Just like the housing bubble, there was a bubble in the RV industry
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Just like the housing bubble, there was a bubble in the RV industry
Winnebago's new CEO, Randy Potts says "Many competitors went bankrupt. We survived and are strong. I'm looking ahead at a different chapter. We're figuring out where we're going to be in five years"

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6/28/2011 - The following extract from an article is by, and reproduced from, DONNELLE ELLER DesMoinesRegister.com
 Link to full story 

Winnebago's new CEO - Randy Potts, 52, an Iowa native who has worked in manufacturing since graduating - follows Bob Olson, who remains the board chairman.

Potts has spent nearly 28 years at the northern Iowa motor home manufacturing plant, working his way up from a senior tool designer to vice president of manufacturing to president in January and CEO last week.

Potts talked with The Des Moines Register on Thursday as the White House announced President Barack Obama would visit Iowa on Tuesday to discuss the future of manufacturing.

Q. What would you like President Obama to do to help the manufacturing industry?

A. It's saddening to see how many manufacturing jobs this country has lost. But with globalization of economies, the world is a much smaller place.

  
Manufacturing jobs that involve a lot of labor, especially unskilled labor, will just keep going to cheaper sources. There's nothing our government can do about that. Protectionism has failed. We all have to learn how to adapt in a changing world.

Q. What are important economic factors for Winnebago? Is it jobs, retirement funds?

A. It's a multitude of factors. Just like the housing bubble, there was a bubble in the RV industry. ... The industry has a long history of working on either side of normal, but sales spiked to 70,000 units in 2004. Looking back, the RV industry was overbuilding. Once the economy came undone, sales plummeted. The consumer base went from 70,000 to 20,000. But the dealer network was stocked with inventory for that higher sales level. Manufacturing was stacked up for the higher sales level. It took a long time to work itself out.

 
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When will we get back to normal?...:

A lot of people ask when we'll get back to normal, but we don't know. We simply don't know. Nobody knows.

We'll continue to gain market share. We'll take business away from our competition. But it's a bigger piece of a smaller pie.

We need to look for long-term sources of revenue. The towable trailer manufacturer we purchased in Indiana (SunnyBrook RV) is a good sampling of what we have an appetite for.

Q. Will workers, analysts, others who follow Winnebago see a big change between your leadership and Bob Olson's?

A. Bob was faced with a bottom falling out. He dealt with that very well. Many competitors went bankrupt. We survived and are strong. I'm looking ahead at a different chapter. We're figuring out where we're going to be in five years.

What we have to do now is more strategic. ... Winnebago is over 50 years old. The culture of this company, the product, quality, everything about this company has taken years to evolve. We can't be reckless. We have to be very careful.


