Volume 39 - Number 8
|October 07, 2010 687|
|Airstream Strengthens Commitment to Class B Motorhome Business
Click Illustration for Larger Image
Jackson Center, Ohio –Addressing a growing segment within the RV industry, Airstream, the most recognized RV brand in North America, today announced plans to bolster its Class B motorhome business. Airstream has reorganized its sales force and is proud to note three key hires dedicated solely to the company’s new Touring Coach division, which today includes the 2011 Airstream Interstate and Airstream Avenue motorized coaches.
Eddie Bauer and Airstream Partner to Fuel America’s Spirit of Adventure
SEATTLE, WA -Iconic American brands Eddie Bauer and Airstream have teamed up to build a special edition travel trailer, the Eddie Bauer Edition Airstream, and to develop premium co-branded items for 2011. The two companies, with more than 160 years of combined experience building quality products for the adventurous outdoor lifestyle, see significant synergies.
By combining Eddie Bauer’s heritage as The Original Outdoor Outfitter® and Airstream’s focus on functional durability, the brands will target travelers who love to explore the outdoors in style. The special edition travel trailer will include a rear sport hatch to allow for easy access to gear and equipment and to “let the outside in.” It will also include finishing touches such as exterior protective cladding and unique interior surfaces, flooring and Eddie Bauer bedding.
“Airstreamers, like Eddie Bauer customers, have come to expect superior construction and design, and now with the Eddie Bauer Airstream we’ve added some special features that will appeal to their adventurous spirit,” said Bob Wheeler, president and CEO of Airstream. “The rear sport hatch allows Airstreamers to live the Eddie Bauer lifestyle, enjoying the outdoors as often as possible.”
Discriminating customers aren’t the only things Eddie Bauer and Airstream have in common. Each brand was founded in the U.S. by one man with a singular dream. Eddie Bauer founded his sport shop in Seattle in 1920 and within a year had his own storefront and quickly became a renowned outfitter and innovator. Wally Byam created the first Airstream in 1931, and in doing so created a new way of life shared by thousands upon thousands of families.
“Eddie Bauer and Wally Byam were visionary innovators for the American outdoor lifestyle in the early 1900s,” said Neil Fiske, president and CEO of Eddie Bauer. “From the first down jacket patented in the U.S. to the first self-contained trailers built in the country, they believed in creating quality products to make an adventurous life more accessible for everyone.”
The relationship between Eddie Bauer and Airstream first began in 2009 when Eddie Bauer launched First Ascent, its line of world-class expedition gear. The company wrapped a custom-built Airstream PanAmerica in the First Ascent logo and its sponsored ski guides drove the trailer across the country, chasing the best snow conditions from Tahoe to Haines, Alaska. The relationship continued to evolve and will result in the special edition travel trailer, along with co-branded apparel and other gear due out next year.
In addition to outfitting generations of fishermen, hunters, climbers and mountaineers on some of America’s major expeditions, Eddie Bauer has a long history of working with companies in a number of industries to license products, including the automotive space. Most notably, the company partnered with Ford Motor Company more than 25 years ago to feature the Eddie Bauer edition premium trim package on several models of Ford pickups, sport utilities and minivans. The Eddie Bauer Edition Airstream will be featured in Eddie Bauer’s holiday gift catalog which arrives in mailboxes on November 8, 2010.
Airstream’s focus on the Class B market is motivated by the growing strength of this segment. Statistical Surveys Inc (SSI) reports that year-to-date Class B sales are up 42.8 percent over 2009, illustrating the BVan lifestyle as a growing trend nationwide. As such, Airstream has restructured its sales force and hired a General Manager for its Touring Coach division, Tim Garner, along with two Regional Sales Directors – John Huttle for the Western United States and Scott Lucas for the East.
As General Manager, Touring Coaches, Garner will focus on overall product and sales strategy, growing Airstream’s Class B distribution through a variety of channels, provide market feedback about product opportunities and competitive analysis, and provide support for dealer activities.
John Huttle will transition from his post at Airstream’s factory in Jackson Center and move into the field as Western Sales Director. Huttle was instrumental in developing Airstream’s current BVan products and programs, and the company will continue to utilize his inside knowledge.
Eastern Sales Director Scott Lucas is new to Airstream and will apply his extensive sales experience with leading automotive and RV manufacturers in an effort grow Airstream’s market share in a key area of the country.
“Our 20 years experience building Bvans combined with Thor Industries’ financial strength and these newly hired resources puts us in a position to grow our market share in this segment aggressively,” says President and CEO Bob Wheeler. “We feel strongly that the size, price, and fuel efficiency of these motorhomes will make them the ideal choice for many customers.”
Though traditionally known for its aluminum travel trailers, Airstream has applied the same core principles of quality, durability, and craftsmanship to its motorhomes. The legendary RV manufacturer has leveraged its brand strength and product expertise to enter the BVan market in a meaningful way and welcome additional customers to the Airstream brand.
“Our plans to expand the BVan portfolio with new product and programs are already in place, says Wheeler. “In fact, we are recruiting additional national service and training managers with the goal to have a team in place in the next 30-60 days to further support this endeavor.”
The 2011 Airstream Interstate went on sale June 2010 and the 2011 Avenue Sept. 2010. Both are presently available at dealers across the United States. Source Airstream
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