Fortune Honors Winnebago as Fast-Growing

September 18, 2013 by · Comments Off on Fortune Honors Winnebago as Fast-Growing 

Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago Industries Inc. has been listed as one of Fortune Magazine’s “100 Fastest Growing Companies” in the Sept. 16 issue.

Listed at No. 65 among the Top 100, Winnebago is in “good company with well-known names throughout a wide variety of other venerable industries,” according to a press release. The list may be viewed at

“We are honored to be named to Fortune’s ’Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies List,’” said Winnebago Chairman, CEO and president Randy Potts. “We have worked extremely hard to turn the company around following the recession and we are very pleased with our progress so far. With the motorhome industry shipment volumes recovering but still well below the 25-year average, we are even more excited about what lies ahead as the economy continues to grow.”

The company has generated stellar earnings during its current fiscal year, posting a 94.4% gain in third-quarter profits on a 40.1% increase in sales.

Demand Spurred Winnebago Plant Reopening

August 20, 2013 by · Comments Off on Demand Spurred Winnebago Plant Reopening 

Middlebury, Ind.-based Winnebago Industries Towables Inc. has reopened its second production facility, with the new 2014 Raven fifth-wheel as the first product to come off the line.

“We are very excited to reopen the SunnyBrook plant,” said Winnebago Industries Towables President Johnny Hernandez in a press release.  “Due to increased demand for our Winnebago brand products, which doubled in volume within the last year, as well as the redesign of the entire SunnyBrook product line, we needed to reopen the second production facility. The SunnyBrook building has a footprint of over 200,000 square feet, providing a great deal of capacity to continue to increase our production long-term.”

Along with the brand new Raven mid-profile fifth-wheel, Sunset Creek stick-and-tin travel trailers and Remington laminated fiberglass travel trailers have also been redesigned for 2014.

“As a result of increased dealer orders for our exciting new products, we plan to continue to ramp up production and hire an additional 60 employees within the next year,” Hernandez said.

Current Briefs from RV Parks and Campgrounds

August 7, 2013 by · Comments Off on Current Briefs from RV Parks and Campgrounds 

Aerial view of Forest River Inc. dealer meeting in Elkhart, Ind., in 2009.


From The Elkhart Truth:

The first half of 2013 was a very good period for the recreational vehicle industry as a whole, but it was even better for Elkhart, Ind.-based Forest River Inc., as the company reported that sales were up 22% in the first half of the year.

That’s one of the scant details made public about its operations when parent company Berkshire Hathaway Inc. filed its quarterly financial report with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

“Over the first six months of 2013, Forest River generated a 22% increase in revenues due to increased volume and average sales prices,” the company reported in the filing.

Forest River and Berkshire Hathaway’s building products businesses generated higher earnings in the first half of this year than last year.

To read the entire report click here.


From The Sacramento Bee:

California State Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, hopes Senate Bill 256 will make trampoline parks safer. If passed, his bill would regulate the construction, maintenance and operation of trampoline parks with the goal of increasing safety.

Click here to read the entire story.


From a news release:

The board of directors of Chicago-based Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. declared a dividend of $0.25 per common share, representing, on an annualized basis, a dividend of $1.00 per common share (adjusted for stock split). The dividend will be paid on Oct. 11 to stockholders of record on Sept. 27.

The board also declared a dividend of $0.421875 per depositary share (each representing 1/100 of a share of our 6.75% Series C Cumulative Redeemable Perpetual Preferred Stock), which represents, on an annualized basis, a dividend of $1.6875 per depositary share. The dividend will be paid on Sept. 30 to stockholders of record on Sept. 20.


From the Leader-Herald, Gloversville:

A Broadalbin marina owner and member of the town planning board was killed Monday (Aug. 5) in what Fulton County Sheriff Thomas Lorey described as a “freak” lawnmower accident at the man’s business.

Lorey said Lauren R. McMurray, 65, died from a neck injury in the accident about 4:15 p.m. at his marina and campground off Lakeview Road. A neighbor called 911 to report the accident.

“He was mowing the grass with a garden tractor and was pinned between a camper and a protective bar on the tractor,” Lorey said.

Lorey said McMurray was operating a zero-turn lawn mower near a large camper.