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SOME OF THE LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT RVING NEWS ITEMS:
(See also general comments further down this page)
Re: Thor Motor Coach Showcases Brand New 2015 Motorhomes on the West CoastKen BrownWe bought a new 2013 Thor Tuscany 42WX at this show. Got to use it one weekend had to take it back to the dealer and it has been there for 3 weeks and still not done. I hope the factory and the dealer get it together soon and get it fixed.
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Re: RV industry bubble - just like housingPatty O CamperI enjoyed reading the interview with Randy Potts, the new CEO of "Winnebago". His comments confirmed the feeling I had about the economy and it's impact on the RV Industry. I also noted he ignored the interviewer' s question about "how president Obama could help the RV industry" the question was stupid. The best thing government can due for the economy in general is to back-off on all the regulations that have strangled the American spirit of self-reliance. The crash in the economy was the result of government involvement in the housing industry. Insisting that banks loaned money for real estate to people who could never make the payments....all in the name of "equality". Banks started to fail, the housing market went into a depression and all because too many unqualified mortgage holders failed to make their payments. During this crisis the government continues to print money every week reducing the value of our currency on the world market and fueling inflation in this country. It is good to see Winnebago isn't in line for any government handouts like too many members of our dependent society seem to be. Reduce regulations, build the Keystone pipeline and the price of fuel for our RV's will go down....and get the ethanol out of our gasoline....it is reducing gas mileage and destroying our motor vehicles!
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Re: Rand McNally and RVDA Dealer and Service Location AppfmprdwgJust purchased 2012 Jayco Seneca 38 foot. Cummins diesel and Freightliner chassis. Lots of power, mileage is a true 10mpg. I have over 4000 miles of travel to prove it. King bed, fireplace, 2 slides, 4 TV's. Only thing I do not like is 2 fuel tanks but not same sized and must use DEF (Diesel Emmision fluid). A real pain on the trunk !!!!
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Re: Minnesota residents evading sales tax by registering RVs in MontanaFritzUsed to live in the Peoples Republic of Minnesota. Vote with your feet. Democrat Farm-Labor says it all. Don't set up a shell corporation; move there, or to any state with a favorable tax structure. I moved when I saw that the state was sucking me dry.
Re: Futuristic Motorhome eleMMentGaryugly.
Re: Minnesota residents evading sales tax by registering RVs in MontanaTwoA corporation is a legal entity. A corporation can own property. If you incorporate in Montana and your corporation is the registured owner of your vehicle and it is registured to the corporation at the Montana corporate hq address you have commited no crime or fraud. You have the legal right to do the above.
Re: The Outdoor Foundation Special Report on CampingGailI don't see the relativity in a report based on a survey done four years ago. A lot has changed in four year - gas/diesel prices, cost of camping. If the Outdoor Foundation is collecting information yearly - why does it take four years to publish this report?
Re: For RV travelers, Cracker Barrel is a home away from homeBUZZI went to school with Dan Evins at Castle Heights -- Lebanon, Tn. He restored the old Mitchell House to corporate offices. I lived in the Mithcell House 1944 and 1945. Had the privilige of spending the afternoon with Dan remembering old times
Re: ADP LightspeedRV Dealer Management SystemHarryWe had a real succesful elimination of "unnecessary" when our dealership made a changeover, from our old dms provider, Reynolds, to this free provider we found with autoeasydms.com It was a very important step we took but it turned out just fine...
Re: RV industry bubble - just like housingJoeyWe are in a DEPRESSION. The global elite want to break the back of the middle class and bring in the New World Order. The economy is going to drastically change this December. The Amero will be our new form of money. L.L.B.B.
Re: MVP RV electric propulsion RVCraftyRV Lot at Hilton Head Island, SC with Owner Finance, $59,900. (hiltohheadharbor.com). Contact crafton@usit.net
Re: MVP RV electric propulsion RVCraftyRV Lot at HiltonHeadHarbor.com with owner finance. Lot 85 for $59,900. Contact crafton@usit.net
Re: Minnesota residents evading sales tax by registering RVs in MontanaStellaWe always heard about people doing that but we never had the nerve.
Re: RVing with Your PetPanchitoI am a pet bird and will be traveling with my parents to California. What do I need to tell my parents, about preparation for my trip?
Re: Futuristic Motorhome eleMMentDuaneWhat an RV should be
Re: Futuristic Motorhome eleMMentsunshine Does this unit have a kitchen? I don't see any in the layout. Not sure why anyone would want to travel without a kitchen especially a fridge.
Re: Futuristic Motorhome eleMMentRichard H ZentgrafAs long as thease dreamers think that the majority of RV'rs want to take their Manhatten or Hollywood penthouse along, they are mistaken. Get back to basics, a comfortable ride, sleep off the ground, a one burner stove is Ok and scrap the carpets. And, oh yes. Leave the damn TV at home.
Re: Futuristic Motorhome eleMMentTaraThis should inspire new thinking and uses for an RV.
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SOME OF THE LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT RVING NEWS ITEMS:
(See also general comments further down this page)
Re: Thor Motor Coach Showcases Brand New 2015 Motorhomes on the West CoastKen BrownWe bought a new 2013 Thor Tuscany 42WX at this show. Got to use it one weekend had to take it back to the dealer and it has been there for 3 weeks and still not done. I hope the factory and the dealer get it together soon and get it fixed.11/20/2014 7:03:00 PM
Re: Class C Diesel Motorhomes get Super-Sized, New 35SK Super C RV Unveiled by Thor Motor CoachJo Ann PallWe purchased the Super C Outlaw and it has been a NIGHTMARE, one problem after the other and Thor is NOT helping us at all. Major problems with this unit, Buyer beware!11/4/2014 10:03:00 AM
Re: RV industry bubble - just like housingPatty O CamperI enjoyed reading the interview with Randy Potts, the new CEO of "Winnebago". His comments confirmed the feeling I had about the economy and it's impact on the RV Industry. I also noted he ignored the interviewer' s question about "how president Obama could help the RV industry" the question was stupid. The best thing government can due for the economy in general is to back-off on all the regulations that have strangled the American spirit of self-reliance. The crash in the economy was the result of government involvement in the housing industry. Insisting that banks loaned money for real estate to people who could never make the payments....all in the name of "equality". Banks started to fail, the housing market went into a depression and all because too many unqualified mortgage holders failed to make their payments. During this crisis the government continues to print money every week reducing the value of our currency on the world market and fueling inflation in this country. It is good to see Winnebago isn't in line for any government handouts like too many members of our dependent society seem to be. Reduce regulations, build the Keystone pipeline and the price of fuel for our RV's will go down....and get the ethanol out of our gasoline....it is reducing gas mileage and destroying our motor vehicles!9/2/2014 8:56:00 AM
Re: Roadtrek Is Number 1 In Class B Sales YTD For February 2014Johni would like to find out how I can get a Manuel showing how to operate everything.Also would like know how i can buy the seat that go behind the passenger seat.It was taken out.7/29/2014 10:35:00 PM
Re: RVing with Your PetCoryWe travel with 2 senior Goldens and a young one... It is very important that our Fur Babies stay cool, I would have not thought to leave a key with the camp host or a note... We usually don't lock the door when we leave them... And a ramp is very important to have to help get them in and out so the steep stairs don't hurt their hips. 7/18/2014 12:23:00 PM
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