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Old 01-21-2009, 08:08 PM   #1
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2010 Classics models discontinued

I was listening to the replay of the WBCCI Mid-winter meeting where Airstream's Larry Huttle talked about the announcement being made this week that several Classic models will be dropped for 2010. The only Classics that will be retained are the 27' front bedroom and the 30' dinette rear bedroom. That means the following classics are being dropped: 25RB, 25FB, 28, 30 slide, 30FB, 31, 34, & 34 slide. Classics make up only 6% of total production with the 27FB and 30 dinette being 80% of classics ordered. He said production will continue for 30 days or so. Therefore, if you are on the fence for one of these models, you should consider either ordering soon or locating a dealer with one soon.

The replay can be found on the WBCCI website. WBCCI.org for the 1-16-09 meeting. Larry's conversation is about 30 minutes into the broadcast and again toward the end.

He also talked about the KOA and Cabella's relationships with Airstream.
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:11 PM   #2
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That's not good, a sign of the times.
Classics Rule.....
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:03 PM   #3
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Larry was guardedly optimistic with his presentation. I believe he mentioned a 20% reduction in the work force among other things. Airstream is targeting a younger audience because that is what the numbers are showing them at this time. He also mentioned that they are looking at other partnerships such as they have done in the past. One could be with Cabela's. He was in Phoenix and saw a bunch of "Sister's on the Fly" parked at the Cabela's store. He never stopped by my house.

One other interesting thing that he mentioned was the possibility of selling parts directly from the factory.
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:36 PM   #4
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Weak Link

I think Airstreams marketing strategies are their weakest attribute. They are a victim of their own lack of marketing prowess.

Between high priced products and lack of marketing, a plan for demise. I know as well as anyone on here that AS has been around since the beginning of time, but they have been dwindling in production and sales faster than most. Airstreams only marketing strength is the long lasting iconic reputation. That is dissappearing with the death of the old generation and introduction of the new.

I am still here though.........
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Old 01-22-2009, 05:29 AM   #5
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So my '06 30' Classic Limited with a slide will become a collectors item???
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Old 01-22-2009, 06:50 AM   #6
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DH and I could not even begin to imagine FTing in any thing other than a 34'.

Will they still be available on special order or will they be completely discontinued?


Also, what about the new toyhauler? Is that going to be a great idea done too late?

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Old 01-22-2009, 07:03 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by fr8tshaker View Post
DH and I could not even begin to imagine FTing in any thing other than a 34'.

Will they still be available on special order or will they be completely discontinued?


Also, what about the new toyhauler? Is that going to be a great idea done too late?

'shaker
Special order for a very short time (until 2010 models come out this summer) and then no more. They said they were focusing on their sweet spot which is 24-27'. Twenty-two percent of those surveyed (1300) knew of Airstream. Thirty five percent of purchasers of new Airstreams were first time RV owners. Out of 42 RV manufacturers, only 6-8 are expected to survive. Airstream is one of them.
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smily View Post
I think Airstreams marketing strategies are their weakest attribute. They are a victim of their own lack of marketing prowess.

Between high priced products and lack of marketing, a plan for demise.

I would have to totally agree here and simply add that the quality of build and other issues (that have been discussed at length here on the forums) only exasperate the issue. I mean really, if you stop and think about it, how many times have you been to an RV show where Airstream is represented? How many times do you hear, wow, this is sharp, then they see the price tag and I have heard all too many times "are they crazy"?

Yes material prices have increased, then decreased, but then some of these folks wind up here and read the threads and say, wow, I was going to spend 2 to 3x what I could have spent on this kind of build??

In the end these were not the first to be dropped and won't be the last.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DEITZ645 View Post
So my '06 30' Classic Limited with a slide will become a collectors item???
Just like my Safari LS Six Sleeper. It is currently only avail in CCD style.

What I found increasingly obnoxious was the $96k MSRP toy hauler Airstream released a few months back. Though I pretty sure they had been planning it for a while, releasing a new niche product like that, in a major recession (read near depression), with high gas prices, credit markets drying up, etc was just a mind numbing dumb move. I noticed this particular unit was not mentioned.

I have said for years that the design is timeless. The cool factor unparalleled. However, the website, warranty issues, build issues, and what has been stated above are clearly having an impact on the company.

I'm pretty sure Airstream will make it, mostly because it's part of Thor and that it is Thor's flagship brand. However, like most, they will have to find their way back to a sustainable level where part of the old Wally days might return. Most folks are going to be a lot more careful about peeling off dollar bills for big ticket items in the future. A leaner and meaner ship in Jackson Center is what may be required and these cuts are a step in the right direction (even though I loved the 31' dinette). There are just too many models and variations. Airstream has tried to capture every market segment and in the process diluted the product line to the point that with the way things are now, it just cannot be sustained. It would have made a lot more sense to me if they had base models and with proper marketing and website exposure, allowed options to be built. For example, take the 25ers. There is one base model. You want CCD like interior, add this price, you was CCD/Classic style windows, add this price, you just want the plain jane version, here is the MSRP. You want an additional fantastic fan, upgraded A/C unit, here are the MSRP (which you neg with a dealer at the final part of the process) on those, then when an order is made, build it, not have 2 versions running at the same time (IE: Safari, Safari LS, CCD version of the same unit, etc). Dealers could order based on what they see regionally based on a single sized floorplan and not stock two totally different production models for only slightly different options and styles. When the FB units became popular again, Airstream went WAY overboard on these units. It started at 25, then 27, then 30, all at the same time of offering parallel 25, 27, 30 and 31' units. In addition, having a 25 and a 27 and then a 30 and 31 is just too close. Sure there are plusses to the slightly larger unit, but again, why? Finally folks in mgmt are getting the picture. For any model except for the very base entry model (the smaller units), for these price points, Airstream should be installing the latest and greatest gear as these are premium products. Things like thermopane windows, 2 stage furnaces, dumping the POS Hehr windows, etc are all things that should be part of what a premium product include. The money is there. If we can get 19 to 25% off MSRP when dealing, there is some profit there to play with...there has to be. Here and only here is where marketing works for Airstream. They really want this price, they jack up the price and when you see 20% off MSRP, you think your getting the deal of the century, but in fact you are paying what they want you to pay and with 3 to 5% increases year after year, they are able to maintain it. My thing is that a premium product should have premium components, premium build quality and let the SOB versions of Thor pickup the non premium segment. In less lean times, come out with a few niche products, but keep the core the core.

