March '19

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14 • RV PRO • March 2019 rv-pro.com R V M A N U F A C T U R E R S Whatever the case, "It's a decent profit center for dealers who enter this business," he says. Unlike units designed for retail sale, which may sit on the dealer's lot for several months before a sale, rental units can generate revenue starting on Day 1 at rates as much as $2,000 a week, according to Katzenberger. He says OEMs realize a side benefit to the rental business. "We get so much immediate feedback on how the coach is being used and we know right away if something is bad," he says. Retail units may sit on a lot for months, but rental units tend to be used immediately, providing that feedback right away. Further, Katzenberger says he analyzes all warranty claims on rental units, further helping to ameliorate quality issues on subsequent units. While Thor may be the leading supplier of rental Class C's in the U.S., Katzenberger says Forest River "dominates" the Canadian market, thanks to its exclusive relationship with CanaDream, a leading Canadian rental agency (see related story on page 15). Overall, Katzenberger projects his build rate for rentals will increase by at least 40 percent this year, thanks to Forest River's relationship with rental firms and its dealers. Over at Forest River's Coachmen RV Division, Mike Bear, division general manager, says his division has a long-term commitment to the rental business. "If you are going to be viable in Class C's, you have to pay attention to the rental market," he says. He notes that, according to Statistical Surveys through November, Forest River accounted for 29 percent of U.S. rental Class C reg- istrations and that Coachmen RV built about 75 percent of those U.S. registrations. Thor Industries is the leader in the Class C rentals market. Given that the company's Four Winds (two different models, exterior and interior, pictured here), Chateau and A.C.E. motorhomes are the least complex to operate and offer the most enjoyment, they have become TMC's focus for its rental program. story continues on page 16

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