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Old 11-04-2008, 03:59 PM   #1
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financial condition of airstream company

Has anyone heard anything about the financial condition of Airstream in this economy?
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Old 11-04-2008, 04:10 PM   #2
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I don't know that this question has one answer. The answers may be no more exact than:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f224...ted-46029.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f314...mes-45973.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f161...yle-44188.html

It all comes down to Thor. Thor Industries Inc. News - The New York Times. You'll find the boardrooms look at this over the long run. And in 6-12 months the view should be more clear. My opinion? Airstream is a niche product but it sells itself with a modest amount of marketing. Already got an Airstream? No problem mon...

At least if corporate earnings go to suppliers of food, I hope it's not Campbell Soup that picks up the Twinkie pieces. Sorry -- lame Beatrice fears just below the surface.
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Old 11-04-2008, 04:12 PM   #3
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Nope, but what I would be worrying about more is the financial condition of dealers. If they slip under then Airstream loses an outlet and that ultimately impacts them.

Airstream's decision to drop the motorhome line may have been a pretty smart move. You wonder how companies like Winnebago whose entire product line is based on fossil fueled motors can survive for long.

If I'm right about my Thor history, Airstream was the economic engine that originally provided the earnings for Thor to branch out into other product lines.
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Old 11-04-2008, 04:18 PM   #4
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Thx, Canoe, for a nice NYTimes summary page on Thor. I didn't realize the Times was making that sort of effort on its business pages.

Note the November 4th report of Thor earnings & sales - way down but cash appears strong. They say they can weather things, but what else can they say.
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Old 11-04-2008, 04:30 PM   #5
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Teton Homes closed doors and they made one of best high end 5's. There will be others that will close before it's over. Hopefully, not AS.
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Old 11-04-2008, 04:30 PM   #6
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Still... I suppose it is vanity but Airstream is not just another line of SOBs, and I think it would be wise not to hold it equal to bottom line statistics. I know nothing but suspect that cranking them out and exercising cost controls runs paralell to quality control issues. Scarf up other lines of RVs...OK... but put them all under the same status quo for sales verses costs and Airstream has suffered needlessly because their base was established on qualitity and reputation and not on volume and profits.
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Old 11-04-2008, 04:45 PM   #7
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Yes, they will still make those

Airstream is not a company per se. As Canoe_Stream mentioned, it is now part of a bigger company who makes LOTS of travel trailers.

My take is that the present owner recognizes Airstream as a flagship brand, and will not allow it's extension into luxury travel trailers to keep it's head below water for too long should Airstream's individual returns not keep pace with all the SOBs the company also puts out.

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Old 11-04-2008, 04:58 PM   #8
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One Word Thor

Airstream was the seed company that set up the Thor Corporation in the RV Industry. They have grown from modest beginnings to the largest RV Corporation in the World.

Yes, Fleetwood was once the big boy on the block. But Thor passed them by. Fleetwood made many, many, many administrative and management decissions that imploded the company.

Airstream like any RV Manufacturer in today's economic climate are hurt by what's happening. Because the RV Industry is in a different menu, they will not suffer as badly as the American auto industry.

The American RV Industry will need to survive the credit market, there is little or none; get over 2nd home mortgage loans, and quickie deals.

Airstream, if any, of Thor's products has a longevity and recognition unlike any other product being offerer.

Tough times, yes! Funeral, no!

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Old 11-04-2008, 05:12 PM   #9
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Thor sold one of it's lines (ThorCalifornia) but still has many others including the one that got them started, Airstream. One big plus for Thor is the Commercial Bus business which is made up of 3 manufactures. When fuel prices shot up earlier this year their orders increased. Thor may be forced to do some more trimming of it's RV business, but I would think that Airstream will survive.
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Old 11-04-2008, 05:13 PM   #10
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Airstream factory is shut down for 5 weeks; due to market conditions. I don't remember in recent history that they shut down for this length of time.
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Old 11-04-2008, 05:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera View Post
product line is based on fossil fueled motors can survive for long
You guys towing with bikes, still?
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Old 11-04-2008, 05:49 PM   #12
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The commercial bus side of the business has grown by 30% over the last two years. Thor now owns over 1/3 of the small/mid-size bus market in the US.
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Old 11-04-2008, 06:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanoeStream View Post
......It all comes down to Thor. Thor Industries Inc. News - The New York Times. You'll find the boardrooms look at this over the long run. And in 6-12 months the view should be more clear. My opinion? Airstream is a niche product but it sells itself with a modest amount of marketing. Already got an Airstream? No problem mon...

At least if corporate earnings go to suppliers of food, I hope it's not Campbell Soup that picks up the Twinkie pieces. Sorry -- lame Beatrice fears just below the surface.
Interesting read, Bob. A couple of things popped out at me. The insiders are by no means dumping their stock and the Thor stock is rated as a "hold" (by whom??). Also, nice to see that there are a few companies around that keep a board with plenty of "gray hairs" running the show. My apologies to the younger folks that might be reading this. Nothing is better than real world experience.

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Old 11-04-2008, 06:20 PM   #14
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Thor has cash, no debt, and too many dealers with too much produce. Rumor is Classics will be available only by special order. I didn't know about the bus business. I'll need to do some homework as that makes them attractive, eventually. They may have a problem if the credit problems don't turn around by 2010. 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.
Coachmen and Fleetwood look DOA. Thor may be the one to survive and get pricing power in 2012.
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