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Old 11-26-2015, 06:26 AM   #127
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The tin can tourist Facebook page has over 23000 members so there is an interest in retro and vintage canned hams, etc. I hate to see AS do something to dilute the mystique.
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Old 11-26-2015, 06:29 AM   #128
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A better move might be to improve the quality level, across the board, and to raise prices!
Totally agree. If they want to close the lead time from 20 weeks to 10 weeks, raise the prices. That is how to run my company, now...
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Old 11-26-2015, 07:06 AM   #129
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The irony is - AS could significantly improve quality and actually REDUCE prices by taking waste out of their process and improving customer satisfaction. By finding an optimal manufacturing process that lowers cost, they could increase market share AND be more profitable per unit.

I don't know whether this Scout is manufactured by AS or contracted by another (Thor?) company - but it could be an opportunity for them to learn the 6 sigma and lean manufacturing methods many have mentioned in these threads and apply it upstream.

I say this as someone who loves my Flying Cloud. They did a great job on mine but clearly that's not consistent. It also should have cost about half what I paid for it and that was more than 20% off their MSRP.
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Old 11-26-2015, 07:09 AM   #130
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I'm not stupid…I'm was ignorant

And I'm sorry for going off on a tangent.

I liked the Scout idea. I liked the Basecamp idea. I will probably like Airstreams new idea. I liked the Argosy idea, and I have one. So I probably won't be buying another trailer.

I like Canned Hams. I am like many others who like Canned Hams. We vision ourselves finding a Canned Ham in some backyard. The owner doesn't want it and we will buy it for $500 and slap a coat a paint on it. Only to find out it has to be taken apart, and rebuilt to make it leak free and safe. ( $10 K ). Or I am the guy who wants to flip one. With time and materials, I net 75 cents an hour.

I AM the guy who bought a vintage trailer, and spent a lot to repair, restore, modernize, and doll up. I could have almost bought a new one.

My point is. Canned Ham fans would be smart to buy a Scout. Sons, or grandson's of Basecamp owners, might very well end up inheriting a rare and sought after trailer. And folks on a budget might do well to buy a Airstream Casita instead of restoring a vintage Airstream
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Old 11-26-2015, 07:25 AM   #131
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The day we dragged home the Airstream we already had two Casitas.

Now if Airstream would build a 7'8" wide by 22' to 25' fiberglass trailer with a Casita Liberty Deluxe like layout or a '69 Tradewind layout. It could sell if the price was right.
Not quite 7'8" but you won't find a better engineered trailer.
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Old 11-26-2015, 08:31 AM   #132
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Wheeler said

"The new trailer won’t come in the traditional aluminum shell, Wheeler said, but will be unmistakably an Airstream when it arrives in the middle of 2016."
I was being facetious !
What's the point of making a change like this? If they're flying off the shelves like they claim? Why not just stick with works? The base camp was a flop, why not just stick with success?
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Old 11-26-2015, 08:49 AM   #133
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Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post
The irony is - AS could significantly improve quality and actually REDUCE prices by taking waste out of their process and improving customer satisfaction. By finding an optimal manufacturing process that lowers cost, they could increase market share AND be more profitable per unit.

I don't know whether this Scout is manufactured by AS or contracted by another (Thor?) company - but it could be an opportunity for them to learn the 6 sigma and lean manufacturing methods many have mentioned in these threads and apply it upstream.

I say this as someone who loves my Flying Cloud. They did a great job on mine but clearly that's not consistent. It also should have cost about half what I paid for it and that was more than 20% off their MSRP.
I like your theories, I'm curious if you have experience running a company that manufactures. I say this because I feel the price of an Airstream is not high for what it is. I build houses on spec, and labor and material costs are quite eye opening when you see the real numbers. From the outside looking in, it may not look that way.

I think Airstream does a great job for a great price. I'd love to see that improved, and would pay more for the product if that were the case.

By simply raising the price of the trailer by the profit margin, they double the profitability of the entire company, just by changing a number. With a 20 week lead time, that may be possible as I would speculate that margin is not that high. Then as sales slow with the next recession, they would not be carrying the burden of overhead, especially at a cost associated with lower cost trailers. That may do nothing for quality, but is just an expansion of my point.

