19 August 2019,
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Record number of candidates for the RV Industry Association elections
The RV Industry Association (RVIA) in USA has received a record number of candidates for its upcoming elections. Members will have the opportunity to vote from 3 to 29 September.
Seven director positions are up for election, two manufacturer seats, three supplier seats, one park model manufacturer seat and one at-large seats. A record 22 candidates are running for this year’s open seats including 6 manufacturer representatives, 2 Park Model RV representatives, 10 supplier representatives, and 4 at-large representatives.
Meet the candidates:
Manufacturer Seat (Vote for 2):
Scott Hubble, Pleasant Valley Teardrop Trailers/NuCamp RV
Scott has been with nuCamp (formerly Pleasant Valley Teardrop Trailers) since the summer of 2009 as the manufacturer for Little Guy Worldwide. Scott initially broke into the RV industry with Little Guy Worldwide, where he served as their Director of Marketing (2007-2011), Director of Strategic Solutions (2011-2014) and ultimately Vice President (2014-2016). Scott officially began working for both Little Guy and nuCamp in 2012 when nuCamp appointed Scott as their CEO. Scott earned his degrees in accounting, MBA and Doctor in Juris Prudence at Cedarville University, the University of Akron and Southern Columbian University. He is anticipating completing a business doctorate in public administration and urban studies in 2022. He is a board member of the Nicamerican Missions involved in several organizations, including Feed My Starving Children, The Upside of Downs, Jobs for Life Rahab Ministries, Habitat for Humanity, and Pure Gift of God Adoption Services.
Dustin Johns, Travel Lite RV
Dustin is president of Travel Lite RV (2014-present). He’s also serving as president of Next Level Components (2018-present), Indiana RV (2017-present) and Innovation LLC. Prior to these roles, Dustin was vice president (2009-2014) and sales manager (2001-2009) at Travel Lite RV. Dustin earned his degree at Ball State University.
Bob Martin, Thor Industries, Inc.
Bob currently serves as president and CEO of Thor Industries, Inc. Prior to this current role, he served as Thor’s president and COO and previously as RV senior group president. In addition, he also served as president of Keystone RV Company. His RV Industry Association service includes serving as a current member of the Board of Directors as secretary and on the Executive Committee and Strategic Planning Committee and previously served as a member of National Show Committee. Other service to the community includes serving as a past board member of the United Way of Elkhart County. Bob is a graduate of Purdue University.
Matthew Miller, Newmar Corporation
Matt Miller is the president/CEO of Newmar Corporation where he has been since 1992. He is currently an RV Industry Association board member and is the first vice chair on the Executive Committee following his roles as the Secretary and Treasurer (2013-2016). Matt is also the Chairman of the RV Technical Institute Board of Directors and serves on the RV Industry Association’s Audit Committee, Public Relations Committee, RVDA/RVIA Certification Governing Board, Standards Steering Committee and Strategic Planning Committee where he was a former chairman. Matt has also served as a chairman on the Nominating Committee (2012). His other service activities include serving as a current member of the RVDA RV Learning Center Board; former member of the RV Safety and Education Foundation Board and The Crossing Schools.
Phil Sarvari, Gulf Stream Coach
Phil is the president of Gulf Stream Coach where he has been with the company since 1992. He served as a board member on the RV Industry Association’s Quality Task Force in 2005 and the RV MHI Indiana. Phil earned a double major from Marian University in Accounting and Business Administration. He also belongs to the local Family and Children’s Center and the Boys and Girls Club of Mishawaka.
Greg Wallman, Melius Corporation dba Space Craft Mfg.
Greg is the owner and president of Space Craft Mfg. where he has been since 2018. Prior to Space Craft Mfg., Greg was a director at Core Catalysts (2011 – 2018), a manager at Experis (2005 – 2011), an EVP mortgage lending & controller at National Bank of Kansas City (2002 – 2005), a controller at McCaffree Financial Corporation (1999 – 2002) and a senior auditor at Deloitte (1996 – 1999). Greg earned his MBA from the University of Kansas and a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Northwest Missouri State University.
PMRV Manufacturer (Vote for 1):
Dick Grymonprez, Champion/Athens Park Model RVs
Dick Grymonprez currently serves as director of park model sales for Skyline Champion Corporation. Building in 11 factories under the Athens Park and Shore Park brand names, Skyline Champion is the largest builder of park model RVs in the US. Dick was previously was vice president of sales and marketing for Athens Park Homes (2004-2012) and sales manager for Champion Homes (1988-2011). His service to the RV Industry Association includes serving as a current member of the Board of Directors, on the Membership Committee and Park Model RV Committee; and a past member of the Seasonal Camping Committee (2012-2015) and Awards Committee (2016). He was also the president (2011-2016) and is a member of the Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association Board of Directors; a member of the Texas Manufactured Housing Board of Directors (1999-2000 & 2009-2010); president (1995-1996) and member (1990-1996) of the Arizona Manufactured Housing Board of Directors; and was the president (1999) and member (1997-1999) of the YMCA Board of Directors. He received his B.S. in business from Central Michigan University.
John Soard, Woodland Park, Inc.
