June '17

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B U S I N E S S Refresh A more in-depth look at recent breaking news 82 • RV PRO • June 2017 rv-pro.com Wayne Davis Auto Group in March launched the Regency RV lineup of Class B motorhomes. The company joins a growing list of new players entering the Class B segment, including Grand Coach and Chinook RV, plus REV Group with its acquisition of Midwest Automotive Design. The battle the B's has begun. Even though the compact motorhome seg- ment is a niche market (RVIA says shipments to dealers totaled just 4,100 units in 2016) with a number of well-established competitors, such as Airstream and Roadtrek/EHG, that hasn't stopped a number of new players from entering the segment in the past 24 months. Consider, for example, Chinook RV, which went out of business in 2006 but has recently been revived by Phil Rizzio, owner of the Wagon Trail RV dealerships. When Rizzio purchased the rights to Chi- nook in 2013, it was with the caveat that he'd restore the company's Glacier and Concourse models to their former glory. Rizzio promised Gary Lukehart, the company's former owner, to reignite the nostalgia of those units, restoring the zeal Chinook's Class B's once evoked. After long negotiations, Rizzio received Lukehart's blessings as well as the fiberglass molds for the Concourse and Glacier. Lukehart was pleased to see the prototypes roll out, and gave his thumbs up. "We'll make it the best it's ever been, fur- ther enhancing what his vision was," says Rizzio. "That's one of my big motivations. Lukehart didn't want to turn the project over to just any- body. He was very adamant that Chinook was never coming back." Production on the Chinook is already slated to be underway with the goal of 300 Glaciers and Concourses a year in addition to 300 Class B's on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter currently being produced. Yes, a rising call to the past reverberates through the rediscovered country of Class B's. However, it will come with nod-worthy tech upgrades. Call it Retro 2.0 Whereas some motorhomes have no alert sys- By David MacNeal Refresh combines the best of RV PRO's breaking news daily website reporting with additional information, context and insights available in magazine format.

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