News from September, 2011

Fall Rally @ Amboy, IL October 14 – 16th

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

The 2011 NIU gang

This was our Thanksgiving rally and installation of officers.  We had three motorhomes and 12 trailers at the Fairgrounds for the weekend. We had an additional seven members that drove in for the Saturday afternoon feast. The weather was good for most of the weekend. Everyone enjoyed the turkey dinner with all the side dishes.

Louise Humble, President of Region 5, did the honors of installing our new officers. Our new president is Brian McFarland. Bob Koch is our treasurer, and Jean DeHahn is our Secretary. Two year Directors are: Harry Jamison & Dick DeHahn.

Region 5 Sept. Newsletter click here

 

Region 5 Rally in Danville, IN Sept. 14 -18th

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

9 NIU couples plus Bonnie Nester attend. The Danville 4H fairgrounds are had new facilities and was very nice.   68 Rigs attend (including three big motorhomes Region officers from Texas). Region 5 President Bell and his wife (former Eli Lilly employees), arranged and led  tour of the plant and museum. The weather was like a cool fall day. A little rain Tuesday night and Sunday morning, as we left. The music was upbeat and country this year. Friday’s entertainment featured Artie Martin (Region 5  3rd VP) on guitar and a bongo player from Kentucky with a combination of modern jazz and rock. There were also a couple of skits. Northern’s President, Jim Matkovich, was on a caravan, so could not attend. Wayne Kortum carried our flag and Carol Dixon acted as our representative for the Region Board meeting. The board voted to continue to send Region 5 Newsletters to all the MAL’s in the Region.  MAL’s drop their membership more frequently than regular unit members. The board hopes to increases the MAL’s participation in Region events and thereby improve member retention.

Dave Schuman, from Airstrream, gave a talk on what is going on at Airstream and service items. Larry Huttle, our usual speaker, is on his fairwell tour of the dealers introducing his replacement. Airstream is not planning any major product introductions for 2013. The plan is to refine what they have. The trailer sales are going well and the two B class models are selling at a reasonable rate. In the industry, the sale of C class motor homes is a growth area. However; Airstream does not plan to participate at this time. Industry wide, class A motor home sales are down. In particular, the Diesel pusher class is down over 20%. Airstream does not plan to get back into the class A or C market at this time. People are still complaining about leaks in the trailers and Airstream has changed their design in a number of troubled areas replacing clauking with gaskets.

Sales of new trailers to members of WBCCI remain at 6 to 8%. and therefore, is not their current target market. The target market is younger affluent families with an active lifestyle. The new 25 ft, Eddy Bauer model, with front bedroom and rear hatch, allows open air dining with protective insect screening or allows the family to put a couple kayaks through the back. Instead of a caravaning machine, it is a more versatile design to meet camping needs. Airstream continues to support WBCCI by providing door prizes to the International and Region Rallies. It does not make economic sense to them to bring a crew from the factory for the number of participants and potential sales that current Region and International Rallies.  After WAyne Thompson’s death last year,  the remaining partner at Thor has bought out all the shares owned by the Thompson family and now has complete control. There has no public disclosure indicating any change corporate direction.

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