In response to the coronavirus, Airstream has decided to cancel its 2020 Dealer Meeting. Airstream President and CEO Bob Wheeler sent the following letter to dealers on Wednesday:
Date: March 18, 2020
From: Airstream President and CEO Bob Wheeler
Subject: Airstream Dealer Meeting 2020 – Cancelled
It goes without saying that our annual dealer meeting is an event that we look forward to each year. The value of this event to Airstream is immeasurable, as it allows for a great dialogue and business planning between us and our dealer partners. In addition to the business benefits, the dealer meeting grows and fosters relationships unlike any other event in the industry each year.
Given the recent concerns about the coronavirus and the many government directives to restrict and, in many cases, eliminate large gatherings, we see no alternative but to cancel the 2020 Airstream Dealer Meeting. No one is more disappointed than myself, but given the guidance from the top medical professionals in the United States, we felt this move to be necessary. The safety of our staff, dealers and vendors is paramount.
In the coming weeks, Airstream will be reviewing all options available to us to conduct an on-line virtual dealer meeting or some variation thereof. Planning is underway now on what that may look like, and our team will be communicating those plans as we learn more. However, for now, please know the dealer meeting this year in Dallas will be cancelled and we will turn our focus to the 2021 where we plan to have the dealer meeting in Columbus, Ohio. This will be a great opportunity for everyone to see our new travel trailer factory firsthand.
Lastly, I wanted our dealer partners to know how seriously Airstream is taking the ongoing pandemic. From pausing all business travel for our associates, limiting visitors to the factory and increasing the frequency and scope of cleaning the plant and offices, Airstream is doing everything we can to make Jackson Center a safe place to work. Although retail sales through today are up significantly through the same time period in March last year, we are keeping a watchful eye on website traffic, sales leads, retail deliveries and key economic indicators as we manage our business moving forward.
And as for local efforts, we recently loaned some trailers to local authorities to assist in a mobile coronavirus testing location and will continue to work with our local, state and federal governments to assist where we can in the coming weeks. In this pivotal time in our country, it is important we all stick together. Thank you for your continued support!
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