John is a national sales manager for Woodland Park, Inc. He’s also served as the general manager of the Park Models Division for Fairmont Homes a subsidiary of Cavco Industries (2005-2016); regional sales manager for Breckenridge Park Models (1999-2005); national and regional sales manager for Woodland Park, Inc. (1988-1998); director of engineering for Park Homes, Inc. (1985-1988); and held drafting/engineering positions at Coachmen Industries (1983-1985). His service to the RV Industry Association includes serving as the current chairman of the Park Model RV Committee; member of the Go RVing Coalition and the Park Model RV Technical Subcommittee. He was also a member of the Seasonal Camping Committee (2012 -2015) and various RV Industry Association and RPTIA Codes and Standards Subcommittees (1998-2005). John is involved in the development of standards in Canada and serves as a member of the Canadian Standards Association’s Technical Committee on Park Models (2017 – Present). He is also a member of the PRVCA Board of Directors, past member of the PRVCA Hershey Show Committee (2008-2012) and was the secretary and Board Member for RPTIA (2005-2012).
Supplier (Vote for 3):
Matt Carboneau, WESCO Distribution
Matt is the sales manager, midwest region for WESCO Distribution (2016 – Present). Prior to Joining WESCO, he worked at Amerimax Building Products (2007 – 2016), Owens Corning Fabwel Division (1998 – 2007) and Fabwel, Inc. (1989 – 1998). He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in general management from Purdue University with a minor in finance. Matt is actively involved in community organizations including leading fundraising events and serving as a vestry board member at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, led fundraising drives for United way, coached youth sports leagues for six years, volunteered on a special finance committee for Goshen Community Schools, volunteered as a summer camp counselor and he secured major donor funding for restoration and renovation of the Wawasee Retreat Center owned by the Diocese of Northern Indiana.
Kevin Casey – Jaeger-Unitek Sealing Solutions, Inc.
Kevin has been the president and CEO of Jaeger-Unitek Sealing Solutions, Inc. since 2017. He was the vice president, marketing and sales at EMS Chemie – EFTEC (2014 – 2017), vice president, sales and marketing for Mar-Bal, Inc. (2010), vice president sales and marketing at Sika where he held multiple roles from 2002 – 2008, and was the vice president of sales and marketing at Premix, Inc. (1995). Kevin is involved in 25 community organizations including the Rotary Club of La Porte, Indiana, Greater La Porte Economic Development Corporation, Elkhart 4-H Program, Shrine Circus Fund, United Way, Japan-America Society of Indiana, Meals on Wheels, and many others. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Ohio State University.
Jorge Antonio Campos, Boyd Corporation
Jorge is the BDE, sales executive for Boyd Corporation where he has worked since 2014. Prior to his current role, he was the general manager at Patrick Industries (2013 – 2014), the national corporate quality director and national sales executive for Lippert Components (2004 – 2013) and the VP of operations for Norco Industries (1991 – 2013). Jorge is currently a member of the RV Industry Association’s Standards Steering Committee and the Supplier Committee. He graduated from Indiana University South Bend with a degree in business and manufacturing engineering. Jorge also served as Chairman of the Board for the Centers for Hope and Healing, a not for profit chain of urgent care clinics in the Elkhart/Goshen area and is involved with fundraisers for the Goshen Boys and Girls Club and various local Hispanic organizations.
Michael Gerowitz, Tredit Tire and Wheel Company, Inc.
Michael runs product and market development at Tredit Tire and Wheel where he has been since February 2019. Prior to joining Tredit, he held several positions at Goodyear Tire and Rubber ranging from a testing lab coordinator in 2010 to prototype tire architecture program manager for Goodyear Research and Development in 2019. Michael earned a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science and a Bachelor of Arts in secondary education and anthropology from the University of Michigan. He is the co-author of Care and Service for Truck and Bus Tires, is an advanced driving development chief instructor for the National Auto Sport Associations in the Great Lakes Region, fundraises for the Association and Zoos and Aquariums, served in the Goodyear seat on the US Tire Manufacturers Association Publications Committee (formally known as Rubber Manufacturers of America (RMA), and belongs to the Sports Car Club of America.
Beau Gringer, Diamond Shield
Beau began his career as an operations manager at Diamond Shield in 2002 before becoming the owner and president in 2016. He earned his B.A.Sc. in business and economics from Sunny Empire State in New York. He is a member of the Family Motor Coach Association, Florida RV Trade Association, volunteers with Hire Heroes USA, is the founder and president of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Christmas Ball Fundraiser, and participates in fundraisers for the Miami Project (Spinal Injury), University of Rochester and Wilmot Cancer Institute.
John O’Sullivan – Crane Composites
John is currently the president of Crane Composites and has serviced in multiple roles at the company since 2003. Prior to joining Crane Composites, he was the vice president, division director at R.R. Donnelley where he worked from 1989 – 2002. John earned his MBA in accounting from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and quickly joined Ernst & Young as a senior auditor from 1987 – 1989. He is a current board member of the American Composites Manufacturers Association and previously served on the Associations Convention Planning Committee for the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association, a board member for United Way in LaSalle County, IL, and board member at Junior Achievement in LaSalle County, IL.
Matthew Petrill, Furrion, LLC
Matthew is the Vice President, North American Operations, for Furrion, LLC. Prior to joining Furrion, he was the director of business development at Boyd Corporation (2016-2017), director of operations at REV Recreation Group (2014 – 2016), director of operations at Thor Motor Coach (2014), director of operations at Monaco RV (2012 – 2013), and the production manager & general manager at Fleetwood RV/REV Recreation Group (1999 – 2011). He is currently a member of the RV Industry Association’s Public and Legislative Affairs Committee and he previously participated in the Codes & Standards Sub-Committee. Matthew orchestrated refurbishment of existing RVs and donation of another to Hello Gorgeous, a non-profit organization that performs mobile makeovers for women battling cancer. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering and a Master of Science in manufacturing management from Kettering University.
