Recognized Supplier Guide '19

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16 • RV PRO • January 2019 rv-pro.com R V M A N U F A C T U R E R S sportswear and lifestyle brand Tommy Bahama provided an additional boost. With island-inspired interiors and accessories, the collaboration was an instant winner. The new package, built on the Atlas Class B+, has received "a tremendous response from our global dealer network, and we're already working to get those orders filled," Razo says. Garner agrees, noting that the two brands share important lifestyle traits, making them a natural pair in the minds of high-end consumers. "On the motorized side of our business, the Tommy Bahama collaboration has been a home run," he says. " We know our buyer side loves that. They have boats and beach homes and they appreciate that laid back but very premium lifestyle that Tommy Bahama represents. Then, you throw the Mercedes-Benz brand into the mix, and you've got a combination of brands that people abso- lutely love. That model is contributing a large percentage of sales right now." Just don't call it a special edition. "I wouldn't even call it a special edition," Garner says. "This relationship with Tommy Bahama is more of a strategic partnership. They had a hand in designing every facet of it. It was a true co-design process, down to the last detail. On the trailer side, Airstream has done special editions for years, but those were typically a short-term arrangement, maybe building 100 units. We hope this will be a collaboration that lasts for many, many years." Looking to the future, Garner says other such brand col- laborations are always on the table. They just have to be the right fit, which isn't an easy thing to achieve. In the meantime, Airstream just announced a new model based on the premise that smaller can be better: The recently released Interstate Nineteen, manufactured on a shorter 19-foot Mercedes-Benz 2500 chassis. That motorhome builds on the brand's history of first-class luxury, car-like perfor- mance and safety. "It has all the luxuries of the popular 24-foot Interstate EXT, but because it's almost 5 feet shorter, it offers more driving maneuverability, comfort behind the wheel and gives occupants more of an SUV-type feeling," Razo says. And that's while bringing to market what the RV maker asserts are "50 best-in-class features" that enable customers to bring all the comforts and technologies found at home with them as they hit the road. And it doesn't hurt that it can fit in a standard parking space, which is certain to please both skilled and novice owners. Keeping in line with the brand's approach to excellence, however, don't expect the shorter models to be inexpensive. "With that model in particular and if you're looking at B van category in general, you might suspect that small is cheaper, but in most cases you'd be wrong," says Garner. "We are looking to take our same premium position with that smaller van cat- egory and offer the same premium features and upfit that our customers love. We see a lot of upside in that space." While choosing to build exclusively on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis, Airstream does offer a variety of models and floorplans. These include the compact Interstate Nineteen; the Interstate Lounge EXT, which seats nine and offers good floorplan flexibility; the Interstate Grand Tour (pictured at left); the Tommy Bahama Interstate, which offers an island-inspired décor and color palette; and the Airstream Atlas (pictured at right), the biggest Airstream yet built on Sprinter chassis.

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