March '20

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rv-pro.com March 2020 • RV PRO • 49 Russ Garfin, director of product management for Class B and C motorhomes at Winnebago Industries, still vividly recalls back in 2006 when he showed the company's first Sprinter- based Class C to his district sales managers. "That was our first serious effort at a more European- style of a Class C motorhome," he says. Garfin says. "From top to bottom, we're second to none as far as appoint- ments and in comfort." How will these new brands fare in the current marketplace? "I think it was the right decision, but it's too early to say how suc- cessful it will be," says Garfin. "A lot of people shopping for a Winnebago motor- home on a Sprinter chassis are going to consider a new View or Navion first before they look at anything else. It's going to take a little bit of time for the new brands to build some momentum, but we're seeing that. We've made quite a few upgrades to the interiors and the exteriors on the Vita and Porto since we launched it with options like full-body paint, theater seating and hydraulic lev- eling jacks, which are well-received fea- tures. It really did change the position on our dealers' lots." By the start of 2020, Winnebago Sprinter brands were gaining traction in the marketplace, Garfin stresses. "We are confident we will grow our share." Like all RVs, floorplans are king. Leading the way for Winnebago is View and Navion's 24D floorplan, the No. 1-selling Sprinter floorplan in North America, fea- turing a full-size slide with a Murphy bed. "People really like the openness of that full-size slide. When the Murphy bed is up, you have a couch and a big, U-shaped lounge so you have lots of seating and dining choices," Garfin says. Following the 35th Annual Florida RV Supershow in Tampa in January, Garfin reported, "We saw excellent response to our new Sprinter products, retailing the new Boldt, Vita and View models starting with the first day of the show. Our Sprinter sales well surpassed our sales at this show last year." According to market data firm Statis- tical Surveys, Tiffin Motorhome's Wayfarer stood as the top-selling Sprinter-based The Vita (pictured) and Porto represent Winnebago's latest Class C offerings built on the Sprinter chassis. The motorhomes are about 13 inches shorter and retail for about $25,000 less than Winnebago's View/ Navion products, yet still offer many of the creature comforts and styling that customers expect in a motorhome built on a Sprinter chassis.

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