Originally Posted by Bigfoot_
I just wanted to jump in with a small comment.
It is not a valid assumption that RV's would cost customers more if they were made with better quality.
1. Let's assume that most of the issues are going to be encountered by the new owner. Component failures are inevitable, but issues relating to construction, system testing, durability etc are bound to be found by the owner.
2. The manufacturers largely bear these costs anyway, because they are paying dealerships and service centers to repair them, supply the parts, spend time on the phone diagnosing issues etc. There is overhead associated with warranty repairs.
3. Large portions of those costs could be avoided by spending more time on assembly to get it right, and more time in QC to catch errors. It is cheaper to fix many issues at the point of assembly rather than in the field.
So let's assume the average cost of field warranty repairs for each motorhome is $10,000. You could probably take 50-75% of that money and spend it in the manufacturing process. It would not cost the customer an extra cent, because you're obviating warranty costs. it would be more efficiently spent at the factory. And the customers would be happy, which would, over the long run, translate into more sales.
But manufacturers don't have the balls to risk spending more on the build, because to much of the companies are run by "financial engineers" who look at soloed manufacturing costs rather than entire cost over the warranty life of the coach.
This is very typical of modern American companies to consider costs in each silo, not as part of an end to end process. A great example of this type of attitude are our major airlines.
Bigfoot, I have to respectively disagree. You are assuming that the plethora of roadblocks, polite Customer Service people whose job is to send customers in circles without accomplishing anything, and disinterested Dealerships whose major concerns are to point to someone else as "being at fault" are not successful in diverting needed repairs away from "warranty" are unsuccessful.
There is an entire "management style" whose mission is to see that the customer is not successful in getting flaws and poor workmanship repaired under warranty don't you?
If the company (both Manufacturer and Dealerships) can prevent the customer from having work repaired successfully under warranty than the Manufacturer makes more money, and many times the Dealership makes more money since the customer often pays more for repairs than the Dealership would have been reimbursed as a warranty repair.
It's a "Win Win" for the Manufacturer, in a short sighted, narrow minded sort of way!