Lippert Components said the company is rolling full steam ahead to develop new appliance products despite recent softening of the RV market.
Lippert gained an additional 1.6 million square feet of appliance warehouse space when its subsidiary Furrion acquired substantially all of the business assets of Way Interglobal Network on Monday. Lippert also gained Way’s North American research and development capabilities.
Andrew Mock, Lippert’s senior vice president of RV sales, said although 2023 is a great unknown, Lippert will not stop innovating when the RV industry slows. The supplier has always been a fierce competitor of Way Interglobal, he said, adding Lippert valued the innovation Way Interglobal brought to the appliance segment.
“Obviously with the slowdown, we wanted to cement our spot in the appliance space,” Mock said. “We really valued the space they bring … but also the people and the innovation. All that combined seemed to make sense.”
Way Interglobal CEO Wayne Kaylor and Sales Vice President Tom Halbert will be joining Lippert’s team. Mock said their talent was part of the appeal of the acquisition.
The additional 1.6 million square feet of appliance warehouse space will enable the company to centralize Way’s Everchill and Greystone brands and Furrion products in one location near Lippert’s corporate headquarters.
“With inventories being higher than ever, inventory space in general was appealing,” he said. “It is a brand new, beautiful building. The timing could not have worked out better.”
Lippert is going to keep both brands and they will remain available at dealerships. He said, for now, there are no plans to rebrand products. He said Lippert will wait to see how the brands are positioned in the marketplace.
“Both offerings bring different things to the table,” Mock said. “The most important part is that we keep differentiating the products. The RV industry gets complaints about everything looking too similar. We are going to continue to innovate in both divisions and come to a branding decision that makes sense for the company and, more importantly, makes sense for the industry.”
Lippert plans to release 10 to 15 new appliance products during 2023.