Mary Pouliot, Thetford Corporation
Mary is the VP of sales and marketing at Thetford where she has worked since 2006 in a number of roles including director of customer service and director of OEM sales. Prior to joining Thetford, she worked at Mosaic, was the director of NA IT at GKN Sinter Metals and as the customer service manager team lead at FANUC Robotics. Her service to the RV Industry Association includes serving as the vice chairman of the RVIA/RVDA Certification Governing Board, as a member of both the association’s Curriculum and Credentialing Focus Group and Tech Training Strategic Plan Focus Group, Trade Show and Events Committee member, and RVX Show Task Force member. She previously served as an RV Service Training Council member, Industry Education Committee member and Industry of Excellence member. She was also a Top Tech Challenger Supporter (2018-2019), Trade Mission to China participant (2018), and National Education Service Award Winner (2014). She currently sits on a number of boards and committees including the RV Women’s Alliance, the MARVAC Board (2013 – current) where she is the President, MMH&RVCA Executive Board (2016 – Current), and the MARVAC Marketing PR Committee (2014 – current). Mary participates in Habitat for Humanity, Relay for Life and Community Sharing.
Jay Riblet, D&W, Inc.
Jay is the sales, general manager at D&W Inc. where he has been since 2012. Prior to joining D&W, he was the executive director for the Boys & Girls Club of Elkhart (2010 – 2012) and the sales manager at Philips Products/Ventline from 1999 – 2009. Jay is a University of South Bend graduate and earned a bachelor’s degree in general studies. He is a past board member of the Samaritan Center in Elkhart, volunteered as a C.A.R.E.S. mentor with Elkhart Community Schools, and helped with fundraising efforts for the Love Way Therapeutic Equestrian Services in Elkhart County. He has raised money for the Boys & Girls Club of Elkhart in his capacity as the executive director.
Bill Rogers, Keystone Automotive Operations, Inc.
Bill currently serves as president for Keystone/NTP-STAG (2015-present). His previous experience includes vice president, category management at Keystone/NTPSTAG (2010-2015); vice president, supply chain management at Armstrong World Industries (2006-2010) and Textron, Inc. (2001-2006); manager, procurement at Holnam, Inc. (1998-2001); and multiple positions with General Electric (1985-1998). He is currently serving on the RV Industry Association Board of Directors, member of the RECT Task Force and is a former member of Governance Committee. Bill holds a B.S. degree in computer science from the University of Massachusetts and MBA from Northeastern University. He is also a Six Sigma Black Belt (DMAIC) & Green Belt (DFSS).
At-Large (Vote for 1)
Chris Carpenter – Creative Products Group
Chris is the director of business development for CPG Brands. He has chaired multiple committees including the RV Aftermarket Association’s Education Committee, Show/Events Committee, the events committee of the University of Buffalo CEL program and is currently on the RV Industry Association’s Trade Shows and Events Committee. He participates in the APICS membership and strategic speakers selection and belongs to the University of Buffalo Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.
Mark Johnson – Big Life Tiny Homes
Mark is the vice president of Big Life Tiny Homes where he has been since 2018. Prior to joining Big Life Tiny Homes, Mark was a construction analyst as the U.S. Small Business Administration, president of two companies in Tennessee dealing with construction and development projects (1995 – 2014), president of Pace Construction (1990 – 1994), vice president, senior project manager/estimator at Hunt Construction (1988 – 1990), project manager at T.W. Frierson (1986 – 1988), and a Superintendent at Gene D. Liggins. Mark is a board member of the Johansson Foundation which places people and builds affordable or free housing for veterans and other homeless people to help them get back on their feet. He was also appointed to an advisory board for codes and zoning departments on issues related to allowing RV’s, campers, and tiny homes to be placed around counties in the state of Tennessee.
Tom McCarthy – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US
Tom is the vice president, head of safety compliance & product analysis at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA US). He has served in numerous roles with the company including a number or roles through the company’s transitions from DaimlerChrysler, Chrysler Corp (1995-2001).; DaimlerChrysler (2001 – 2007); Chrysler Group (2007 – 2009) and FCA US (2009 – present). Tom was the automotive test engineer for the Consumers Union (1995), and a design engineer at General Motors and at Pratt & Whitney. He volunteered to lead an initiative aimed at sharing recall execution processes and lessons learned from the automotive sector at NHTSA’s request and has been successful in expanding the effort into a formal, quarterly sub-committee meeting with key members of the RV Industry Association and representatives from FCA Fleet Operations, Ford and GM. He fundraises for United Way, Habitat for Humanity, and for several animal rescue groups and animal shelters in the Detroit metro area and southwest Michigan. He is also a long-term mentor for FCA US’ intern and CIE programs and a mentor for the National Society of Black Engineers. Tom is a graduate of Northeastern University and earned his MBA from Walsh College.
Jeff Sather, Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp.
Jeff is the president and CEO of Freightliner Custom Chassis where he has been since March 2018. Prior to Freightliner, Jeff was the general manager of specialty units controlling at Daimler Trucks North America (2008 – 2018) following various roles within the company (2001 – 2008). He was employed at PACCAR Inc. from 1991 – 2001 where he also held various accounting positions. Jeff is a CPA and earned his MBA from Seattle University and a business degree in finance and marketing from the University of Michigan. He has been on the RV Industry Association’s Board of Directors since March 2018 and services on the Public & Legislative Affairs Committee (2018 – present). He has also been a board member at North America Fuel Systems Remanufacturing from 2008 – 2018.
