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Old 11-08-2004, 08:21 AM   #1
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Thor to buy another RV company....

http://dayton.bizjournals.com/dayton...01/daily5.html
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Old 11-08-2004, 08:53 AM   #2
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I have a question for the legally oriented folks out there...Isn't there a point where Thor will have to worry about running into anti-trust law? It seems that pretty soon they'll own almost all of the brands out there...

Mary
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Old 11-08-2004, 09:58 AM   #3
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Well, I'm no lawyer, but to me it would seem that eventually in America, when one buys an RV, no matter what brand, you actually will be buying from 1 of 2 or 3 parent companies. The 2 800lb gorillas that I know in the industry are Thor and Fleetwood.

Kind of like the long distance phone market. Lots of players, but most back in the day were using AT&T, MCI and Sprint networks and from what I understand, a lot still do. In the end, anti-trust and regulation all depends on how well the industry can police itself I would guess.

One thing is for sure though. From my direct exp in RVing over the past 20 years, the coaches built back when everyone was hungry and it wasn't a numbers game really turned out some good stuff (of course there were exceptions). Today, it's stockholders, marketshare, numbers, numbers, numbers. As has been posted here however, warranty numbers are becoming a LARGE part of the numbers game. As a few have said here...no time to do it right the first time, but plenty of time to do it over as we all find that as these ma and pa type family companies get bought, warranty claims start going through the roof. I forget what someone posted about Thors warranty numbers, but they were WAY, WAY high.

To give a bit of perception, back in the day, Wally was a total nut when it came to doing it right. Don, the tour guide at Airstream told us straight out, Wally would walk the floor and would look at a coach, see say a roof locker not right, he'd rip it out, lay into the folks building it and tell them do it right! Today, folks are paid based on the number of coaches they can turn out....and as some of us know, though Airstream itself (a Thor company) is making strides in it's quality process, it is still far, far from what I think it was when Wally was at the helm and it wasn't run by some big corporate monster company. This I blame squarely on these parent companies picking up independent after independent.
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Old 11-08-2004, 12:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireflyinva
I have a question for the legally oriented folks out there...Isn't there a point where Thor will have to worry about running into anti-trust law? It seems that pretty soon they'll own almost all of the brands out there...

Mary
They'll go after Thor as soon as they prosecute Starbucks.
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Old 11-08-2004, 12:21 PM   #5
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Soon there will be only three: Mercedes, Honda and Toyota
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Old 11-08-2004, 12:33 PM   #6
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Mature markets usually boil down to just a few major players with a bunch of ankle knippers. The RV market still has a ways to go, especially because it is really a VAR activity rather than an OEM one.

As for the 'they don't build them like they used to' mantra - thank goodness. Warranty repairs have always been a major issue, even with Airstream - that was one of the first reasons for the big caravans, which always had special repair vehicles with parts supplies and special tools. Nowadays, RV's have so much extra convenience there are a whole lot more things that can go wrong and it is amazing that so little really does.
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Old 11-11-2004, 05:56 PM   #7
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Soon there will be only three: Mercedes, Honda and Toyota
Mercedes was bought out by Chrysler. If you look at current reports and some of the items Mercedes has removed from this luxary line, such as removing free maintainance, loaner cars etc... it is slowly becoming a high priced domistic car.

BMW is coming on strong with added value and increased programs for owners of BMWs.

Brian B... (the other Brian)
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Old 11-11-2004, 06:30 PM   #8
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Soon there will be only three: Mercedes, Honda and Toyota
Steven... "In the end, there can be only one..."

Conner MacLeod, The Highlander... immortal.
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