March '17

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rv-pro.com March 2017 • RV PRO • 21 the integration of Grand Design. But we will be very much looking for and aware of opportunities that might fit our vision of the future. For every willing buyer, you have to have a willing seller, so you often can't control the timing of those (acquisitions). You can, how- ever, develop relationships that might position you to be involved in the process. But I think we're certainly open to that topic at the appropriate time and with the appropriate candidate. RV PRO: Can you offer a sense of what future growth for Winnebago might look like, both in terms of organic growth and possible acquisitions? Happe: Winnebago is interested in growth – in profitable growth. That will come through both organic and future non-organic strat- egies moving forward. And I think we signaled our intent to be more active in this arena when we hired a vice president of strategic planning and business development. So, we're going to build more resources and capabilities to identify ways to grow profitably in the future. Now, specific to acquisitions, the acquisition has to be right culturally, strategically and financially for us. And, it has to check all three of those boxes. If it doesn't check all three of those boxes, then it's not the right deal for us. RV PRO: Winnebago started up production on the West Coast in recent months, in the former Country Coach facility in Oregon. How are things proceeding? Happe: Production has started up in Junction City on one of the diesel models that we're transitioning out there. We're pleased with the team that's in place and what they are creating out in Orgeon in terms of both a new manufacturing process but also additional service capacity. I would say that, from a speed and timing standpoint, it's going a little slower than we anticipated, but we're not going to sacrifice quality for speed. We're going to set the process up right; we're going to set the right supply chain up and make sure that we do it right. We're committed to making it work. And again, production has started, but it will ramp up gradually through the foreseeable future. RV PRO: As a related question, how soon might dealers and consumers see a Country Coach product again? Happe: There's no timeline for the reintroduction of the Country Coach brand. We need to get the manufacturing transition down the road far enough that we feel good about that. Then, the utiliza- tion of any of the brands that we own, including Country Coach, will come as we really develop our strategy roadmap for the future. We are very pleased that we have that brand. We're just not ready at this time to commit to using it in the short term, but we know that it's an option for strategic purposes. RV PRO: One concern you've raised is the risk that the Win- nebago brand is aging. How big is that concern and how can you combat that idea? Happe: I'd start by answering that question this way: It's been www.valterra.com NOW even tougher with Outer PrOtective BeadiNg The Virtually INDESTRUCTIBLE Sewer Hose! • Spring back crush feature • uv & puncture resistant • rotating fittings prevent kinks • Stays flexible down to -30 o

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