Airstream CEO Mulls Non-aluminum, Rivetless Units

Airstream Globetrotter travel trailer

While polished aluminum, rivets and a distinctive silhouette have been Airstream’s three defining elements for the better part of a century, the manufacturer is open to dropping one or two of those signature features from certain future models.

In a recent Forbes interview, Airstream CEO Bob Wheeler discussed his willingness to part with key elements of the company’s tried-and-true design to boost sales to millennial and Generation Z consumers.

Airstream has targeted younger buyers in recent years with smaller, less expensive versions of its “silver bullet” coaches. However, Wheeler says such minor tweaks might not be enough to appeal to up-and-coming generations of RV buyers. In the face of potentially changing consumer preference, Airstream may reconsider just how sacrosanct its trinity of aluminum, rivets and aerodynamic silhouette truly is.

“If you stick with all three of those things you end up with exactly what we have,” Wheeler told Forbes. “We have to show flexibility to shift direction at least in one of those areas, maybe two.”

Although he expressed his openness to updating the Airstream formula for select models, Wheeler gave no indication Airstream has ever considered ending production of units in its classic style.

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