EXCLUSIVE: RV Retailer CEO on Blue Dog Deal

A picture of Jon Ferrando

RV Retailer announced a deal to acquire Blue Dog RV last week, matching the company’s largest acquisition, involving 12 locations.

RV Retailer acquired Family RV in January, which also had 12 locations. RV Retailer CEO Jon Ferrando said lessons learned in the eight months since buying Family RV will aid in integration with Blue Dog.

“Our entire senior team was focused on ensuring a successful acquisition and integration of Family RV earlier this year,” Ferrando said. “We will take the playbook from Family RV and apply it to the Blue Dog acquisition.”

The playbook is expanded by familiar to RV Retailer management. Ferrando noted the 20 stores the company bought in the first six months of 2021. He said the team did an excellent job transitioning the new sites into RV Retailer.

“That is a core capability of RV Retailer,” he said. “We have the team, resources, track record and game plan to acquire and integrate Blue Dog successfully.”

Among the success in integration, Ferrando said, was maintaining what the stores successfully achieved before RV Retailer came along. RV Retailer focuses on growing business areas, including new and used sales, service and the finance and insurance capabilities.

“We will bring capital to invest in facilities, new RV product lines, our technologies and processes and training programs,” Ferrando said. “Another important aspect is to create excitement for associates around their future with RV Retailer including the tremendous training programs and career opportunities they will have with us.”

Easing transitions is maintaining top management when possible. Blue Dog RV co-owners John and Rebecca Asplund are retiring after the deal is finalized, but Chief Operating Officer Marc Hauser will remain.

“We are happy for the Asplunds,” Ferrando said. “Marc is an industry veteran who has been instrumental in Blue Dog’s success. We strive to keep all the great talent from the stores that we acquire while partnering with them to provide the support, encouragement and resources to grow and drive the business to the next level.”

The deal brings more than 400 Blue Dog employees across the 12 retail locations into the RV Retailer fold.

“Blue Dog has many talented associates that we are confident will have great careers with us,” Ferrando said, “and be a key part of driving our success and growth in the seven new states that we are entering with the Blue Dog acquisition.”

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