June '21

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10 • RV PRO • June 2021 rv-pro.com O ver its 38-year history, Gulf Stream Coach has built and sold more than 350,000 RVs – everything from travel trailers and toy haulers to Class C and Class A motorhomes, as well as destination trailers. As the largest family-owned RV manufacturer in North America, the company prides itself on its independence, freedom to follow its own course and differentiating itself from the competition. That "course" seems to be on track, based upon the company's seven RVDA Quality Circle Awards over the past three years and its growing popularity in the retail market. Gulf Stream saw double-digit percentage retail market share gains for its current lineup of travel trailers and Class C motor- homes in 2020, according to market data firm Statistical Surveys. Meanwhile, Gulf Stream's wholesale RV shipments were up 42 percent in 2020, despite the eight-week spring shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the company entered the 2021 model year, enthusiasm for the company's products is high, according to Dan Shea, chairman of the board, and Phil Sarvari, president/CEO. In a mid-winter interview with RV PRO, Shea and Sarvari reported strong interest from dealers across the country, as evi- denced in part by the hearty dealer response to the RV manufac- turer's new offerings that debuted at its "Open House" event last September on the Gulf Stream campus in Nappanee, Ind. This mood was further heightened by retail enthusiasm at the Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa in mid-January and subsequent dealer shows across the U.S., some of which were impromptu in nature after sponsors canceled more formal events. Robust dealer ordering translated into a problematic eight-month backlog by February, according to Sarvari. In their interview, Shea and Sarvari talk about some of the key factors behind Gulf Stream's recent surge. Building the Gulf Stream Way In an industry where copying the competition is common, Gulf Stream is focused on doing things its own way, according to Sarvari and Shea. They cite as an example how it builds its two Class C brands: the BT Cruiser and Conquest, which Gulf Independent's Day Family-owned Gulf Stream Coach takes pride in charting its own course, a strategy that has paid big dividends for the RV manufacturer in recent years. By Steve Bibler Gulf Stream Coach President Phil Sarvari (left) and Dan Shea, chairman of the board of directors, are pictured with the company's popular BT Cruiser and Conquest Class C motorhomes, which are awaiting PDI inspection prior to shipping. Gulf Stream is the largest family-owned RV manufacturer in North America. RV M A N U FA C T U R E R S

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