September '15

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rv-pro.com September 2015 • RV PRo • 75 retail buyers (for this model) have never owned an RV. This is a first-time camper. They don't know what to expect. RV PRO: How has dealer and cus- tomer response been? Lucas: Fantastic. 1941 reflects the first year that Shasta was in business. Only 1,941 units are being built to commemo- rate Shasta's 75th anniversary. We introduced them in September at the 2014 Elkhart Open House. All 1,941 units sold out in three days. It was incred- ible. We had a dealer explosion in the fall. Now we are having a customer explosion in the spring. We have gotten so much media atten- tion; we've even been on television. We were contacted by a show called "Flippin' RVs." We've signed a release for them to use one of our products. Greenlight Toys in Indiana, a maker of die cast cars and trucks, wants to reissue our trailer in 1/64 scale as part of their haul and tow series. RV PRO: Why do you think the response has been so good? Lucas: The Airflyte seems to have triggered memories from the past. It's nostalgia. People see the trailer and they want it. It is an impulse buy. It evokes a feeling of simpler times that people are trying to recapture. RV PRO: Do you think other manu- facturers will try to duplicate your success? Lucas: Anything is possible. The trick is trying to find something that is iconic enough. It would have to be something that is very recognizable and brings back those special memories from times past. But yes, it could happen. RV manufacturer Avion produced towables from 1955 until 2002 that were known for their riveted aluminum con- struction. Since The RV Factory obtained the naming rights to the brand, it has rein- carnated Avion as a Class B motorhome that pays homage to its original design by being made available with a silver paint job, but otherwise has little in common with its namesake. While the new Avion is a different product than its predecessor, The RV Factory's Shea says there is still value in establishing a relationship between the two. He sums up that value in one word: "Recognition." "If it was a good brand and had a fol- lowing at the time, it becomes a jumping- off point of where it was to where we are taking it, " he explains. For their part, independent marketing experts are mixed on the extent to which any company can alter a product from its continued from page 72

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