June '17

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12 • RV PRO • June 2017 rv-pro.com R V M A N U F A C T U R E R S E ver since industry pioneer L.K. Newell introduced the first Class A diesel pusher in 1970, this crème de la crème of motorhomes has been providing smoother rides and hauling more weight than any other RV on the highway. From Tiffin Motorhome's Allegro Breeze – the smallest Class A diesel pusher on the road today – to the 45-foot behemoths from a handful of OEMs, these rear-engine wonders are setting the standard for comfort and appeal. And this niche product is enjoying continued acceptance in the post-recession era, as discerning RVers move up the food chain. Market data firm Statistical Surveys reports that diesel pusher retail sales in North America have topped 7,000 units each of the last three years (see Figure 1 on page 13). Diesel pusher retail sales rose 7.2 percent in 2014 and 3.5 percent in 2015, but then took an uncharacteristic 1.2 percent dip in 2016. This dip was somewhat of an anomaly, as all Class A sales showed a healthy 5.4 percent increase in 2016. Industry reps aren't sure what to make of the dip, but suspect that price creep has sent pushers out of the price range of some shoppers. Meanwhile, no RV segment reflects more disparity in retail price than the diesel pusher. In 2016, price groups ranged from a low of $90,000 to $800,000. About one-third of the sales were less than $210,000. The next third falls between $210,000 and $260,000. The mean retail price (half above and half below) was in the $230,000- $240,000 range, according to Stat Surveys (as illustrated in Figures 2 and 3 on pages 15 and 16, respectively). Some OEMs consider this the so-called "sweet spot," while others place that crucial price point elsewhere. Year in and year out, five OEMs stand out from the crowd: Tiffin Motorhomes, Thor Motor Coach (TMC), Newmar Corp., REV Recreation Group and Winnebago Industries. In 2016, these five manufacturers accounted for more than 92 percent of all diesel pusher sales in North America (see Figure 4 on page 18) and Tiffin built three of the five top-selling models. Recently, reps for leading diesel pusher manufacturers Tiffin, Thor Motor Coach and REV Recreation talked with RV PRO about their latest product offerings and why they believe they are well-positioned to prosper this year even if the overall market segment slumps a bit. Tiffin Motorhomes: Doubling Down in 2017 Tiffin Motorhomes is doubling down on its indus- try-leading position with new floorplans for 2018 for its Pushing Forward PHOTOS COURTESY OF REV RECREATION, TIFFIN AND THOR MOTOR COACH Reps for some of the industry's most luxurious, most expensive RVs are largely upbeat on the segment, even as price creep threatens to dampen diesel motorhome sales this year. By Steve Bibler

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