Italy's Salone del Camper reports rise in visitors during its first weekend
The Salone del Camper show, the most important in Italy for the recreational vehicle industry, has already recorded a 9.2 percent increase in visitors over its first weekend, compared to the same period last year.
The show opened on Saturday 14 September, and runs for 10 days until Sunday 22 September.
In 2018, the Salone del Camper had 350 exhibitors on an exhibition area of 85,000 square meters. More than 130,000 people visited the show, of which 33.3 percent were new, and two-thirds of visitors said that had only attended Salone del Camper.
The Salone del Camper 2019 is held at Fiere di Parma with opening times from 9.30am to 6.00pm every day.
Winnebago to acquire Newmar to expand and strengthen core RV range
Winnebago Industries, the RV manufacturer has announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Newmar Corporation (“Newmar”), a manufacturer of Class A and Super C motorhomes, for a total consideration valued at approximately $344 million.
Newmar has been a leader in the RV industry in America for over 50 years. It has become the industry’s fastest growing brand of Class A motorhomes. The privately-owned company manufactures premium Class A luxury, diesel and gas, and Super C motorhomes and generated revenue of $661 million and an Adjusted EBITDA of $55.2 million as of LTM June 2019.
“Newmar’s dedication to manufacturing premium, high-end motorhomes makes it a natural fit with our portfolio of leading outdoor lifestyle brands and we look forward to welcoming Newmar to the Winnebago Industries family,” said Winnebago Industries President and Chief Executive Officer, Michael Happe.
“The acquisition of Newmar aligns with our strategy to strengthen and reenergize our motorized business by enhancing our position and capabilities in the motorhome market and building on the progress we have made driving growth and innovation across our offerings. Newmar has generated significant growth and tremendous market momentum over the past several years, driven by their reputation for quality, innovative offering and strong relationships with dealers and end customers. The addition of the Newmar brand will further differentiate Winnebago Industries, as our portfolio of Winnebago, Grand Design, Chris-Craft, and now Newmar brands provides customers with the highest quality, most innovative offerings across the RV and Marine industries. Newmar’s talented leadership team, high-quality dealer network, and premium motorhome offerings will enhance the scale and profitability of our overall motorhome business, provide a platform for future growth and drive significant value creation for our employees, customers, and shareholders,” continued Michael Happe.
Newmar’s President, Matthew Miller, commented, “Winnebago Industries has a deep heritage in the RV industry, and we are excited about the opportunity to join its portfolio of premium outdoor lifestyle brands. We look forward to working with the Winnebago Industries team to further enhance our growth trajectory, share best practices across our business, and continue delivering an incomparable product experience for our dealers and customers.”
Following the close of the transaction, Newmar will operate as a distinct business unit within Winnebago Industries with its headquarters and manufacturing facilities remaining in Nappanee, IN. Matthew Miller will continue to lead the Newmar business post-closing as its President.
The total consideration for the acquisition consists of $270 million in cash and a fixed amount of 2 million shares of Winnebago Industries stock. This represents a multiple of 5.2x Newmar’s last twelve months June 2019 Adjusted Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, Amortization, and certain non-recurring expenses ("Adjusted EBITDA"), adjusted for the value of the tax assets and anticipated run-rate net synergies of $5 million.
Winnebago Industries, Inc. is a U.S. manufacturer of outdoor lifestyle products under the Winnebago, Grand Design and Chris-Craft brands, which are used primarily in leisure travel and outdoor recreation activities. The Company builds quality motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheel products and boats. Winnebago Industries has multiple facilities in Iowa, Indiana, Oregon, Minnesota, and Florida.
Established in 1968, Newmar is an innovator and leader in the RV manufacturing industry. Newmar has an industry leading portfolio of premium motorhomes in the Class A Diesel, Class A Gas and Super C categories sold through a nationwide dealer network in the US and Canada. Newmar is well known for its product quality and unique customer service model. Newmar is located in Nappanee, Indiana and has manufacturing and customer service operations there. A nationwide network of 55 dealer service centers provides customer service and support.
Cummins Inc completes acquisition of Hydrogenics
Cummins Inc, the manufacturer of diesel and natural gas engines, hybrid and electric platforms, as well as related technologies, has completed its acquisition of fuel cell and hydrogen production technologies provider Hydrogenics Corporation.
“We are thrilled to welcome the Hydrogenics employees to the Cummins family,” said Tom Linebarger, Chairman and CEO, Cummins Inc. “Hydrogenics is one of the world’s premier fuel cell and hydrogen production technologies providers and their expertise and innovative approach will strengthen Cummins’ fuel cell capabilities. This is another step forward as we continue to invest in a broad range of clean, fuel-efficient and high-performing products and technologies that deliver value to our customers.”
Cummins began developing its fuel cell capabilities more than 20 years ago and the acquisition of Hydrogenics with Air Liquide’s support accelerates Cummins’ ability to further innovate and scale hydrogen fuel cell technologies across a range of commercial markets. Owning both fuel cell and hydrogen generation from electrolysis capabilities will enable the company to offer a full, differentiated hydrogen solution, from start to finish, seamlessly integrated for customers.
"Air Liquide and Cummins have a shared vision of the key role that hydrogen plays in the energy transition. As a shareholder, and more widely as a company, Air Liquide is highly supportive of a hydrogen-based society,” said Pierre Etienne Franc, CEO, The Hydrogen Company. “The two global companies, leaders in their sector, have complementary expertise in the development of hydrogen energy. Thanks to Cummins’ investment, we believe Hydrogenics technologies will be able to accelerate significantly their development."
