July '21

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10 • RV PRO • July 2021 rv-pro.com RV M A N U FA C T U R E R S W hen president and CEO Don Clark co-founded Grand Design RV nearly 10 years ago with brothers Ron and Bill Fenech, it was because they had an itch they wanted to scratch. "We wanted to build a different kind of com- pany," Clark says of the threesome, who had already enjoyed long careers in the RV manufacturing industry. "The industry was so good to our fam- ilies that we wanted to help move the needle in a positive way. We didn't want to look back at our careers and have the fear and regret of 'woulda, coulda, shoulda' – so we struck out on our own and started our own company." Throughout their careers, the partners formed professional relationships with some of the indus- try's best dealers, many of whom became friends. "We told them we had a clean slate and asked, 'In a perfect world, what kind of partnership do you want with an RV manufacturer?'" Clark says. Many dealers replied they wanted a "true" part- nership, which when distilled, meant they sought a high-quality product that turns fast with a fair profit and a trusting relationship. "It's hard for dealers to make a profit today because many manufacturers rely on a business model that's not conducive for fair margins," Clark explains, pointing to "cloned" products that leave dealers competing with one another in the same markets. Middlebury, Ind.-based Grand Design RV (GDRV) wanted to change that. "When Grand Design signs a dealer in a mar- ketplace, we'll do business with one dealer – and one dealer only," Clark says, explaining that avoids driving prices down among competing dealers. Grand Design has intentionally limited its prod- ucts to five brands, whereas other manufacturers similar in size have many more. As such, Clark says the company has a "laser focus" on its brands, each of which successfully "attacks" a market segment. "We're not going to be all things to all people – we focus on the major segments of our industry and target our products where our dealers live, eat and sleep," he says. Momentum Propels Grand Design Forward The RV Maker's Momentum line lives up to its name, climbing to the top tier of toy haulers. The company credits its success to its focus on quality, customer support and being a true partner to its dealer base. By Rob Merwin Photos by Steve Toepp/ Midwest Photographics unless otherwise noted

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