I would look for more things to change in the coming months. That's my prediction. Could be wrong, but it makes sense, which many times sense has been lost in upper mgmt, so who really knows.
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:40 AM   #9
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Just to add a line and reiterate what has been said. Airstream has done a poor job in my opinion of getting their product in the public eye. ie, over the past few years I have talked with my neighbors and friends about our plans to purchase an Airstream for retirement/travel. Virtually nobody that I know even knows what an Airstream is????? The few that do ask "do they still make those".

Another thing is the reputation they are getting for poor quality controll for a trailer that is priced at two to three times more money than other manufacturers. "I can buy three SOB's with the money for ONE AS"

Tailer life mag. and other RV reviews. They don't get much publicity in any RV publication. And the reviews I have read by the RV industry publications has been far from a positive exsperience. Noted in these reviews were comments about mediocure materials for canbinets and poor fitting trim and construction. Not something you want to hear about an RV that is priced so that only retired or people with well above average income can afford.
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DEITZ645 View Post
So my '06 30' Classic Limited with a slide will become a collectors item???
To quote some of the online auction sellers, "Soon to be Rare!".
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hookedonclassic View Post
I was listening to the replay of the WBCCI Mid-winter meeting where Airstream's Larry Huttle talked about the announcement being made this week that several Classic models will be dropped for 2010. The only Classics that will be retained are the 27' front bedroom and the 30' dinette rear bedroom. [deleted] Classics make up only 6% of total production with the 27FB and 30 dinette being 80% of classics ordered.[deleted] .

[deleted]
Well This is interesting. I thought the 30 dinette was not that popular. Most people I talked to did not want the dinette since it takes up a lot of space. I like my 31 Classic with dinette. I wonder what is the difference between the 30 with dinette and the 31 dinette? I bought the the 31 (really a 30) for the storage. They had a 30 FB for a short time but I an not going to go out an d buy another AS just to get it.

I can understand the streamlining. I have been told on tours for the last couple of years that the Safari is 80+% of the production. The reason. Price point. Most cannot afford the Classic and up.

My next AS will be vintage 60s.
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:21 AM   #12
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Hi Michelle

I would agree with you we have not sold a 30 Classic since the 31 Dinette and espessially the 31 Free Standing Dinette became available.

The 30 is still a very nice unit but the 31' Bath and the storage seem to be more desirable than the additonal living space in the 30.

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Old 01-22-2009, 09:26 AM   #13
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Airstream models have come and gone throughout the years, some perhaps because of overall market conditions, some perhaps because of model-specific market conditions, and perhaps some because they just want to give a particular model a rest in favor of resurrections. Who knows? Maybe the Classic will be replaced with a Sovereign!


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Old 01-22-2009, 09:42 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie View Post
For any model except for the very base entry model (the smaller units), for these price points, Airstream should be installing the latest and greatest gear as these are premium products.
Here's what gets me. I think the smaller units should be, well, more ambitious in design. If something like 30% of AS's go to first time buyers, it would seem to me there would be a pull towards something lightweight, easy to tow, and with a CCD-like interior.

I don't think the entry-level product is hitting on all cylinders. Instead, the Safari Sport has (to me) a less stylish interior, and the 22' model (the one that could actually sleep more than 2 comfortably) weighs too much to tow with a lot of smaller SUVs and minivans. A 16' Bambi is cute, but is pretty tight, with small beds. And the price isn't right.

I want an updated Argosy Minuet. Build a narrow body trailer. Maybe use the slick plastic windows (they open fully) that are on my T@B. (The Minuet used plastic windows.) Put in the bright colors and veneers that are in a CCD. (Given what stylish stuff costs at IKEA, it doesn't seem to cost much more to paint something in a bright color or to use a darker veneer.) Make a trailer with a bed that my wife and I can sleep in together - comfortably. Heck, I'm even OK with the surge brakes used in Europe; again, simpler = better. And get rid of the wood floors for a composite.

Sure, after we toured the dealership, we fell in love with a 23FB or a 25FB. But for a first time buyer like we were, that requires a new tow vehicle, not to mention a big chunk of money to buy the trailer. Like a lot of others, that keeps me looking at vintage.

I know that products like I want exist in Europe. I just wonder if stronger entry-level product would strengthen AS's position here.

Sorry for the deviation from discussing Classics....
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