March '16

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rv-pro.com MARCH 2016 • RV PRO • 25 says. However, beginning in March, Ren- egade will offer the Vienna in the MBS and UCB floorplans. "The whole idea behind the Vienna was to meet the demand for a higher- end offering. By offering fewer options, it provides a much more enjoyable, simple buying experience," Erdman says. "Fewer options mean fewer choices and less confu- sion on the consumer's part. Starting MSRP on the Vienna is $144,315, not including options, freight or dealer fees. "The market demographic we are focusing on is two-fold. The first market is wishing to downsize from a larger Class A motorhome. The second market is wishing to up-size from a Class B motorhome," Erdman says. "The second market is really coming on strong, as they have experience with the smaller motorhome, but are wanting or needing just a little bit more room without the size sacrifice," he adds. "This market is basically a buyer at the $135,000 range but is willing to spend more for more. The Vienna by Renegade RV offers more value for the money and the end user recognizes this." Product Manager Tim O'Connell adds, "The primary customers for the Vienna are coming out of larger motorhomes (35 feet plus). They are looking for a product that can offer them all of the high-end comforts they are accustomed to, only in a smaller package (25 feet or shorter)." On the topic of innovation in Class B's, Erdman says, "The Europeans have done a wonderful job with managing space in smaller offering. Many of these techniques are being reviewed, but may be cost-pro- hibitive for the domestic U.S. market place at this time." Erdman figures that, because Stat Sur- veys does not count B sales in 13 states, the actual market for B products is larger than reported. Still, with more than 14 B+ offerings available on the MB Sprinter alone, "the field continues to be more com- petitive," he notes. Gas vs. Diesel Debate Grows The growing popularity of diesel-pow- ered Class B's prompts the question: Which fuel source will experience the greater growth in 2016 and beyond? "As a whole, the B market has always been a gas leader. I believe that this will continue, as gas vehicles are more afford- able from a pure cost perspective," says Renegade's Erdman. At the same time, the Mercedes-Benz platform continues to be the chassis of choice for many RV manufacturers including Renegade. "In the B+ market, we are seeing a steady increase in demand for diesel vehicle platforms – primarily because they are longer lasting and more efficient in fuel consumption and overall cost of owner- ship," Erdman says. "The demand for the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter platform is increasing year over year." He concludes, "For all those enjoying the B+ RV lifestyle, the Mercedes-Benz 3500 Series Sprinter chassis with the diesel engine is the chassis of choice." Leisure Travel Vans expects to introduce the Wonder motorhome built on the Ford Transit chassis later this year. As with other Leisure products, it will feature a space-saving queen- size Murphy bed.

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