Hydrogenics will report under Cummins’ Electrified Power Business Segment, led by Thad Ewald, Vice President – Corporate Strategy, and its operations will continue to be headquartered in Mississauga, Canada. Founded in 2018, the Electrified Power business designs and manufactures fully electric and hybrid powertrain systems along with innovative components and subsystems to serve commercial markets as they adopt electrification. To date, the business has introduced complete electrified powertrain solutions in six markets across seven applications and continues to launch market leading products with customers across the world.
The acquisition was completed for $15.00 per share, representing an enterprise value of approximately $290 million and follows the approval of Hydrogenics shareholders, the receipt of approvals from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, and satisfaction of other customary closing conditions. Air Liquide will own approximately 19 percent of the company while Cummins maintains an approximately 81 percent ownership and will fully consolidate the entity in its financial statements. Hydrogenics will be delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ upon receipt of the final required approvals.
Cummins continues to project that the company will return 75 percent of operating cash flow to shareholders this year in the form of dividends and share repurchases.
Cummins Inc. is a corporation of complementary business units that design, manufacture, distribute and service a broad portfolio of power solutions. The company’s products range from diesel and natural gas engines to hybrid and electric platforms, as well as related technologies, including battery systems, fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems.
Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana (U.S.A.), since its founding in 1919, Cummins employs approximately 62,600 people committed to powering a more prosperous world through three global corporate responsibility priorities critical to healthy communities: education, environment and equality of opportunity. Cummins serves customers in approximately 190 countries and territories through a network of approximately 600 company-owned and independent distributor locations and over 7,600 dealer locations and earned about $2.1 billion on sales of $23.8 billion in 2018.
Joël Gorin takes over from Pascal Belot at PSA Group as International Manager of Light Commercial Vehicles Business Unit Camping-Cars
Pascal Belot, who has been the head of the Camping-Cars International department at the PSA Group four the last four years, has moved to a new role within the company. He has been replaced by Joël Gorin, the International Manager of the Light Commercial Vehicles Business Unit Camping-Cars, PSA Group.
Joël Gorin has a wealth of commercial experience within the PSA Groupe and will continue to build on the strong long term relationships that have developed. He will be supported by the vast experience from Guillaume Guépin, Rafael Gimenez and from PSA's country representatives, without whom the level of success experienced in the last four years would not have been possible.
In his new role, Pascal Belot is now responsible for B2B sales of the PSA Groupe brands in countries with private importers (i.e. 20 countries in Northern and Central Europe).
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank every who helped us achieve incredible sales growth in the last four years, where we have increased our volume by four times, become the second carmaker in the motorhome market, and where our market share has grown from 5 percent to 16.5 percent in Europe. Whilst we are still on the journey to achieve even greater success in the future, we appreciate your passion and commitment over the last four years which has enabled us jointly to satisfy the final customers," said Pascal Belot.
"I wish everyone a fruitful 2019 – 2020 season and many successful years with your excellent conversions on our Peugeot, Citroën and Opel base vehicles. From my perspective, I will always have excellent memories of this experience in the leisure vehicle market, and thank you all on both a professional and personal level," added Pascal Belot.
The PSA Groupe brands include Peugeot, Citroën, DS Automobiles, Opel and Vauxhall. It operates in 100 countries and in 2018 sole 3.9 million vehicles worldwide, achieved €74 in revenue with 211,000 employees.
FCA Italy and Groupe PSA have signed an agreement to extend until 2023 their successful LCV cooperation, started 40 years ago.
The PSA Groupe, in a joint venture with FCA, manufactures the Fiat Ducato, Peugeot Boxer and Citroën Jumper large vans, as well as additional versions for Opel and Vauxhall brands at the Sevel plant in Italy. This was inaugurated in 1981, has a surface area of more than 1.2 million square metres and employs around 6,200 employees. It is the biggest and most flexible light commercial vehicle plant in Europe capable of producing vehicles in a large array of different configurations. Sevel is also one of the most advanced LCV plants in the world in terms of level of specialization, organization and work performance.
Ute Hofmann appointed as Managing Director at LAIKA
Laika Caravans has appointed Ute Hofmann as Managing Director. André Miethe is now President of the company.
Ute Hofmann started her career at Laika Caravans as Head of Marketing in 2007, after completing studies at the Università di Firenze in Sociology and at Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München in Sociology Media Science, Psychology.
She covers the same role in Carado, Sunlight and Etrusco, before working in Erwin Hymer Group as Head of Strategy & Project Management, and at Movera as Brand Manager.
“My aim is to bring 'Italianness' in Laika, giving strength to our motto “Enjoy the Dolce Vita”. We will work on the inner core of the brand, where passion, style, design and traditions meet under the mark of innovation. Not forgetting to focus on our highlights, Ecovip and Kreos product lines,” said Ute Hofmann.
Laika was founded in 1964 and now produces three ranges of motorhomes from its factory in Tuscany, Italy. It is now part of the Erwin Hymer Group.
BE Beteiligungen becomes majority shareholder of alphatronics GmbH
BE Beteiligungen in Cologne, Germany has become the majority shareholder of alphatronics GmbH, the manufacturer of mobile TV devices for use in motor homes and caravans.
BE Beteiligungen Fonds GmbH & Co., a private limited investment partnership (“BE”), is now the majority shareholder of Nürnberg-based alphatronics GmbH (“alphatronics”). The current managing directors, Jens Kaltenbach and Markus Schröder, continue to have a substantial investment in alphatronics GmbH.