“He made an attempt to mow under the camper and the safety roll bar got stuck on the camper, causing the wheels of the lawn mower to raise into the air,” the sheriff said.

He said the mower’s engine speed increased and McMurray became “wedged” between the mower and the camper. Lorey said the victim was found pinned between the mower – with its engine still on and tipped downward – and the camper. Lorey said the “safety” roll bar was a contributing factor in the incident.

Click here to read the entire story.


From the Sioux City Journal:

Preliminary work on a $1 million campground at Bacon Creek Park has started. Construction was delayed earlier this year over budget issues.

The campground is planned on 84 acres of city-owned land east and north of the 239-acre park, at 5015 Correctionville Road.

Plans call for spaces for tent camping and places to park recreational vehicles.

It would be the first of its kind operated in Sioux City. The park already has two shelters, a dog park, playgrounds and other amenities

Click here to read the entire story.

From the Forest City Summit:

There has always been a relationship between the Puckerbrush festival in Forest City, Iowa, and members of the Winnebago Itasca Travelers (WIT) club who come to the city each summer for the WIT Grand National Rally.

That relationship will be much more formal next year as WIT will start earlier in July than it has in prior years.

Winnebago Industries Inc. has scheduled the event for July 16-20, the same days as the annual Puckerbrush Festival in Forest City. For many years, the WIT GNR started on a Sunday and ran through the week to a Friday conclusion. Puckerbrush has traditionally started the Thursday before WIT’s opening ceremony on a Sunday.

“It’s positive for the members of our WIT Club, it’s positive for the company and it’s positive for the community,” said Chad Reece, director of marketing for Winnebago. “We believe it will bring more people in.”

The 2014 edition, marking Winnebago’s 45th year of operation, will feature an “Out of This World” theme as the rally coincides with NASA’s historic Apollo lunar landing mission and Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon.



Winnebago Preparing for Annual Owners Rally

July 17, 2013 by · Comments Off on Winnebago Preparing for Annual Owners Rally 

Winnebago rally begins July 21.

As of last week, about 2,500 people had registered for the annual Winnebago Itasca Travelers Grand National Rally (GNR), set to run July 21-26 at the builder’s Rally Grounds in Forest City, Iowa. As reported by the Forest City Summit, the grounds opened to early arriving rally attendees on Monday.

Sheila Davis, public relations/investor relations manager, said that when all the motorhomes and towables are on the grounds, the attendance will likely be slightly higher than last year’s attendance.

Volunteers have already started preparing for the GNR, with about 75 already on the grounds this week, Davis said.

The annual GNR is a gathering of Winnebago Itasca Travelers (WIT) club members who own Winnebago, Itasca motorhomes or towables or SunnyBrook towable RVs. The rally features tours of the Winnebago plants, education seminars in which motorhome or towable owners learn about vehicle features, driving tips and other information.

Rally attendees also get a look at the new 2014 models including new models such as the Winnebago Forza and Itasca Solei Class A Diesel motorhomes. Attendees can also drive or ride in some of those new coaches.

A variety of vendors also share products and items related to motorhome travel and use.

To read the entire article click here.

Winnebago: Best Shipment Quarter in 5 Years

June 27, 2013 by · Comments Off on Winnebago: Best Shipment Quarter in 5 Years 

Winnebago Industries Inc. today (June 27) reported financial results for the company’s third quarter ending June 1.

According to a news release, revenues for the third quarter were $218.2 million, an increase of 40.1%, versus $155.7 million for the third quarter of Fiscal 2012. The company reported operating income of $10.2 million for the quarter, an increase of 190.6% versus $3.5 million for the third quarter of Fiscal 2012. Net income for the third quarter was $7.7 million, an increase of 94.4%, versus $3.9 million for the third quarter of Fiscal 2012. Diluted earnings per share for the third quarter were $0.27, an increase of 107.7%, versus $0.13 for the third quarter of Fiscal 2012.

Earnings in the third quarter were positively impacted by increased motorhome volumes, driven by higher dealer and retail consumer demand. The increased volumes, along with lower incentives, provided fixed cost leverage, higher operating margins, net income and earnings per share as compared to the same quarter last year. Net cash generated from operations was $19.2 million in the third quarter.

