March '20

Issue link: https://nbm.uberflip.com/i/1212264

Contents of this Issue


Page 57 of 119

54 • RV PRO • March 2020 rv-pro.com new flooring and storage compartments. It will have a new and more attractive, high-end exterior look with a great, rich interior and a high-standard feature content." Besides Coachmen, other Forest River brands building on the Sprinter chassis are Dynamax, Sunseeker and Forrester. On a positive note, Mercedes-Benz is predicting OEMs will not face challenges obtaining Sprinter chassis in 2020 (see related sidebar article on page 56). Renegade RV Promotes Updated Villagio, Vienna Renegade RV ranks among the top OEMs building a Class C motorhome on any type of diesel platform, but it's not a high-volume manufacturer of Sprinter-based Class C's. Chris Cook, regional sales manager for Renegade's Villagio and Vienna brands, freely concedes that point up front. "The Renegade Sprinter will not show favorably in a 'Sprinter-Only Sold' stat, but that doesn't bother me," he says. Cook has a quick explanation, noting that 2019 was "a rebuilding year" for Renegade's Sprinter line. One reason is that Villagio and Vienna underwent major overhauls for model year 2020. In a nutshell, the Bristol, Ind.- based manufacturer simplified its product lineup and created some space in pricing for the two brands. MSRPs start at $138,000 for the Villagio and $160,000 for the Vienna. The new approach generated excitement immediately: Retail sales at last fall's Her- shey Show were triple the 2018 results – and dealers took a closer look a few weeks later at Open House. The fresh-looking product and aggressive wholesale pricing are reviving the dealer network, Cook adds. The responses point to an encouraging 2020, as Cook says Renegade was "knocking it out of the park!" as the workforce assigned to build the Sprinter brands has nearly doubled. Renegade's Sprinter models have been a priority for Cook since he assumed his new role last June. He and his product team took a look at the Villagio, which Renegade first introduced in 2014, and the Vienna, which came along in April 2015, and decided to simplify the brands by dropping three under- performing floorplans. Now, Villagio and Vienna each offer two basic floorplans, with the only variation being a cabover bunk, which is new for 2020. "Until we can have another great-selling floorplan – which we're working on – we'll wait and hold on to those two because those are the majority of what was pur- chased anyway," Cook says. "This is easier for dealers; they appreciate it." The brands offer several new features for 2020, including a Truma hot water system, a full multiplex system with color touch panel and Bluetooth app control, central command system with four remote controls, motorized skylight, larger LP tank (20.3 gallons versus 13.2) and an automatic generator starter. "We're the only ones with an automatic starter for a diesel generator," Cook says. Consumer response has been interesting, he adds. "There are people who had owned a coach less than year and are trading them in to get all the new safety features. That's impactful, I kid you not," he says. "With all that said, we are still taking people that are buying coaches and saying, 'I don't necessarily want all those safety features.' Some don't want that expense, because it did add cost to the coach." Cook says several factors set Renegade apart from its competition. Renegade uses Azdel composite substrate on the exterior and interior sidewalls, roof and slide room boxes of all the Sprinter-based models, com- pared to "most manufacturers who use Azdel use it only on the outside. I don't know of any manufacturer who uses it on the inside. Renegade has been using that for as long as I'm aware of. It's part of the Renegade way." Cook expands on the "Renegade way." "Without a doubt, when I see the way Renegades are built, we take the same DNA that we use in building a Class C that may cost $750,000. That same DNA build comes all the way down to the Sprinter," he says. "Our attention to detail is off the charts. When you say Renegade, they understand this product is built better and the expectation is that it's built better than anybody else's." Renegade RV touts the quality of its Villagio and Vienna (pictured) motorhomes, with Azdel composite substrate on the sidewalls, roof and slide room boxes and molded fiberglass front and rear caps. "We take the same DNA that we use in building a Class C that may cost $750,000 ... all the way down to the Sprinter," says Chris Cook, regional sales manager for Renegade's Villagio and Vienna brands.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of RV PRO - March '20