolute best price. My dealer has given me invaluable service after the sale, so I don't complain about the price.

Perhaps "you get what you pay for" but don't forget that "a fool and his money are soon parted".
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Old 01-27-2006, 11:39 AM   #23
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Quote:
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Also, don't be too stuck on getting the absolute best price. My dealer has given me invaluable service after the sale, so I don't complain about the price.
I'm lucky in that my dealer is within 35 miles of my home. When I made my original deal on my first Airstream, I found a dealer in Ohio that offered it to me at a savings of $380. I agonized on this a bit but ended up buying from my local dealer at the higher price.

My dealer has excellent prep and service, and while I've posted this elsewhere it bears repeating. One of our unit members at an International a few years back had a stroke. The dealer had his son drive the members tow vehicle and trailer back to St. Louis. When the member offered to reimburse the dealer, he noted back that there would be no charge since "we are family". That's the kind of folks I want to do business with.

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