Revenues for the first 40 weeks of Fiscal 2013 were $588.9 million, an increase of 40.5%, versus revenues of $419.1 million for the first 39 weeks of Fiscal 2012. The company reported operating income of $29.1 million for the first nine months of Fiscal 2013, versus $3.0 million for the first nine months of Fiscal 2012. Net income for the first nine months of Fiscal 2013 was $21.3 million, an increase of 425.0%, versus $4.1 million, for the first nine months of Fiscal 2012. Diluted earnings per share for the first nine months of Fiscal 2013 was $0.76 per diluted share, an increase of 442.9%, versus $0.14 per diluted share for the first nine months of Fiscal 2012.

“We worked extremely hard to deliver significant improvement in the third quarter as compared to the prior year,” said Winnebago Industries’ Chairman, CEO and President Randy Potts. “We again increased our shipment volume in nearly every sector of our business due to the continued rise in customer demand.”

Potts continued, “We are very pleased with the marketplace response to our new 2014 motorhome and towable products, including the new Winnebago Forza and Itasca Solei. These products provide our dealers and retail customers with a new price point targeted at the largest growth component of the Class A diesel category. We are focused on bringing these exciting new products and others to market. Since the initial introduction to our dealer partners in late April at our Dealer Days event, we have moved forward with our planned staggered retail product rollouts which will continue throughout the coming months. We have had exceptional growth throughout Fiscal 2013, experiencing the best shipment quarter in over five years, while still increasing our sales order backlog.”

Winnebago Showed Class A Forza at RV Rally

June 14, 2013 by · Comments Off on Winnebago Showed Class A Forza at RV Rally 

Vice President of Sales and Product Management Scott Degnan with Winnebago Industries Inc. talks with a TV reporter during “The Rally” underway in Syracuse, N.Y.

Winnebago Industries Inc., a leading U.S. manufacturer of recreation vehicles, introduced the Forza Class A motorhome for the first time to retail consumers at “The Rally,” the Camping World/Good Sam event  being held this weekend in Syracuse at the New York State Fairgrounds.

Thousands of RVers and enthusiasts were on hand for the event where the Winnebago Forza made its debut, according to a news release.

The all-new, pleasantly priced Forza is built on the Freightliner XCS straight-rail chassis which provides a solid foundation with a Cummins 340-hp diesel engine and Allison six-speed transmission delivering the power. Diesel pushers are known for storage and the Forza ups the ante with its Smart Storage design that pushes capacity even further. Inside, are fine amenities such as polished Corian galley countertops, coffee glazed cabinetry, upscale entertainment features and LED lighting.

Arnold and Jean Bye from Waunakee, Wis., loved the new Forza. “We are looking for a small diesel with a queen bed in the traditional position so we could use it without putting the slides out. We love the mid entry. We have a 40-footer now and we want to downsize – this is perfect for us. We can get eight people around the sectional table. The side swing doors allow easy access to great storage for a small unit. I also love the passenger seat with the table for all my maps and the laptop.”


Wall Street Rewarding RV Industry’s Investors

June 10, 2013 by · Comments Off on Wall Street Rewarding RV Industry’s Investors 

RV builders and suppliers posted an unusually strong session on Wall Street on Friday (June 7). And a breakout on an 11% gain by Thor Industries Inc. drew attention to three of the group’s other stocks, Investors Business Daily reported.

RV shipments rose to more than 32,000 units in April, the highest level for the month since 2007. And the peak selling season for RVs is just beginning.

Thor reported adjusted EPS growth of 24%, easily clearing analyst expectations for a 13% pop. Revenue just met analyst forecasts. The company held its dividend steady at 18 cents, equal to about 1.7% on an annualized basis.

The stock rose in heavy trading Friday of 494,357 shares, clearing a $43.54 buy point. It also lifted shares to their highest mark since October 2007.

Winnebago Industries Inc. gained 4% in weak trade Friday. In this case, the weak trade is a positive. The possible buy point here is $21.42. Analysts see Winnebago’s EPS rising 261% this fiscal year ending in August, on a 34% gain in sales, the best estimates in the group.

Two other stocks in the group, both thinly traded, are also set up in bases. Drew Industries Inc. has scooped out a shallow, three-month “cup” with a $38.92 buy point. Cavco Industries Inc. builds manufactured homes and park model RVs.


