March '17

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rv-pro.com March 2017 • RV PRO • 11 does, and is projecting Class B wholesale shipments this year will reach 4,400. That would be a modern-era record. (The all-time high water mark of 7,100 was set in 1984.) Innovative Ideas at Hymer Group Despite the stiff competition from "south of the border," Jim Hammill, president and CEO of the Erwin Hymer Group North America, has an invigorating outlook for the company's future. EHGNA's $75 million investment in new product development at its facility in Kitchener, Ontario, is paying off handsomely for the traditional Roadtrek Class B brand, the new, European-in- spired Hymer models and an entirely new brand, the Sunlight. "I can say without a doubt that the shows at Hershey, Pomona, Louisville, and Tampa have been the best in our history. This is not an exaggeration at all. There is a level of excitement that's hard to measure," Hammill says. Sales at these events have been double or even triple past years, leading Hammill to forecast that the RV maker will build and ship around 3,500 vehicles this calendar year. That total would exceed the entire industry's output for every year in the modern era until 2016. The excitement at the company resolves around the Hymer brand products, such as the Sonne, the Aktiv and Aktiv 2.0, the new Roadtrek Simplicity SRT and the new Sunlight brand. The platform for many of these new models is the Ram Pro- Master, which has become the chassis of choice for some 60 percent of all EHG vehicles, up from 30 percent just a few years ago, Hammill says. For example, the entry-level Roadtrek Simplicity is built on a Ram ProMaster 2500 chassis. The model has all the features of more expensive models and "massive" storage under the rear fixed bed, yet MSRPs start at $70,000. "This is $10,000 to $12,000 less than we would be selling this unit for just two years ago," says Hammill. The price point makes it possible "for anybody to buy a motorhome." One of the new Hymer models gaining a lot of retail atten- tion is the Sonne (pronounced SEW'-nay and means sun in German), another coach built on the 2500 ProMaster chassis, but this model specially targets the female traveler. "About 30 percent of our business goes to single people and the majority of them are women," says Hammill. The Sonne features the largest bathroom available in a Class B that includes a stand-alone shower. Finished in a light butter cream interior color, it also features a kitchen galley and permanent queen-size bed. The shower stall rises out of the galley and provides more space than any other Hymer model. Hammill praises the tight turning radius on the 2500 Pro- Master chassis (the shortest length among any ProMaster), which makes it an attractive first vehicle for many consumers. MSRPs on the Sonne start at $87,000. Another new Hymer model is the Aktiv 2.0, which is an extended version of the popular Aktiv model. RV PRO accorded the Aktiv "Best of Show" honors at the National RV Trade Show in Louisville and it's lived up to the recognition, with both Aktiv versions outselling traditional Roadtrek models at the Tampa Show in January, Hammill says. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 MANUFACTURER MARKET SHARE Roadtrek/EHG 36.3% Pleasure-Way Industries 19.6% Thor Industries 18.2% Winnebago Industries 16.5% Figure 1A Class B Sales: 2012-2016 MANUFACTURER MARKET SHARE* Winnebago Industries 33.9% Roadtrek/EHG 8.7% Thor Industries 20.0% Pleasure-Way Industries 10.2% *Market share through Nov. 30, 2016. Source: Statistical Surveys Inc. Roadtrek/EHG Pleasure-Way Thor Winnebago Winnebago Roadtrek/EHG Thor Pleasure- Way 2012 2016 Figure 1B

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