“With alphatroncis GmbH we’ve invested in a fast
growing company with a strong market position and cogent management in an
expanding market. We’re looking forward to shaping the future expansion of the
company with our fellow partners”, said Rolf Brodbeck and Roland Eschmann, the
managing directors of BE.
Kaltenbach and Schröder took over company, alphatronics GmbH, in 2007 and have focused on mobile televisions for use in motor homes and caravans, as well as the distribution of complementary products such as, for example, satellite navigation devices by Alpine Electronics and mobile satellite antennas by Kathrein Systems.
Jens Kaltenbach and Markus Schröder, the managing partners at alphatronics explained: “We’re excited about our new partners. Together with BE we’re in a position to carry the company’s growth to date into the future and to push forward our European expansion.”
All alphatronics televisions are manufactured at its Nürnberg site. Through its development division, alphatronics has brought a number of innovations to the market in recent few years, such as the first television with an integrated Bluetooth module. Because of the leadership achieved in quality and technology, alphatronics is the leading mobile sector supplier to motor home manufacturers such as the Erwin Hymer Group, Carthago, Morelo, Concorde and Frankia as well as caravan manufactures such as Hobby and Fendt. Furthermore, as the market leader, alphatronics is also represented in the retrofit market over all renowned wholesalers and retailers.
At the Caravan Salon 2019 in Düsseldorf, alphatronics introduced the latest televisions with SMART-TV functionality and other innovations within the sphere of mobile internet to their customers.
Visitor numbers to the 2019 Caravan Salon Düsseldorf set new record
Attendance figures for the 2019 Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf, the world's largest trade fair for motorhomes and caravans, set a new record with 268,000 visitors compared to 250,211 last year.
A total of 645 exhibitors
from 31 countries presented their innovations and current models in 13 halls
and on the outdoor premises. To the tune of 2,100 RVs were displayed on more
than 214,000 square metres, plus accessories, technical equipment, attachment
parts, awnings and mobile homes. In addition to this, campsites, RV parks and
travel destinations were on show.
“CARAVAN SALON 2019 was an outstanding event with satisfied visitors and exhibitors, brilliant sales figures and an excellent mood prevailing across the entire fairgrounds. At 268,000 the number of visitors (2018: 250,211) has more than fulfilled our expectations as organisers and, in particular, the expectations of exhibitors. This makes our event not only the best-visited trade fair for caravanning but also Europe’s most visited leisure and holiday fair,” says Wolfram N. Diener, Managing Director at Messe Düsseldorf GmbH.
There were large crowds of visitors over the two weekends of the show. The Caravan Center, the big RV park on parking lot 1, was also booked up for the whole duration of the trade fair.
“CARAVAN SALON is growing constantly and underscores its great relevance for both the industry as a glamorous business platform and for the whole family as an experience destination. It is not only the diversity of vehicles and products that give CARAVAN SALON a unique selling point. In Düsseldorf visitors also get to see the latest state-of-the-art innovations and developments in caravanning, plus all the topical trend themes, innovations and visions for the years to come,” says Diener.
CIVD President Hermann Pfaff is also extremely happy with the course of events at the trade fair: “CARAVAN SALON confirms the general, exuberant mood in the caravanning sector with record visitor numbers and superb sales figures. The atmosphere among exhibitors and visitors in the halls was first-rate.”
He also rated the great number of innovations, global premieres and vehicle studies as particularly positive.
“The new materials presented here, various drive technologies as well as the solutions for weight reduction show that the industry is concentrating on many themes of tomorrow,” adds Pfaff.
Apart from filled order books, great dynamism can be felt in the entire sector, he confirms; many manufacturers are looking to the future with great optimism.
“The Düsseldorf trade fair is the most important platform for international industry experts and insiders, who can network and make contacts here. Accompanying conferences and events on such topics as mobility or infrastructure additionally strengthen the CARAVAN SALON’s standing as the world’s biggest and leading trade fair.”
The exhibitors at
CARAVAN SALON were also filled with enthusiasm about the trade fair results and
reported excellent sales deals.
Brandt, Chairman of the Board at Erwin Hymer Group, sums up with great
satisfaction: “We are delighted at the successful CARAVAN SALON with
record-breaking high visitor numbers. The days spent here proved a resounding
success for us. At the start of the fair we already managed to make it
perfectly clear that the takeover of Erwin Hymer Group by THOR Industries
creates a win-win situation for all parties involved. With our broad-based
portfolio we offer the right solution for all customer needs worldwide. We
realised as clearly as ever: caravanning is the trend. We welcomed an evidently
younger audience and many starters at our brands’ exhibition stands. The avid
interest taken in compact entry-price vehicles has motivated many new
interested people to come to Düsseldorf. Alongside this, it is getting clearer
and clearer that digitalisation will be the key to future mobility and leisure
experiences. We build upon these impulses and look forward to an autumn 2019,
where we hope to see as many interested people as possible again at our
Holger Schulz, General Manager at
Hobby-Wohnwagenwerk Ing. Harald
Striewski GmbH enthuses about the many visitors at the Hobby stand: “We are
particularly pleased with this year’s kick-off to the season. We look forward
to this new season because the Hobby brand comes with convincing products and
generates a great deal of interest among customers of all ages. In the motorhome segment it is especially our
two new entry-price series OPTIMA ONTOUR and OPTIMA ONTOUR EDITION that score
points with visitors. Boasting all features and top value for money these
models have convinced our Hobby buyers. In the caravan segment the family models
are particularly popular again. The two new layouts of the PRESTIGE series
featuring the modern L-shaped kitchen and the giant lounge suite are received
very well by our buyers.”
