Casey Tubman and Newmar Corp. possess forward-thinking concepts with a strong internal focus on company initiatives to move well ahead into the new model year.
Aboutcamp BtoB: What is the most innovative product in your portfolio of Class A models right now?
Casey Tubman: What we have introduced that’s very innovative for 2024 is a 38’ floor plan within our Mountain Aire brand. It has a Spartan K3 Tag (dual) axle chassis and 525 hp Cummins diesel with Comfort Drive adaptive steering and Passive Steer technology as standard. So, what the Mountain Aire offers is a very high towing capacity, a very high weight rating and luxury appointments for maximum function and comfort in a 38-foot coach that steers like a sports car. Based on its design, the Mountain Aire is easy to maneuver in areas like state and national parks. It received a lot of attention at this year’s Elkhart RV Dealer Open House and we are very excited about it.
Aboutcamp BtoB: Newmar was acquired by Winnebago Industries in 2019. What changes has the brand experienced in the last few years since the acquisition?
Casey Tubman: Winnebago has six different business units and all are independently operated including Newmar. What we are starting to see are new synergies within the enterprise around the supply chain and other spaces where best practices can be shared. Newmar has a supply chain team but we now have support from an enterprise group – other business units – what I like to call sister companies. So, if a sister company has something that’s working and is beneficial, we have access to those resources and processes. The main point is that we are better together as an enterprise than any stand-alone business.
Aboutcamp BtoB: Can you provide additional examples of the synergies that have been created?
Casey Tubman: What’s important to us as a manufacturer is maintaining work safety for our employees. We have reduced the number of safety instances by 50 percent in the last couple of years. Again, that’s a space at the enterprise level where Winnebago Industries helps us understand operational updates that we can do, changes that we can make, and how we can leverage our efforts to help our employees remain safe in the workplace.
Aboutcamp BtoB: Is the slowdown of the market affecting Newmar similar to other RV brands?
Casey Tubman: Newmar is certainly not exempt from the slowdown. We may not feel it as much as other brands, though. Our buyer is a luxury buyer and while interest rates for consumers may affect sales, Newmar is in a good position market-share-wise and we have adjusted our output to match our sales. The company continues to grow as one of the top diesel class A manufacturers and we feel good about that. We also know the slowdown is short-term. By that, I mean it may continue for a year to a year-and-a-half but Newmar is prepared for this. We know during COVID-19 that consumers learned that the outdoors is relaxing and stress-relieving. It’s a pastime they will continue to enjoy. So, the number of people experiencing RVing has grown and we’ll see that growth happening over time.
Aboutcamp BtoB: In your opinion, has the supply chain crisis come to an end and what do you think the industry learned after COVID-19?
Casey Tubman: From a supply chain standpoint, yes, the industry is in much better shape. For us at least, we learned about the importance of being cognizant of inventories in the field, further recognizing demand fluctuations, the changes in macroeconomics, and looking ahead to the future versus just today. Now, as we assess our supply chain, we look for dual-sourcing opportunities to ensure we always have an industry partner we can turn to. Also, if overall demand starts to slow, we need to react quickly. Those are some of the learnings we have realized.