March '17

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18 • RV PRO • March 2017 rv-pro.com "If I thought the market would swallow the pill, I would make the 60,000 BTU furnace standard and drop the LP tanks altogether," he says. Meanwhile, at last year's Hershey Show and Open House, Midwest unveiled a Daycruiser on a Dodge ProMaster chassis and planned to launch this spring a Weekender on a 144-inch Sprinter chassis. Sullivan says production of the Weekender and Daycruiser is running "neck and neck." From the outset, Midwest has been somewhat vertically integrated in that it owns its own seating company, wood pro- cessing facility and in-house electronics integration department. Sullivan says Midwest seeks to be known as a high-end manufacturer. This integration allows Midwest to customize vehicles beyond what other manufacturers can. A review of retail prices shows the models cover a wide price range. Base prices run from $99,900 for the ProMaster model to $129,900 on the Daycruiser and $139,900 on the Weekender. Sales are proving Gray and Sullivan are correct. The Week- ender and Daycruiser have propelled Midwest's B sales to over $40 million and a No. 6 ranking in the latest Stat Surveys report. Midwest now has a dealer body that numbers near 30, but has yet to penetrate many of the nation's major markets. That's OK, says Sullivan. "We are a builder that gives a greater piece of real estate to our dealers," he says. "We are blessed and very fortunate for being in the RV market for such a short time but have such a strong dealer body and sales staff." Sullivan concedes that the Weekender and Daycruiser are not for every RV dealer, especially those who stress price over value. "This makes sense to some, but not to a lot of salesmen." But, he quickly adds, "They're missing the point." When RV PRO spoke with Sullivan in late January, Mid- west was busy giving its models a facelift for model change in April before planning to focus on new product develop- ment. Sullivan says that by the end of this year, Midwest hopes to launch a new model on a Ford Transit chassis. "I hear consumers are ready for more Ford B vans because of the availability of repair opportunities" across the country, Sullivan adds. "We've grown quietly," says Sullivan. "We're right where we want to be. We've grown at a rate that's a bit above goals we set for ourselves, so we're setting higher goals this year." Midwest does have room to grow with additional produc- tion capacity available at its two production sites, covering 80,000 and 30,000 square feet, located two blocks apart on Elkhart's east side. R V M A N U F A C T U R E R S

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