I am a firm believer of sticking to what you know. Airstream doesn't know the budget market and that is not a bad thing. Trust me when I tell you, I bet many RV Manufacturers in the budget market would love to get out, and be like Airstream.
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Old 11-26-2015, 08:59 AM   #134
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Can't see Oliver working with Airstream. They don't seem to have the facilities to mass produce. Each on of their trailers are special orders. Airstream if they decide to go the fiberglass shell or fiberglass bonded frame method will have to outsource this new trailer, probably from one of Thor's other plants as I wouldn't think they have the talent or facilities at Jackson Center to take on something like this by summer 2016.

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Old 11-26-2015, 09:04 AM   #135
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I owned a t@b made my Thor and the quality was excellent. Many of the components were European and innovative. I sold it to a couple who were moving up from tent camping. If AS is planning a mid-summer intro next year, chances are pretty good that it's a done deal and production is underway in order to fill the dealer pipeline. Can't help but think that the new product might be hecho en Mexico. After all the Ram is made there. Finished product could be transported by rail.
I agree with many others here that AS would be wise to improve the quality of the existing line.
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Old 11-26-2015, 09:32 AM   #136
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It is disconcerting, in my opinion, that Airstream would consider introducing a new economy product line, when the manufacturing quality control is so inconsistent (to use a polite term).

A better move might be to improve the quality level, across the board, and to raise prices!

You get what you pay for.

or

Be careful what you wish for -- cheaper trailers will probably be just . . .
Need to work on the improved quality level before raising prices. I don't feel like I'm getting my 90K worth so I bought used. I know when I drop 200K on a Ferrari that an old Italian man who has done nothing but hand stitch steering wheels for the last 50 years hand stitched my steering wheel. And that the leather was hand inspected before my seats were wrapped in it. That the engine was meticulously hand assembled and balanced. Etc.

Airstreams are built in America, by American factory workers. And well.... we all know what American work ethic is these days.
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Old 11-26-2015, 09:38 AM   #137
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How bad of a flop…their still in business.

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I was being facetious !
What's the point of making a change like this? If they're flying off the shelves like they claim? Why not just stick with works? The base camp was a flop, why not just stick with success?
Because corporations like growth. Stockholders like revenue. As the used Airstream market shows…smaller units are desirable, and younger folks aren't buying new Airstreams. But I see your point. Some AS owners don't want a watered down product tarnishing the reputation of their iconic status symbol.

The Basecamp was a cool idea. A small, tow with anything Airstream, that you could put a kayak or dirt bike in, that was reminiscent of one of Wallys first. An attempt at breaking into the younger, adventuring, outdoorsy, sporty type market. It turns out, that market didn't want to spend $20K for a glorified utility trailer.

Businesses take risks. Perhaps, they got more bang for their buck by focusing their resources on the conventional Airstream. Who knows, Basecamp might have made them money…just not enough. Heck, they sold most of them they made. Smart to keep a few for the museum. They might end up being a collectible.
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Old 11-26-2015, 09:42 AM   #138
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TedS. - no, I haven't run a manufacturing company. I have worked in manufacturing at a high tech company who used these principles to do exactly what I mentioned in terms of reducing waste, increasing customer satisfaction, increasing profit per unit in a competitive (price war) market. It's also what turned Toyota from a joke to a gold standard and what helps companies like Hyundai leapfrog the competition with higher quality and lower prices. I saw no indication of this on the tour I took a couple years ago - don't know if that's changing.

Can't say it enough - I LOVE my Airstream and the company. I also think it can do better.
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Old 11-26-2015, 10:11 AM   #139
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Need to work on the improved quality level before raising prices. I don't feel like I'm getting my 90K worth so I bought used. I know when I drop 200K on a Ferrari that an old Italian man who has done nothing but hand stitch steering wheels for the last 50 years hand stitched my steering wheel. And that the leather was hand inspected before my seats were wrapped in it. That the engine was meticulously hand assembled and balanced. Etc.

Airstreams are built in America, by American factory workers. And well.... we all know what American work ethic is these days.
I'm 66 and the American work ethic hasn't changed since I was a kid, poor then and poor now. Not to get political, but we can thank unions and govt policies for this. My opinion only.
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Old 11-26-2015, 10:26 AM   #140
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O

I'm 66 and the American work ethic hasn't changed since I was a kid, poor then and poor now. Not to get political, but we can thank unions and govt policies for this. My opinion only.
I didn't want to put it in so many words . Uncle worked GM Lordstown, OH Plant till retirement. I've been told the stories.

I made mention in the random thoughts thread that I'm not a believer in the "Made in America = Better Everything" - My MacBook came from China and is a fine piece of engineering.
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