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Old 11-04-2008, 06:25 PM   #15
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78 Years and Growing Older, Airstream

I lived and worked at Airstream, owned by family, then privately held and then by Beatrice. I have worked in the modular building business owned by Kaiser Aluminum, Fleetwood Enterprises at their Pace Arrow plant in California and Penssylvania, Kit Manufacturing plant in Chino, CA, and Executive Industries in Anaheim and Chino, CA.

So I have seen ups, downs, slowdowns, layoffs, hiring, dealer's startups, dealers go out of business and just about everything can happen in an industry that has products that nobody really needs to own. A true luxury that isn't need to survive in life.

With that in mind all of us that have had the priviledge to own an Airstream, or other RV's should consider ourselves lucky. Boat owener too!

Thor has been a very solvent corporation with acquisitons of very solid companies. One of the reasons they sold off the California operations was the difficulty of doing business in that state.

I have read the blogs and it seems that there is attempt to grasp that the current economic crisis is going to shut the doors at Airstream. I don't think so. But I do think there will be months if not a few years to get back to its former production rates.

I have been through recessions before. I have seen productions schedules increase dynamically and shrink to controlled shutdowns.

We are in a passing problem that will correct its self.
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Old 11-05-2008, 10:23 AM   #16
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Thor

Read this yesterday, gives an overview of Thor. RVbusiness.com track's the RV Industry.

BREAKING NEWS
Thor Industries Reports 1Q RV Sales Down 50%
RV Business
Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Thor Industries Inc. said that sales for its fiscal first quarter ended Oct. 31 declined 42% with RV revenue falling 50%.

In its preliminary report, the Jackson Center, Ohio-based builder said sales for the quarter were $439.2 million, down from $763.7 million in the year-ago period. RV sales totaled $331.2 million compared with $664.2 million a year ago while bus sales increased to $108 million from $99.5 million.

Thor’s RV backlog on Oct. 31 was $124.5 million, down from $249.7 million the previous year.

The company reported that cash and investments on Oct. 31 were approximately $286 million versus $265 million the year prior. "Our strong balance sheet gives us a significant competitive advantage in these difficult times," said Wade F. B. Thompson, Thor chairman.
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Old 11-05-2008, 10:54 AM   #17
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i like this idea.

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Originally Posted by Over59 View Post
Of course if the new guy lets people open their IRA's for home payments or purchases then watch out. Alot of folks could pack it in and hit the road. Pay off the morgage with the tax free money, sell the house, buy a land yacht and hit the road to see America while there is still something to see.
It would be tempting for sure!
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Old 11-05-2008, 12:41 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Excella3287 View Post
In its preliminary report, the Jackson Center, Ohio-based builder said sales for the quarter were $439.2 million, down from $763.7 million in the year-ago period. RV sales totaled $331.2 million compared with $664.2 million a year ago while bus sales increased to $108 million from $99.5 million.
Not sure how they do their accounting, but if they do it like the automakers, they count units shipped to dealers as sold, even though they may be parked on a lot for however long, so if in fact they do similar accounting practices, I would not put a lot of stock into the fact that it's only a 50% drop.....could be far worse.

In the end I don't think that Airstream is going to close, if anything it will come out a leaner and meaner RV builder and it may remind some of the same folks that somewhat sloppily built my unit that quality is a journey not a destination and that hopefully some of the many issues we've all talked about here, with this time on their hands, might be able to address some of the shortcomings.
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Old 11-05-2008, 03:47 PM   #19
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Really?

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... Thor Industries Inc. said that ... In its preliminary report, the Jackson Center, Ohio-based builder said ...
Is Thor really based in Airstream's home town?

Tom
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Old 11-05-2008, 04:25 PM   #20
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Is Thor really based in Airstream's home town?

Tom
Yes. Airstream was, from what I understand Thor's first buy. They are housed next door or across the street... I forget which, but they are a stone's throw away from the service center.
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Old 11-05-2008, 08:01 PM   #21
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I don't know what's happening in other areas but the dealership in Columbus, OH from which I purchased my 2007 25' International last February is no longer an Airstream franchisee. They told me that AS wants to have one or two dealers in each state - they were the odd-dealer out in Ohio. Now, what do I do when I need warranty work??? I had one of the three straps holding the black tank on come loose. I wasn't interested in hauling it 100 miles to Jackson Center so I paid the $50 to have it fixed. I wonder how many more warranty repairs like this will come along? Are dealers closing in any other areas???
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Old 11-05-2008, 10:44 PM   #22
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I don't think the dealer I bought my Airstream from closed, but they are no longer an Airstream dealer. They were the only Airstream dealer in Tennessee. Pity, I was willing to take my Airstream back the 225 miles each way for warranty or other work rather than the sole Georgia Airstream dealer some 45 miles from my home.
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Old 11-06-2008, 09:43 AM   #23
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Dealerships

I went to see some new units at California RV in Colton on Sunday and they were closed and inventory gone. Don't know if their Baldwin Park location is closed or not. Went to Southwest Coaches in Irvine and they had lots of inventory and we were the only customers on the lot with three salesmen, sign of the times. This is a large area of RV dealers only and Mcmahons has taken over several dealships and there is more than one empty lot.
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Old 11-08-2008, 06:27 PM   #24
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Growing problems

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Originally Posted by Excella3287 View Post
I went to see some new units at California RV in Colton on Sunday and they were closed and inventory gone. Don't know if their Baldwin Park location is closed or not. Went to Southwest Coaches in Irvine and they had lots of inventory and we were the only customers on the lot with three salesmen, sign of the times. This is a large area of RV dealers only and Mcmahons has taken over several dealships and there is more than one empty lot.
Does anybody know the status of California RV in Fontana, is it still in business?
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Old 11-08-2008, 10:40 PM   #25
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Does anybody know the status of California RV in Fontana, is it still in business?
Fontana is closed. A friend of mine looked at new units at California RV at their Baldwin Park location a couple of weeks ago. They are selling the rest of their Airstream inventory from there. He said the prices were good.
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:23 PM   #26
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Darn

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Fontana is closed. A friend of mine looked at new units at California RV at their Baldwin Park location a couple of weeks ago. They are selling the rest of their Airstream inventory from there. He said the prices were good.
Thanks LLB21, I was afraid of this, I had a $200 credit with the parts dept at California RV, Fontana, I guess I can kiss that goodbye.....oh well.
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Old 11-21-2008, 09:57 PM   #27
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I had one of the three straps holding the black tank on come loose. I wasn't interested in hauling it 100 miles to Jackson Center so I paid the $50 to have it fixed.
You should call customer service at Airstream, 937 596-6111. Explain how expensive it is to get to a dealer for such a small repair. They may reimburse you since they would have paid a dealer anyway for the work.
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Old 11-21-2008, 10:17 PM   #28
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Oasis RV Center, the Airstream dealer in Tucson, and one of only two in Arizona, has discontinued the sales end of their business—for now, anyway. This is where we bought our Airstream, and we love the place! We were saddened and were little nervous because they provide great support, but we were thankful to learn that they have no intention of closing down completely and are continuing as an Authorized Airstream Service Center... That is a real big thing for us. We were there the other day lamenting the situation with the owner...he was actually reassuringly upbeat about the whole thing...he will probably go back into sales once the economy turns up...he did say he could still get a new Airstream for us if we decided we wanted one...
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