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Old 12-01-2015, 01:48 PM   #1
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New Owner of Country Coach Corporation: Winnebago!

I received this email a few minutes ago- kind of surprising, but hopefully in a good way.

A personal note to our friends,
As we enter this holiday season here at Country Coach, we also enter a season of change. As most of you know, I have spent most of my adult life growing, nurturing and eventually rescuing the Country Coach brand that I love. I am very proud of what Country Coach came to represent, but I am even more proud of work the core group I assembled after purchasing the intellectual property of Country Coach has accomplished. From the start my goals were to resurrect Country Coach in the spirit in which it was created - to produce the finest motor coaches available, to bring economic vitality and growth to Junction City and to develop stable jobs for our employees.
As you know, we have continued to work on the next generation of Country Coach product in the design and prototype stage and to transfer that work to reality of a product, actual production requires much more. To do that I needed to find the right resources to augment and grow what we have started. To that end, I have been working diligently for the past two years. Of the options I had to choose from I have made what I consider the very best choice for Country Coach for both service and production. I am pleased to announce that, effective today, I have sold the Country Coach Campus and intellectual property to Winnebago Industries. I have worked with Winnebago to ensure that Country Coach moves forward and work will begin in earnest to assemble the infrastructure that will lead to Country Coach production. Winnebago will also bring production of some of its current diesel motorhome offerings to Junction City. Please note that future Country Coach products will not be rebranded Winnebagos, but products specifically designed and built to the exacting performance, amenity and standard levels that have always defined Country Coach. Obviously this process will take time but everyone involved is committed to making Country Coach the premier motorcoach offering available.
I made this decision because I believe that Winnebago is the best fit for Country Coach and that their, culture, dedication to design and build quality closely mirrors the standards I have set. This transition includes a change for me also as I will step down from the day to day operations. But rest assured, I intend to be the leading Country Coach brand enthusiast so you can expect to see and hear from Cookie and I from time to time as we travel around the country in our 2016 Country Coach Allure.
As I write this, I am recalling designing the first Country Camper Class A, I used a lower front from a Winnebago Class A to mock it up, we have come full circle.
Until the next time we meet!!
Ron Lee
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Old 12-01-2015, 02:13 PM   #2
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Good news for economy in Junction City. Hope Ron can keep Winnebago from cheaping down the CC line. This will be interesting to watch.
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Old 12-01-2015, 02:15 PM   #3
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I just got my notice that CC was sold to Winnebago too. I think this is a good fit. Of the big mid size brands, Newmar, Tiffin, and Winnebago, only Winnebago does not have higher end models. They do have the Grand Tour, but that is as high as they go and Country Coach fits nicely above that.

I hope they continue the operations at Junction City as we like going there to get work done on our Affinity.
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Old 12-01-2015, 02:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
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I just got my notice that CC was sold to Winnebago too. I think this is a good fit. Of the big mid size brands, Newmar, Tiffin, and Winnebago, only Winnebago does not have higher end models. They do have the Grand Tour, but that is as high as they go and Country Coach fits nicely above that.

I hope they continue the operations at Junction City as we like going there to get work done on our Affinity.
I totally agree! I always thought in the back of my mind that it will be a move like this that could potentially resurrect CC. I, too, think this is a good move for Ron Lee as I think Winnebago may have the resources to restart the CC production.
Wish them all the best!
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Old 12-01-2015, 03:00 PM   #5
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WinneCoacho

CC really needed some capital. Now they have it and I too hope they don't "thin the bloodline."
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Old 12-01-2015, 03:15 PM   #6
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BRex45 - It is a guess, but I would say Ron has plenty of capital. But at some point age wise you have to ask yourself if you really want to take on a tremendous task like going into production again with making motorhomes. I have met with Ron a couple of times in the last few years and I think he is about my age. Working 60+ hours a week does not have any appeal to me any more and likely not to Ron either.

Just my opinion, but I think it is terrific what he has done in the last few years putting part of the company back together. Selling to WGO should be good for everyone involved. I just bought a couple hundred shares of Winnebago's stock.
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Old 12-01-2015, 03:28 PM   #7
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Winny CC stock?

Hmmmm

That might work. The RV market is ratcheting up and the CC mystique
is present. I hope Winny does well with it.
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Old 12-01-2015, 03:31 PM   #8
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I wish all at CC nothing but the best, and do truly hope that Winnebago does not repeat some of the false steps that National did when they took over CC. For sure, companies need to make a profit...

One key strategy for Winnebago, should be the retention of their best salespeople - the owners of current CC's. They should provide a solid inside track on future new CC sales, as current owners look to either move up the pecking order of coaches, and or, replace some CC's that are now over two decades old. Winnebago can do this, by retaining the intellectual property they most likely are assuming with this purchase. And provide ongoing CC owners support with their products.

A Merry Christmas to Ron Lee, and a thank you for taking the risk of trying to bring CC back. Smooth sailings, easy mountains, and peaceful scenic travels for the Lee's.

My best to all. And Winnebago, look forward to working with you as a CC owner.

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Old 12-01-2015, 06:02 PM   #9
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Wow, did not see this coming. Not trying to slam Winnebago, but I too hope Country Coach remains a high end builder.
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Old 12-01-2015, 06:37 PM   #10
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Agree with Smitty. As an owner of two Winnebagos (1997 Adventurer and 2002 Journey), one of the things that I really liked about Winnebaqo was the wealth of technical information available on their website. You could access just about anything related to your particular coach easily...wiring diagrams, plumbing diagrams, build list showing everything used to build your coach, and so on. The need to haul around pounds of paper schematics, etc. was just not there with one of their coaches.

Like all coach builders, they did some things very well and some things not so well. However, both of my Winnebagos were pretty sturdy overall and a good value.

Another thing I think would be a real plus for Winne would be the ability to establish a West Coast factory service center for Winnebago rigs and perhaps even begin to offer 'factory' service for CC's in Iowa. Obviously that would take some time to develop.

Finally, when CC gets to really building coaches with this new resource, I think offering factory delivery as an option would be a real plus. Winne does not offer that but would certainly hope that it would be an option for CC buyers. I know that Newmar's factory delivery seems very popular option and one, I believe, is the right choice for these complicated beasts.
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Old 12-01-2015, 07:07 PM   #11
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" I think offering factory delivery as an option would be a real plus."

CC did offer factory delivery. I took delivery of mine at the factory and it had a total of 79 miles on it
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Old 12-01-2015, 07:21 PM   #12
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A couple days ago I looked at the CC site and noticed that there were only two rigs for sale and I wondered what was going on.
I guess we'll have to see what happens but as others have said: I hope they keep up the quality and don't cheapen them up.
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Old 12-01-2015, 07:48 PM   #13
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A couple days ago I looked at the CC site and noticed that there were only two rigs for sale and I wondered what was going on.
I guess we'll have to see what happens but as others have said: I hope they keep up the quality and don't cheapen them up.
I remember seeing a message (on their website I think) where they were going to stop selling consignment coaches. The reason given was they needed the shop space to expand operations.
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:15 PM   #14
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Winnebago expands to West Coast, moves some production

Country Coach does not figure very large in the announcement.

Actually, not at all!
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