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Old 11-23-2013, 05:49 PM   #1
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NU WA nice Rig !!

We saw a very nice NU Wa Champagne edition and DW and I looked at the web site.

We like that 38 CKRD. Unique. Well built units!!

Then we were reading that Nu Wa was discontinuing production in 2013.

That is too bad. Why is it these top of the line companies are going out of business?

Nu Wa
Avion
Carriage
King of the Roads

I am sure there are others I am forgetting.
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Old 11-23-2013, 06:08 PM   #2
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Sign of the tough times in the RV industry over the last 5 od6 years. Not enough buyers to keep them busy. Not enough money to keep the buyers coming in to buy. Newmar also gave up making fifth wheels last year. And so the story goes and goes.
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Old 11-23-2013, 07:13 PM   #3
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Updated 01/09/12

Alfa Leisure
Ameri- Camp
Bigfoot
Bluebird Wanderlodge
Carriage RV Inc.
Chinook
Country Coach
Dolphin
Fleetwood Folding Trailers, Inc (Manufactured trailers under the Coleman Brand Name)
Glendale International Corp. (Glendale RV in Canada)
Heritage One RV Inc.
Hi-Lo Trailer Co.
King of the Road
National RV
Pilgrim International
Sun Valley Inc.
Sunline Coach
Teton Homes
Timberland Rv
Trail Wagons
TravelSupreme
Weekend Warrior
Western RV Inc



Few got "resurrected" and/or re-spun under different name but not many. What is not mentioned is that the RV makers went nuts and expanded their production and sales right along the real estate bubble. They sold tons of RVs and motorhomes to folks "taking equity" out of their homes and financing it with such. The bubble burst, motorhomes sat with empty tanks right along side of the houses getting foreclosed. Manufacturing space and production lines sat empty and junior Presidents with their freshly minted MBAs didn't know how to guide the companies they just took over into recession. They never been through one so they all panicked. Old timers, who have seen many recessions many times over, like the Bontrager family the owners of Jayco since 1967, didn't even bat an eye. They retrenched and then picked up the carcasses, like their Integra motorhome line, which is doing very well for them now.
The high flyer who took over Teton (ex-Fleetwood guy) took it right down the tubes in a hurry. Since Fleetwood went under too, I'm not surprised that his corporate skill set was thin.
The RV industry (and RVIA) know very precisely the size of their market which grows modestly every year, following pretty close the demographics of aging and retiring population. It is remarkable how closely it follows this demographic even through peaks and valleys of the economy. During the "bubble" the sales (one year) went beyond twice the yearly output of "normal" years, it was clearly unsustainable.

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Old 11-23-2013, 08:15 PM   #4
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NUWA quit producing trailers last January because of low sales numbers. It is very hard to keep afloat trying to compete with with the Indiana builders. NUWA produced higher end trailer that are more for the fulltime users than weekenders.
They have their service facility open and are very busy. They are now Kansas RV, selling several brands at their Chanute location.
check out their website Kansas RV Dealer | Your Low Price RV Dealer in Kansas | NuWa RV Dealer
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Old 11-23-2013, 09:00 PM   #5
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The higher end market only has a limited number of potential sales in the market place. When the economy gets tight like in 2008, the market place cannot support as many manufacturers with a reduced number of customers, so some one has to go out of business. Companies that are cash weak, have the hardest time.

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Old 11-23-2013, 10:51 PM   #6
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Marketplace..... hmmm

Stocks are hitting all time highs.
Interest rates record lows.

Longevity rates have been continually climbing also for decades.

I read an article recently where RV industry growth has also been increasing. It did not mention first time owners or other demographics.

Just from my perspective it seems the industry has grown, we have owned RV's for over 30 years and there are a lot of brands out there that are new in the marketplace. We seem to produce more "cheap" what I would call Chinese quality built products than high end quality ones.