Dr. Holger Siebert,
General Manager at Eura Mobil GmbH and Trigano Deutschland KG: “This is the
second consecutive year we can look back on a fantastic CARAVAN SALON with
record visitor attendance over 250,000 and further growing media interest
across all of Europe. This, of course, strongly benefits us at Trigano, since
almost one in three motorhomes in Europe is produced by a Trigano brand after
all. At this edition we have seen particularly strong interest in our premium
brand Eura Mobil, confirming that seasoned motorhome owners place emphasis on
quality, durability and good service. This is also reflected by the strong
interest taken in the 5-year guarantee, which we also offer for our van specialist
Karmann-Mobil and even for our entry-price brand Forster. Here we pride
ourselves on having the youngest customers on the market, who prefer easy
shopping with a straightforward product and long guarantee in addition to
focusing on such “young themes” as connectivity.
finally become mainstream – as this year’s CARAVAN SALON again clearly
demonstrates,” says Gerd Adamietzki, CSO/General Manager at Knaus Tabbert GmbH,
and adds: “This trade fair offers us second-to-none conditions for introducing
our customers to our innovations – and they are extremely well received as our
even higher growth rates show. The CARAVAN SALON again proved extremely
successful for us and has not only exceeded our expectations but also previous
year’s results. Our customers are thrilled, our dealers very satisfied. Knaus
Tabbert sets decisive trends in this industry.”
Bernd Wuschack, Manager
for Sales, Marketing and Customer Service at the Carthago Group: “The CARAVAN
SALON has traditionally served as the kick-off to, and barometer for, the new
model year. For the Carthago Group this kick-off was very successful. We met
with many potential buyers among the numerous visitors. As a consequence, we
are very happy with the results of the trade fair because the deals closed
reach the very high business level of the previous year. In the limelight was
especially the new generation of the Carthago chic e-line. Our new portfolio of
chic e-line and chic c-line models on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter base vehicle
also struck a significant chord with visitors. In terms of the Malibu brand it
was especially the vans that met with the same high demand. Now our trade
partners are looking forward to successful post-show business.”
van Noesel, Marketing Manager Thetford: “The CARAVAN SALON, is like every year
the perfect kick-off of the new RV show season. Where it used to be the main
European show, we meanwhile can state it is the main worldwide show. More and
more American and Asian companies come to join us in experiencing all European
innovations. All worldwide OEM’s and European wholesalers visited us and also
from end users perspective it has been busy all week. Innovation is key and we
are happy to be able to surprise in both the OEM market and the Aftermarket.
The RV market shows itself to be alive and kicking here in Dusseldorf.”
Likewise, the higher
visitor numbers also caused a higher footfall at the stands in the tourism hall
as well as the cash & carry area in Hall 7a. Expert talks have never been that in-depth
before, explains Jürgen Dieckert, General Manger at IRMA / TopPlatz. “The
demand at our stand was enormous. We were approached by many trade visitors who
had either just built a parking space or were planning the corresponding
investment. The international origin of visitors was striking – especially from
the Netherlands and Spain.” At the same time, he registered a high percentage
of new customers and starters. “I am particularly pleased with the positive
feedback we received at the expert forum on RV pitches organised by CIVD and
ADAC. Furthermore, we capitalised on the trade fair to launch our RV park
traffic light and have received a huge response,” rejoices Dieckert.
The 59th CARAVAN SALON Düsseldorf will be held from 28 August (trade
visitor and media day) to 6 September 2020.
Düsseldorf honours Hobby's founder, Harald Striewski
Harald Striewski, who founded the German caravan and motorhome manufacturer, Hobby, over 50 years ago, has been honoured by the Messe Düsseldorf during the Caravan Salon 2019.
"Messe Düsseldorf would like to honor Harald Striewski as an extraordinary entrepreneur in the caravaning industry. He has understood like no other, with passion, dedication and passion to design caravans for the needs of customers. With extraordinary ideas, great entrepreneurial spirit and unbelievable creativity, he has written a success story that is second to none, "says Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, CEO of Messe Düsseldorf.
Harald Striewski founded the hobby in 1967 and has always been the heart and soul of the company ever since.
Hobby now employs more than 1,200 employees at its Fockbek caravan factory near Rendsburg in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It uses state-of-the-art equipment at this factory, one of the largest caravan and motorhome production sites in Europe.
Last year, 12,000 caravans and 2,000 motorhomes left this factory, generating an annual turnover of 275 million euros. With a market share of 22,3% for caravans in Germany, Hobby has an excellent position in the sector.
The Hobby Group also includes:
Fendt-Caravan GmbH in Mertingen (Bavaria, Germany)
Rendsburger Feuerverzinkerei in Rendsburg, Germany
Formlight GmbH, Warburg (NRW, Germany)
Mid-show attendance figures for Caravan Salon Düsseldorf set new record
Half way through this year's Caravan Salon Düsseldorf (30 August to 8 September 2019), the organisers have already reported record attendance figures in excess of 150,000 visitors.
“Up and including Wednesday we registered in excess of 150,000 visitors, this is some 5,000 more caravanning enthusiasts than last year at the same point in time. This means that the increase posted over the first three days is confirmed,” delights Stefan Koschke, Director of CARAVAN SALON Düsseldorf, commenting on these record figures.
