Winnebago CEO Cites Grand Design as Growth Catalyst

2020 Grand Design RV Momentum Fifth Wheel
The 2020 Grand Design RV Momentum Fifth Wheel

Winnebago Industries, Inc. President and CEO Michael Happe said the company’s recently released quarterly results build on sustained momentum and demonstrates Winnebago’s growth and profitability.

The CEO said as of October 2021, the company’s RV retail market share grew to 13.3%, citing Statistical Surveys, Inc.

“The catalyst continues to be our Grand Design RV brand,” Happe told investors on the company’s first quarter earnings call, “which consistently delivers record results and outstanding support for our dealers and end consumers. Newmar-branded diesel motorhome share and Winnebago brand towables growth also contributed nicely.”

Happe commended the company’s 7,200 employees for contributing to Winnebago’s record 19.8% gross margin despite ongoing supply chain constraints and increased input costs.

“Our commitment to a make to confirmed dealer order business model across the enterprise,” Happe said, “and a highly effective enterprise wide strategic sourcing team were particularly helpful as we continued to navigate supply chain challenges and inflationary cost input pressures that we fully expect will be an ongoing reality during our fiscal 2022.”

The CEO noted record backlogs and said the company is working hard to replenish dealer inventories. He cited a recent RVIA survey that found 9.6 million households are considering buying an RV in the next five years, in addition to over 14 million first-time camping households in 2020 and 2021.

“Now we fully recognize that not all these potential customers will actually buy a recreational vehicle,” Happe said. “But we do agree that future demand will be reasonably sustained at higher historical levels in large part because of consumer interest and participation in the outdoors being at all-time highs.”

Happe said Winnebago anticipates consumer demand to remain elevated.

“We will be monitoring closely the retail demand rhythm,” he said, “as the industry works to replenish low levels of dealer inventory.”

He said the OEM will work closely with its brands to responsibly produce and ship products.

“Our dealers deserve ample margins and high returns as well and our production strategies influence that outcome,” Happe said.

He said the company is anticipating further supply chain constraints and inflation, but a good candence with suppliers is mitigating the impacts. Production levels at the company will be matched with confirmed dealer orders, the CEO said.

“We continue to believe RV industry retail in our fiscal 2022 period will be at its second highest level, only behind our fiscal 2021 cycle,” Happe said.

Winnebago Industries, Inc. reported a record $1.2 billion in fiscal 2022 first-quarter revenue. The total is an increase of 45.7% from the same period in 2021. The company attributed the rise to continued consumer demand and pricing increases related to current and anticipated higher material and component costs.

RV News magazine spread
If you are employed in the RV industry and not a member of the trade media, Subscribe for Free:
  • Daily business news on the RV industry and the companies and people that encompass it
  • Monthly printed and/or digital magazine filled with in-depth articles to increase profit margins
  • Statistics, data and other RV business trade information
Scroll to Top