Monaco, Holiday Rambler Make a ‘Return to Power’
EAST DECATUR, Ind.
— Nearly five months ago, on May 16, Monaco and Holiday Rambler, along with Beaver and Safari, started a new journey under Allied Specialty Vehicles. The first part of that journey involved making some tough, but necessary decisions to ensure the continuation of the brands, President Mike Snell told customers in an e-mail today.
One of those decisions was moving production and service from Wakarusa to Decatur. “Much of the workforce was given the option to transfer to Decatur. We also worked with the company who purchased our Wakarusa facility to transition some employees to their operations,” Snell wrote. “With a strong local economy and thoughtful transition planning, the overall impact to the area has been minimal.”
Another critical decision was to maintain distinct product DNA for each brand and to keep the company’s engineering, design and product development teams intact, he explained. “In order to do that, we opened a facility in Elkhart where our design teams have their own dedicated design area and shop. The entire team has been feverishly working over the last few months to bring you innovative, new features, great floorplans and stunning designs,” said Snell.
“We believe in designing quality products that fulfill our owners’ needs and desires; therefore our design process is a true collaboration between our engineers and owners across all four brands. For the past few months, we’ve been gathering your feedback through focus groups and two extensive online surveys. Your responses were highly informative and some even surprising,” he added. “We listened to those responses, and our design team made changes to key features to incorporate your input. In fact, any survey response that garnered a greater than 70 percent rating was automatically incorporated into our new products. When we say, ‘a coach designed by you, for you,’ we mean it.
“Interestingly, despite owning different brands, most of you asked for the same features in a new coach design,” said Snell. “The only slight difference being that Beaver owners asked for specific wood species and unique furniture/trim design. Otherwise, the responses were similar and have guided our design.”
Many respondents shared that they would like more counter space and additional pantry storage in the kitchen area, as well as an nterest in having a smart steering wheel and a premium audio system. Many also indicated they prefer to keep the side exhaust, something Snell described as just a sampling of the great input the company received. He pledged the recommendations were being applied to new designs.
The biggest news Snell revealed was the announcement the firm was making a “Return to Power.”
“For the past five years, engine restrictions kept us from offering big-bore engines, which limited our product offerings,” said Snell. “Beginning with the 600 hp rollout in January, you’ll also start seeing 500 hp, 450 hp, 380 hp and 300 hp models.”
“Part of our 2015 product line will feature the all new Roadmaster chassis. This gives us the ability to offer big-bore Cummins engines
and a new world-class independent front suspension system,” said Snell, noting it is not an “off-the-shelf” standard rail chassis. “Our engineers collaborated closely with Freightliner Custom Chassis
to offer a redesigned Roadmaster chassis with unique modifications and tuning that gives you the ride and handling you’re expecting from our brands.”
“We realize you’re anxious to see our new products, and we’re anxious to introduce them to you. But at the same time, we all know that crafting well-designed, high-quality products is not something you can rush,” said Snell. “We’re creating products that are unique and special in the industry, not cookie-cutter. Allied Specialty Vehicles has invested in our brands and is giving us the time and resources we need to create a stellar product line-up.”
SOURCE: Monaco customer newsletter.