Are there not more FT'rs out there now than say 20 years ago? It used to be the only FT'rs we knew or Snowbirds were on Social Security. Neighbor friends of ours. Now today, you see a lot of younger FT'rs, and families who are FT'rs and the retiree who might be in their 40's or 50's. Just my observation. Not to mention those who are still working and choose to FT with relocation requirements of employers or those working at home in their RV's.

I submit to you that my belief is the demand for higher end quality built unit is stronger now than ever based on all of the aforementioned.

Just reading these boards one sees threads being posted asking which units are recommended for FT or quality built recommended 5rs. There is demand and opportunity.
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Old 11-23-2013, 11:36 PM   #7
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Kro1957, afraid I must disagree about the demand for higher end units. If that were true then Nuwa would most likely still be in producing. While I do believe there is demand by some, far too many look at price and fail to see the value. The value is in the quality of the major components, such as the frame and quality of construction along with warranty service and repair when required. Unless one is diligent in their research and is able to appreciate the long term valve you in the higher end units, they will go for the lower priced unit with a bit more glitz and glamor. Both the glitz and glamor will be short lived but by then it will be to late.
I consider Nuwa to be one example. During the initial big down turn in RV sales, Nuwa ceased production for approximately 12 to 18 months. During that time however they kept their service department staffed and open for warranty repairs and to service customer units. Once they restarted production we were lucky enough to get a 2011 38LKTG to go full time. We have not had even one single warranty repair. Still there was simply not enough demand to keep the production line going.
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Old 11-24-2013, 06:59 AM   #8
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The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The research, conducted by Dr. Richard Curtin, RV industry analyst and director of consumer surveys at the University of Michigan, reveals the number of RV-owning households has grown to a new peak of 8.9 million households, up from 7.9 million in 2005. According to the report, 8.5% of U.S. households now own RVs, up from 8.0% in 2005.
"Today's record RV ownership levels reflect the enduring appeal of the RV lifestyle despite recent economic challenges," said RVIA President Richard Coon. "I expect RV ownership to continue growing as more and more people learn how RVing is a cost-effective and fun way to spend time outdoors with family and friends."
"The data indicate that the basic appeal of the RV lifestyle remains as strong as ever," said Dr. Richard Curtin, who conducted the study. Curtin, an economist, is director of consumer surveys at the University of Michigan. "Consumers want to enjoy the same cherished experiences of RVing while staying within new budget constraints."
The RV industry is addressing consumer needs by "right-sizing" RVs to offer the mix of amenities and price that consumers want.
In addition to showing that RV ownership rates have climbed steadily, the new RV Consumer Demographic Profile also offers promising news on future RV purchase intentions.
When RV purchase intentions are combined across current owners, former owners and new market entrants, a total of 21% of all U.S. households stated intentions to purchase an RV at some point in the future. This represents only a slight decline from the 23% rate in 2005, and is ahead of the 16% rate in 2001.
"These purchase intentions expressed in the new RV Consumer Demographic Profile are very encouraging for the industry," said Sid Johnson, chairman of RVIA's Market Information Committee, and Director of Marketing at Jayco. "These survey results were collected in a challenging financial environment yet they are very close to the 2005 data when the economy and consumer outlook was much brighter. Overall, the results indicate continued strong demand for RVs in the years ahead."
Seventy percent of current RV owners plan to purchase another RV to replace their current unit in the future. When compared to the purchase intentions of owners in prior surveys, the 2011 data indicates current owners have a stronger intention to purchase a new RV when they do buy again.
Among new market entrants, defined as households that have never owned an RV in the past, 14% plan a future purchase with more than a third intending to purchase a new RV.
Among former owners, 27% plan to purchase another RV in the future. Here age was a determining factor with younger former owners (age 18-34) more likely than older former owners to purchase another RV. This underscores the need for the RV industry to stay in touch with recent former owners and to continue to present them ownership options.
Fast facts about RVers from the Profile:
The typical RVer was 48 years old in 2011, one year younger than the 49 years recorded in 2005 and 2001.
Median income of RVers: $62,000
39% of RVers had children under 18 living at home.
RV owners aged 35-to-54 posted the largest gains in ownership rates, rising to 11.2% in 2011 from 9.0% in 2005.
Ownership also edged higher among those aged 55 or older, rising to 9.3% from 8.6% in 2005.
Among those under age 35, ownership rates were flat - 4.9% in 2011 vs. 5.0% in 2005.


