April '14

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rv-pro.com April 2014 • RV PRo • 65 64 • RV PRo • April 2014 rv-pro.com RV PRO: Are there other product catego- ries where you see Skyline either needs to enter or needs to strengthen its position? For example, toy haulers? Emahiser: Ramp vehicles are a vibrant part of the market. What's exciting is it's not just people buying dirt bikes to ride in the desert. We want to be a full-line manufacturer. When we partner with a dealer, we want to be able to provide a full spectrum of products. We have too many 'appetizers' and not enough 'main courses.' It's a very competitive field. When you have two dominant players like or and Forest River, for a company like ours to survive, we need to be relevant with somebody rather than irrelevant with everybody. Our objectives aren't to be the biggest; it's to be the best we can be. at's one of our core values. If we grow by leaps and bounds, that's not bad, either. RV PRO: Is the basic problem just selling more units, or do you need to tighten production costs to improve on the bottom line? Emahiser: Whenever volume goes down, costs go up and overhead is higher. You lose purchasing efficiencies. Volume will help in a lot of areas. We have an amazing amount of man- ufacturing disciplines. I don't foresee as much work there as there are issues to get volumes up. I have scars from growing by leaps and bounds, so we need to be careful of growth speed, but early on volume will be the magical elixir we need. RV PRO: What do you think Skyline is doing right? Emahiser: When I go out into a Skyline coach in general, they are amazing. e quality and attention to detail compared to some companies I've been with before is like night and day. ey still go to the 'Nth' degree to make sure the product they put out lives up to Skyline's heritage and history. I am also impressed how they take care of the people here. ey do it well. It will be exciting to shine a little light on these people. It will be a lot of fun to make RVs relevant again. I think they will enjoy it, too. RV PRO: What are you going to do to revive RV sales in Canada? Emahiser: We do pretty well in Canada; some of our top dealers are Canadian. We have gone above in many areas to make the product more marketable in the Cana- dian arena. Canada will be a very large and vibrant part of our business. RV PRO: Do you think any of the cur- rent dealer perceptions about Skyline are inaccurate? Emahiser: Some are. Some dealers believe Skyline is selling the RV division or going out of business. Not true. It's the opposite. Skyline Corp. is still very strong. We want to ramp up RV sales. We have to get that word out. Shame on us for not getting the word out by now. We are getting the word out to the marketplace: Here we are, here's what we do best and why we should be relevant. We can change the perception by dealers, but we have to earn it. RV PRO: How much authority do you have to make major changes within the RV division? Emahiser: I'm hoping as we move on, it won't be a 'Don decision' but a 'team deci- sion' as ideas are brought up and moved through channels. ere is still corporate oversight. Bruce Page, the CEO, has been very supportive of what I have brought to him so far. We're going to do it as a group. RV PRO: What was it, specifically, that appealed to you about the job with Skyline? Emahiser: Skyline wasn't on my radar. I was working a couple of different things. While I'm still relatively young (Emahiser will be 44 in May), I wanted to find a home for the next 10 to 15 years. I stopped in to say 'Hi' to a friend. He and I went to school together in Liberty Center, Ohio. I met some of their other people. I liked where the senior management is coming from. I liked the Skyline heri- tage and culture. e more I dug into the company, I found a shiny diamond, but it was buried. With the experience I had in product development, it seemed like a good marriage. RV PRO: ough you weren't at Louis- ville as the Skyline RV Group president, what was the dealer response to Skyline's offerings for 2014? Emahiser: They told us Skyline was taking a step in the right direction for sure. RV PRO: In 2013, Skyline Corp. sold off two idle RV manufacturing facilities in Hemet, Calif., and transferred RV pro- duction from a plant in Mansfield, Texas, to Bristol and Elkhart. Is that sufficient for your needs? Emahiser: From an RV standpoint, so much of the industry is based in Indiana. e plants in the West don't get the effi- ciencies we get in Indiana. For the volumes continued on page 65 Skyline RV manufactures units at its Indiana facilities in Elkhart and Bristol. Emahiser believes those two facilities are sufficient for Skyline's production current production needs. Q & A RVPApr.indd 64 3/19/14 3:29 PM

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