CNBC Visiting Winnebago’s Complex in Iowa

May 31, 2013 by · Comments Off on CNBC Visiting Winnebago’s Complex in Iowa 

Winnebago Industries CEO Randy Potts (background) is filmed at the Winnebago plant in Forest City, Iowa, on May 30 for broadcast today on CNBC-TV.

CNBC-TV sent photographer Bob Pollack to Winnebago Industries Inc. for a “Comeback Companies” story.

Winnebago Industries Chairman, CEO and President Randy Potts (shown in background at left) was interviewed by Phil LeBeau to discuss the company;s recent growth following the difficult recession.

The segment is scheduled to air today (May 31) throughout the day.


Winnebago Chooses Rand McNally GPS Unit

May 17, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

Rand McNally GPS system

Winnebago Industries Inc. has selected Rand McNally as its exclusive provider of mapping and routing services for its 2014 motorhomes.

According to a news release, Rand McNally’s award-winning RV GPS navigation will be featured as part of the new X1 family of “Infotainment” systems from XiteSolutions North America, available in Winnebago, Itasca and Winnebago Touring Coach motorhomes.

Winnebago Industries has chosen the new X1S 6-inch and X1DM 10.4-inch “Infotainment” systems. The company said that the 10.4-inch display is the largest integrated, in-dash OEM solution in the RV market today.

“Our Winnebago Industries motorhome owners expect the best from us. We’ve partnered with the navigation industry’s best – Rand McNally – to provide navigation and routing information specific to RV travel, providing RV-specific stops along the way and enhancing the trip experience,” said Russ Garfin, product manager for Winnebago.

Rand McNally’s RV software includes:

  • Specialized routing and turn-by-turn spoken directions in the U.S. and Canada for 11 different classes of RV.
  • Navigation based on legal and physical restrictions, such as height, width, weight limits and propane restrictions, and the ability to favor right- or left-hand turns depending on motorhome class.
  • Warnings for speed limit changes, sharp curves, dirt roads, and other potential hazards.
  • Millions of points of interest including those specialized for RVs: RV campgrounds with detailed amenities, RV dealers and maintenance facilities, dump stations, rest stops, travel centers and pet-friendly locations.
  • RV checklists/maintenance logs/trails.
  • Rand McNally featured road trips, including Best of the Road, Regional Trips, Scenic Tours and Weekend Getaways.
  • 2D/3D maps with Junction View.
  • Multistop route optimization.
  • User-configurable warnings to assist in creating detours, choosing to permanently avoid road segments, and receiving warnings for upcoming hazards such as bridges and construction

“Being selected as the exclusive GPS provider by industry leaders such as Winnebago Industries and XiteSolutions North America recognizes the routing expertise and superior user experience that Rand McNally has developed,” said Rand McNally CEO Dave Muscatel.


Camping World Tops Winnebago Sales in ’12

May 15, 2013 by · Comments Off on Camping World Tops Winnebago Sales in ’12 

Camping World Inc. received 47 awards at the recent Winnebago Industries Inc. Dealer Days Event in Las Vegas, including the award for “Top Multi-Location Winnebago Retailer” for 2012.

According to a press release, Camping World also secured its position as the largest Winnebago retailer with over $175 million in Winnebago Industries sales for 2012. Currently Camping World accounts for an estimated 28% of all Winnebago Industries new motorized unit sales.

Camping World was also recognized for receiving 26 Circle of Excellence awards, four Partners in Excellence Awards for top market share in their respective regions, 15 Top Rank Sales Awards, and the New Dealer of the Year Award for Camping World RV of Lake City, Fla.

“We are pleased to again be recognized as Winnebago’s ‘Top Retailer of the Year’ in addition to recently accepting multiple top achievement awards from Winnebago,” said Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Camping World. “We are thrilled that Camping World RV dealers made an important contribution in Winnebago’s business growth and we look forward to continued success with this partnership throughout the ongoing year.”

“Being awarded and recognized by Winnebago in so many categories is exceptional,” said Roger Nuttall, president of Camping World RV Sales. “We value our partnership with Winnebago Industries and remain committed to the highest levels of customer satisfaction in every level of our business.”

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