November '19

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56 • RV PRO • November 2019 rv-pro.com R V M A N U F A C T U R E R S R apido Group owners Pierre Rous- seau and son Nicolas manned the Roadtrek display during Sep- tember's Elkhart Open House Week, meeting many of their key dealer part- ners for the first time. The father-son duo of the French- based parent company put a face on the names of the new owners of Roadtrek – once North America's top Class B motor- home manufacturer. The Rousseaus acquired the Cam- bridge, Ontario, Canada-based RV maker from court receivership earlier this year after it closed unexpectedly amid reports of financial irregularities under its pre- vious Erwin Hymer Group North Amer- ican management team. When EHGNA closed its Roadtrek operation, some 850 people lost their jobs and 900 creditors were owed nearly $300 million. During Open House Week, the Rousseaus shared their passion for RVs and Roadtrek to anyone who would stop to listen at their display along Executive Parkway near the RV/MH Hall of Fame. "We are very fond of the product," Pierre Rousseau, president, shared with RV PRO at the outset of the weeklong show. "North America is a new market for Rapido. We will make our best effort to comply with the demands of our customers." He says dealers "are very pleased the company and the name Roadtrek will stay on the market." They're telling him in essence, "We are confident and will help you restart," he adds. As for the former Roadtrek suppliers, "Even though they lost some money, they are confident in Roadtrek. Ninety-five percent of them have agreed to work with the new company," he says. The senior Rousseau says he sees no reason why the Roadtrek brand cannot become one of Rapido's top three sales units. Rapido Group's annual sales are around 500 million Euros ($540 million U.S.), and the company currently sells 11 different brands in Europe. He adds that he is confident Roadtrek can become profitable during the second year of its rebirth. But he did not understate the differ- ences between the two markets. "It's quite a new market. North America is not Europe. I would say that we will make our best effort to understand and comply with the demands of the customer, and when we talk in one or two years, you will see we are like American!" Walk First, Then Run Mike Reuer, the general director for Rapido's Westfalia brand and over- By Steve Bibler ROADTREK France-based Rapido Group maps out plans to bring back Canada's venerable Class B motorhome manufacturer. ROADTREK EXHIBIT PHOTOS BY STEVE TOEPP/ MIDWEST PHOTOGRAPHICS RV dealers had the opportunity to see three Roadtrek Class B models on display at the manufacturer's exhibit near the RV/MH Hall of Fame during Open House Week. Roadtrek's new owners have high hopes for the company, which they acquired in July.

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