July '19

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64 • RV PRO • July 2019 rv-pro.com cross Champion Jeremy McGrath, 4 Wheel Parts dirt-bike racer Axell Hodges and racing graphic design firm ProLine Wraps. The Trealoffs and their sales staff are out in the field on a regular basis and display new models at every Supercross event held in the West, giving the brand exposure to as many as 40,000 race fans at a time during the January-to-May season, according to Flores. "We are the official toy hauler of Supercross and official toy hauler for Polaris," he adds. "We did a marketing campaign with Polaris for the opening of the dune season where we gave away a brand new 281GS Attitude at Camp RZR in Glamis, Calif. This was a huge event for Polaris and Attitude." During the Halloween season, Eclipse staffs the annual 10-day Camp RZR held at Glamis Dunes, with mobile ser- vice techs to assist Eclipse owners. Eclipse also has a vibrant social media presence, which got a lot of traction once Flores came onboard seven years ago. The Attitude has 100,000 Instagram followers. He says the average posting gets 1,500 to 1,800 "likes." Flores worked on the retail side of the business for six years before joining Eclipse and echoes Daily's contention that selling toy haulers is challenging but rewarding work. "If we don't live and breathe and talk the lingo, the toy hauler shopper won't give us his business," he says. "If we don't have your finger on the pulse, those buyers will not listen to our pitch." Jack-of-All-Trades Owner Helms Genesis Supreme Can the CEO of an RV OEM also double as a one-man sales department and even help out on the production line? Pablo Carmona, owner of Genesis Supreme RV, believes he can, and is proving it in the highly competitive West Coast toy hauler market. Since founding his company in 2012 in Perris, Calif., Carmona has overcome unique challenges to build a successful business. He thrives on the factors that separate his company from the crowd. For starters, he says Genesis Supreme is the only Hispanic-owned RV manufacturer in the U.S. The company focuses heavily on toy haulers, with about 85 percent of pro- duction built on fifth wheel platforms. Carmona can often be found working alongside associates on the production floor, assisting in the manufacturing process, or in the prototype shop coming up with new ideas and designs. If it sounds like hard work, it is. But then Carmona, age 50, is used to hard work after spending nearly three decades in the RV industry, starting on "the ground floor" building floors, cabinets and sidewalls for the Thor California plant in Moreno Valley, Calif., as a young man in his 20s. He rose through the ranks and was named director of manufacturing in 2007. After stints at MVP RV and Talvor USA, Carmona launched Genesis Supreme. At the time, he had just six employees. He got a big break in 2014, soon after he launched his first toy hauler. He took five prototypes to the fall California RV Show in Pomona. That show was remarkable because for the first time at any RV show, consumers had the opportunity to watch a 19-foot toy hauler travel trailer being built from the ground up. (RVIA asked Genesis Supreme RV to perform the on-site build.) It was an example of RVIA's outreach to the Los Angeles area's Hispanic population, which, according to research, made up nearly 20 percent of show attendees the previous year. "The Hispanic market is big and a lot of people don't touch that one," Carmona says. "Five or six years ago, you didn't see many Latinos with toy haulers. Now, when you go out into the desert, you see a lot of Latinos with toy haulers." Carmona's approach to testing and selling his company's RVs is as unique as his approach to building them. When he finishes a prototype, he typically hauls the unit out to the desert for a shakedown. To expand his dealer body, he will hook a toy hauler up to his pickup and head out to promote the model and his com- pany. The process seems to work. "If you have a good product, the product can sell itself," he says. Carmona says he was outperforming the competition at mid-year. He points to competing toy hauler OEMs who were working four-day workweeks, sometimes three-day weeks in the spring, while his production staff of 200 was working five-day weeks with occasional overtime. "I have plenty of orders," he says, adding that everything his company builds is based on solid dealer orders – and that as much as 20 percent of those orders already have confirmed retail buyers. His workforce operates out of a 130,000-square-foot facility in Perris and is extremely loyal, he says, many of whom have worked for him upwards of 20 years during his more than 30-year career in the RV industry. Carmona's general manager is Michelle Treangen, a former Fleetwood Enterprises executive and a 30-plus-year veteran of the RV industry. She also started at the bottom and worked her way up. She was the first female production manager in Fleetwood history. Carmona brought his son, Pablo Jr., into the company to work with him and learn his skill. He is now responsible for drafting Genesis Supreme products. Carmona considers all of his toy haulers "luxury," ranging from the original Genesis Supreme brand travel trailer starting around $32,000 MSRP up through the top-of-the-line Envy fifth wheel with an MSRP of about $110,000. The average for fifth wheel toy haulers is around $75,000 to $80,000. According to Carmona, California and Arizona markets account for at least half of Genesis Supreme's annual sales. R V M A N U F A C T U R E R S

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