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Old 06-18-2012, 12:39 PM   #1
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Itasca/Winnebago ... why?

As I have studied the various coaches available, I have noticed ... and wondered about ... the companies that have matching units under different names.

Winnebago makes Itasca, which has the identical models and almost identical prices. HR is made by Monaco, Fleetwood makes American Coach.

Why do they do that?

Although AC is a BIG step up from Fleetwood quality (and PRICE!), what's the difference between Winn and Itasca? They seem identical. Same with Fleetwood better units and Monaco starter lines, big overlap.



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Old 06-18-2012, 12:43 PM   #2
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:47 PM   #3
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At Winnebago the 2 different names were a result of the 2 chassis they were built on. One being Chrysler/Dodge & another made by GM.
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:00 PM   #4
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At Winnebago the 2 different names were a result of the 2 chassis they were built on. One being Chrysler/Dodge & another made by GM.
Hmmm... maybe on the gasser side of the house.

The way my dealer explained it to me was that it was so they could get a greater density of dealer representation. They can't have two Winnebago dealers only a few miles apart... but they CAN have a Winnie dealer and an Itasca dealer in close proximity.

As for "bragging rights"... I think there was a time when Itasca came with higher price and some standard features which were options on the Winnie line but I'm not so sure that's true anymore.

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Old 06-18-2012, 01:11 PM   #5
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There are some small differences between them but nothing to make you buy one over the other. We have owned both and have found out that the dealer is more important than any difference. Who is going to give you the best deal and SERVICE!
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:15 PM   #6
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Kinda like Chevrolet/Cadillac, Ford/Lincoln....two levels of content, user's choice.
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:45 PM   #7
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I'd heard the tale that, when Winne first started, they signed an exclusive agreement with the chassis maker (Chrysler/Dodge?). They soon found that a lot of people wanted Ford or Chevrolet chassis, so they formed Itasca to get around their exclusive contract on Winnebago.
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:52 PM   #8
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Hmmm... maybe on the gasser side of the house.

The way my dealer explained it to me was that it was so they could get a greater density of dealer representation. They can't have two Winnebago dealers only a few miles apart... but they CAN have a Winnie dealer and an Itasca dealer in close proximity.

As for "bragging rights"... I think there was a time when Itasca came with higher price and some standard features which were options on the Winnie line but I'm not so sure that's true anymore.

Rick
That makes sense

Itasca and Winnie looked the same to me, and price was only $2-3k diff. I guess it helps the parent company - if you compare one against the other, no matter which one you buy, corporate wins.

It is 94 outside today (Orlando, FL) and the dog just jumped in the pool. Cracks me up when he takes his laps - all by himself! LOL - just part of the pkg when you have a Springer Spaniel - they LOVE the water! Ooops - now he is on his way in to share his wonderful wetness with me. Let me go grab a towel!

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Old 06-18-2012, 03:19 PM   #9
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I'd heard the tale that, when Winne first started, they signed an exclusive agreement with the chassis maker (Chrysler/Dodge?). They soon found that a lot of people wanted Ford or Chevrolet chassis, so they formed Itasca to get around their exclusive contract on Winnebago.
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Old 06-18-2012, 06:50 PM   #10
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:00 PM   #11
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Winnebago and Itasca are essentially sisters, with largely identical offerings (just trim and options). Ditto for Monaco and Holiday Rambler. They exist today mostly to give more dealership coverage. Yo see the same thing in trailers - Forest River has a zillion models that are very similar - only slight variations in inside & outside trim or standard vs optional.

Fleetwood's American Coach is somewhat different. American Coach is an entirely different coach than any other in the Fleetwood line, and in a separate price class as well (the $450k and up luxury market). Using a separate name helps distinguish the product from the rest of the line-up for marketing (read snob appeal) purposes.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:05 PM   #12
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It gives the manufacturer the ability to put multiple dealers in one market area. They can have a Winnebago dealer with an Itasca dealer right down the road. It boils down to market coverage.

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Old 06-19-2012, 02:58 PM   #13
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winnebago introduced itasca in 1974. it was premiered at the world fair in knoxville.
it was a ploy by winnebago to double their dealer base. we were a winnebago dealer and the factory put an itasca dealer within 30 miles of us. we raised holy he77 and they gave us an itasca franchise. we wer one of less than 10 dealers with a dual dealership.
its the same unit, just different floor plans and colors. some repair part numbers are the same for both brands. actually, it gives the buyer a wider choice. so in some cases, it a good thing, i guess.
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Old 06-19-2012, 04:49 PM   #14
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walk down the detergent aisle in your local supermarket. count the number of brands of laundry detergent. now count the number of manufacturers of laundry detergent.

assuming equal numbers of winnies vs itascas, their chance of selling you an rv just doubled.
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