Since I owned fifths for over 30 years I've been particularly interested in that market. 30 years ago it averaged at 45-50,000 units per year, it has grown over three decades to 66,000 in 2011 and dropped to 59.600 in 2012 and yes, most of that market is entry level, Chinese junk, luan walls, weekender quality. High end stuff is tiny, tiny, tiny part of it. SpaceCraft manufactures 30-40 units per year, New Horizon less then 50. Newmar left that segment, because the volume is just not worth the hassle. When King of the Road got out the market, the parent company was not in trouble, they had plenty of money, they looked at that part of the company and decided that it was not profitable "enough". Just like Caterpillar decided that for the number of over the road engines they were selling (good engines) in a very competitive market, wasn't "profitable enough" compared with everything else they make. Full timing is an even bigger step than buying a high end rig. Yes, we all know people full timing, but ask yourself, "how many do you know"? Again, from the 50K units sold every year the number sold to fulltimers is tiny, tiny. There is a lot of discussion on these forums about people "planning to full time". Lot of it is "tire kicking" and "dreaming". It is a big step to get rid of your house and stay in the rig only. A more common "solution" is snow birding part of the year, or fulltiming for a year or two on the road and going back to sticks and bricks.
I bought my first fifth from Kropf in the early 80's. It was considered then a quality rig just below the high end and it was. They only made 100 of these per year and got out of that market too.

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Old 11-24-2013, 07:15 AM   #9
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I do believe the demand is there however as mentioned, consumers often fail to do real research into the important things not seen. Like the frame, axle's and so on.

Another factor I believe has caused this down turn in high end units is the lack of aggressive marketing. No matter what you sell in life you have to stay on top of today's latest media, technology and use it to make your product known, and sell the features, benefits, value.

Study any business to see that it takes an aggressive campaign in order to lead in the marketplace. DW works for a Fortune 500 company who's Chief Executive spoke about this subject over a year ago. He used Sears for an example who lacks such aggressiveness. My wifes company is exactly the opposite and they are competitors with Sears. My wifes company is soaring with record sales and expanding yet Sears continues to dive.

There are venues and opportunities for strategic marketing yet if business's are not aggressively "thinking outside the box" making it a priority to reach and educate consumers then nothing but lack luster results can be expected otherwise.
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Old 11-24-2013, 08:07 AM   #10
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I owned a high end unit build right here in Canada that sold new for 50% higher then most of the competition and I was lead to believe it was the best.

We owned it till it was 15 years old and the outside maintenance requirements was more than normal. While the interior held faily well. Actually it still looked like new inside with all appliances in prefect condition. But I was affraid of the support structure not sustaining the high mileage.

Our Heartland cost much less new then the unit mentioned above and after 5 years of ownership it surpasses the condition. I can easily say that we will live in this one for an other 10 years or more.

To me the booming manufacturing companies have delivered and customers are getting their value. And it also includes FT quality units.