Over the first weekend of the Caravan Salon, visitors had to show a little patience due to the large crowds. For the second weekend visitors are requested to revert to public transport. The online ticket includes free return trips in the complete region of the VRR transport authority.
Likewise, the Caravan Center – the RV park on Messe parking lot P1 – is again enjoying great popularity – being almost completely booked across 3,500 pitches for the whole duration of the trade fair.
“CARAVAN SALON has traditionally been the date where the industry presents its technical innovations and global premieres. Only here in Düsseldorf do all renowned national and international manufacturers launch the latest generation of their recreational vehicles,” says Stefan Koschke.
Until 8 September at
CARAVAN SALON DÜSSELDORF 645 exhibitors from 31 countries will still be
presenting motorhomes and caravans of all sizes and price ranges, plus base
vehicles, accessories, technical equipment, attachments, tents/awnings, mobile
homes, campsites, RV parks as well as travel destinations in 13 halls and on
the outdoor premises.
A survey conducted by
the Caravaning Industrie Verband e.V. (CIVD) among its exhibiting members shows
that the sector is very satisfied with the trade fair results so far. Two
thirds of the caravan manufacturers report to have sold substantially more or
more vehicles than over the same period of CARAVAN SALON 2018; the other exhibitors rate the business
done so far the same high level as in the previous year.
The interim results posted by motorhome manufacturers are just as outstanding. 70 percent of exhibitors started CARAVAN SALON 2019 with strongly increasing and/or increasing sales while the other manufacturers achieved the same high level as in 2018.
“The record visitor
attendance and excellent sales closed over the first trade fair days are not
only an expression of the growing popularity of caravanning as a form of
vacationing but also the innovative power of the industry. There have been as
many new products, innovations and vehicle studies on display as ever at
Caravan Salon in 2019. They demonstrate how quickly manufacturers pick up on
customers’ changing preferences and develop new products,” says Daniel
Onggowinarso, General Manager of the Caravaning Industrie Verband e.V. (CIVD).
Dethleffs shows first production-ready e.Hybrid motorhome
Dethleffs, one of the German caravan and motorhome manufacturers owned by the Erwin Hymer Group, has showed the first production-ready, plug-in hybrid motorhome at the Caravan Salon Dusseldorf.
This is the third year in a row that Dethleffs has revealed a new model or concept around the subject of electric mobility,
"As a family friend, we also think about future generations and therefore deal intensively with the issue of sustainability in our industry," explains Dethleff's Managing Director Alexander Leopold.
"The preservation of nature is one of the priority goals, because caravanning and nature experience are one. For this reason, we have been dealing with electric mobility for many years, among other things, which will be a key to this," says Leopold confidently.
"We want to do pioneering work with our initiatives and are committed to establishing electromobility in caravanning," Leopold continued.
The Globevan e.Hybrid is based on a Ford Transit Custom, and is the first series-ready implementation of the Dethleffs electric mobility goals.
Its drive axles are driven purely electrically, and with the built-in battery accumulator, a range of up to 50 km pure electric range is possible. Overall, the Globevan of course offers a greater range. This is achieved through the built-in "Range Extender", a 1.0-liter EcoBoost petrol engine, which serves exclusively as a generator for charging the battery.
The advantage of this combination is that the Globevan is suitable for everyday use, and can be driven purely electrically in cities. Any driving bans do not apply to the hybrid here. At the same time can be generated by the braking or gas take recuperation energy, which allows a particularly energy-efficient driving with low fuel consumption. The combustion engine always runs in the optimum speed range with maximum torque and provides the accumulator with power, which in turn supplies the electric motor with power. Thus, the Globevan has a total maximum range of 500 km.
The batteries can be charged within 5.5 hours on a regular household power outlet or in 3 hours on a quick charge. The total output of the electric and internal combustion engine combination is 92 kW (126 hp).
Dethleffs' journey into the e-mobile future began in 2017, when the first fully electrically powered e.home motorhome study was presented to the public with great media coverage. Last year saw the second blow with the self-propelled electric caravan e.home Coco. With its overall concept of a self-driving, autonomously driven caravan and its use as a power storage system, this represents a true paradigm shift in caravaning.
And this year, Dethleffs is showing the first production-ready hybrid motorhome, which in turn is a premiere. "Pioneering work lies in our genes and thinking ahead in our nature, as Arist Dethleffs proved in 1931, when he invented the first caravan in Germany," says a delighted Alexander Leopold.
"Thanks to his invention, he was always able to carry his family, which was very important to him, on his long business trips to distant lands. We too care about the family and the future of our children. We did not just write like that, the friend of the family on the flags. We also want to act in all directions accordingly. That's why we are very serious and have been dealing for years with alternatives and visions of the future in our industry. The Globevan e.Hybrid and our progress in the implementation of the e.home Coco, which we also show in Düsseldorf, are important milestones on this path."
The topic of sustainability is also on the agenda in a variety of ways within the company itself. Be it own bee colonies on the premises, paperless production in the newly built workshop, a combined heat and power plant, which is "fed" with its own wood waste, a clean waste separation throughout the company and actions that support commuting by bike to work or generally minimize waste , the Isnyer company always finds clever and effective methods to protect the environment sustainably.
"For our first hybrid vehicle, we opted for the urban and all-day variant of a motorized recreational vehicle because the idea and the drive of the vehicle are designed so that 50 km can be driven purely on electric power," explains Alexander Leopold. "That's a distance many people travel with their vehicles every day; and mostly in the city."