I had a neighbor with an Excel with same amount of slide and length as ours and it did look more used then ours though it was same age and possibly less mileage. All the trims were stripped and he told me he had moiture proplems and tried to keep it dry.
Failed bearings and 2 blowouts caused side damage. I suggested that my LT tires were the real solution. Plus his hydraulic landing gear was slowly drooping while driving and had to stop to lift them up accasionaly.
Why would I pay more for same problem.
I am satisfied with my choice, and it was one I could afford while also choosing good quality from past experience. Not all that glitters is actually better.
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Old 11-24-2013, 08:09 AM   #11
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Kro, it takes a real effort to become a well informed and savvy customer and it is truly rare to run into a salesman who wants to "educate you" too. Their job is to sell not to educate. Marketing tools, brochures, websites and even segment magazines (like Trailer Life with its ads) again are designed to sell and not so much to educate. Before I bought my first fifth, we've been RVing (by "other means") for ten years. I remember my initial ignorance during that first decade and I am an engineer used to "studying, learning" and tackling things "I don't know". There were no websites or forums like we have today, it was hard sloughing trying to separate BS from the real thing.
The forums like iRV2, Escapees and others are indispensable to folks getting into RVIng listening to grizzled old timers like you and me. What's even more valuable is that they can ask a question here about a purchase, make and model, or repair and have ready "ammunition" before they tackle a salesman, seller, or a repair guy.
BTW when I was looking at my first fifth it was around the time when King of the Road entered the market and was considered top brand along with Holiday Rambler and couple others and "out of my price range". But Kropf made a terrific unit, I had it for 10 years without an ounce of trouble, sold it to a friend of mine who had it for over 10 years and had to replace only few items (like the black water tank) which just plainly wore out with age and use.

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Old 11-24-2013, 10:18 AM   #12
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You are right in that it is up to you to educated and do the research on your own. Having been in sales for so many years myself, I am amazed at times how sometimes it just seems sales people "wing it" or will give information that is not correct.

Although I have never sold RV's, I have owned enough of them over 30 years that I have some pretty solid basic knowledge. Yet, from time to time you run into a sales person that seems totally ignorant. Talked with one a few weeks ago looking at Trilogy's. I knew more features on that rig than the salesman did.

We have never owned a MH. With that said, who knows, perhaps some day we might. But for now, our flavor of choice is the 5r! Just like all that extra inside space and ability to unhook and use our tow vehicle instead of a toed.

MH industry although seems to be doing ok in the high end quality built units.
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Old 11-24-2013, 12:10 PM   #13
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It mainly comes down to the bottom line, making money.

We loved the 2 NUWA we had and buying any rv because there orphans no problem. I bought another orphan, a Carriage. What every one told me what matters most is how I keep it maintained. Only reason I don't have a NUWA now we didn't see a floor plan we liked with in our area of country.
But we sure love our 2011 Cameo 37CKSLS.
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Old 11-24-2013, 12:28 PM   #14
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Kro, MH segment always has done better, they have better margins to start with, even at the "entry level". Fifths and pull trailers have "entry levels" that can introduce even McDonalds' employees to the "Great Outdoors". Not that I am panning McDonalds, it's a fine company and employs lots of people.
I spent almost 5 decades in the high tech electronics field, 9 years with the "giants" (Raytheon and Lockheed) the rest running and building start-ups (6 of them). First as a design engineers and then as a corporate executive. I'ts easy to be a President or a Vice-President with 20 or less employees and you are expected to do everything including marketing and sales.
I always appreciated (good) sales people and gave them my time. I viewed their job as "educating me" in new products, trends in these products, competitive advantage and their impact on my margins. I dealt mostly with great and seasoned sales people since my standing order with distributors and vendors was, "don't put me through to a newbie that I have to educate, I don't have time for that and the P.O. will go to someone else". Many of the products I would purchase or inquire about actually required that the salesman bring a "sales engineer" with him to explain the finer features and technical intricacies of the item. I operated with sales people and my customers on the basis of mutual respect.
Nothing infuriates me more than a sales person who hasn't learned the product and is covering their ignorance with BS and "fast talk". That's secondary, however, to a guy who assumes that most people are ignorant idiots to be exploited, therefore you have to prove to him that you are not before you get somewhat straight answer.
I can understand though, that if you work a used car lot for enough years you can become convinced that this is the case with society.

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