RIVERSIDE, Calif., Sept. 12 /CNW/ -- Fleetwood Enterprises' RV Group, a
leading producer of recreational vehicles, held its 2008 "Driving Forward
Together" National Dealer Meeting at the Paris Hotel and Convention Center in
Las Vegas, Nev., from Tuesday, September 2 through Thursday, September 4,
2008. The event was attended by over 600 Fleetwood RV dealers, suppliers and
"This year, we had several key goals for our National Dealer Meeting,"
said Paul Eskritt, President of Fleetwood's RV Group. "We wanted to set the
record straight on the Company's financials, showcase the increasingly
important relationship we have with our dealer and supplier body, and
highlight our new brands and models.
"In addition, we wanted to illustrate the powerful impact each of us has
on one another -- especially in this competitive market -- and lay out
Fleetwood's plan to ensure that all of us have a profitable today, tomorrow
and beyond," Eskritt continued. "After speaking with many of our dealers
during and after the show, I believe we have improved our focus on listening
to our dealers' needs, which has resulted in better product value in both our
travel trailer and motor home businesses."
"I am very impressed by the overall positive attitude and team spirit
exhibited by everyone at Fleetwood," said Ernie Friesen, owner of All Seasons
RV and Redding RV in Northern California, and a Fleetwood dealer for more than
20 years. "Throughout the meeting, I heard a consistent and optimistic message
about the future of Fleetwood and the RV industry as a whole. Combined with
the great-looking products that were on display -- Fleetwood has, once again,
made me a believer."
"This was the best dealer meeting I have ever been to," said Paul Minton,
owner of River City RV in Arkansas, and a Fleetwood dealer for more than 10
years. "I believe Fleetwood is on course to help us all be more successful as
the market improves."
The National Dealer Meeting kicked off on Tuesday evening with a poolside
welcome reception. The core of the meeting was delivered to attendees during
Wednesday's general session where Eskritt, Travel Trailer Regional General
Managers Jim Croxton (west) and Donald Cochran (east), Vice President of Motor
Home Operations Chuck Wilkinson and National Directors of Sales Dave Cheney
(motor homes) and Mark O'Connor (travel trailers) spoke about Fleetwood's
strategies, product plans, sales and marketing support, and wholesale and
retail financing provided through Fleetwood Financial Services.
Key highlights in the general session included:
-- Dramatic product reveals for the 2009 Terry LX (fifth wheel), 2009
Southwind (Class A gas motor home) and the Power Bridge Chassis(TM)
(Class A diesel chassis), all of which were driven through the
conference room and showcased in front of the audience.
-- The debut of the brand-new 2009 Backpack(TM) & Compass(TM) Ultralite
travel trailer lines, featuring innovative floor plan features
including bunk beds, LCD TVs, and more.
-- A glimpse into the future of RVs where Eskritt visually revealed some
of Fleetwood's plans to introduce shorter, lighter, more
fuel-efficient motor home and travel trailer models.
-- Dealer and customer testimonials that underscored Fleetwood's improved
focus on listening.
-- A comprehensive video review of Fleetwood's marketing efforts over the
-- A candid portrayal of Fleetwood's financial position given by Eskritt.
Other event highlights included the keynote address, given by NFL Hall of
Famer and television personality Terry Bradshaw; and an awards gala where Top
Dealer Awards and 17th Annual Circle of Excellence awards were presented to
members of the dealer body.
Immediately after the awards ceremony, Eskritt and Elden Smith, president
and CEO of Fleetwood Enterprises, Inc., presented Boyd Plowman, retiring
executive vice president and CFO, with an honorary Circle of Excellence award
for his 30-plus years of dedication and service to the Company.
Later Smith addressed the audience recounting the tough times that have
challenged the RV market in the past, recalling the perseverance that
Fleetwood and the industry utilized previously in order to come out of the
down cycles stronger and better, and relaying his belief that this current
market climate will once again result in the same steadfast response and
"[Fleetwood is] responding to the current situation, but, more
importantly, we are planning for the future," said Smith. "And so are all of
you. The strength of this dealer body is better than it has ever been before.
I am tremendously impressed by your resilience and your professionalism -- and
am supremely confident in our mutual ability to weather the current market
Over 40 suppliers participated with displays, while Power Gear and
Freightliner Custom Chassis sponsored the meal functions, Dave Carter &
Associates sponsored Tuesday's Welcome Reception and Bank of America sponsored
the awards dinner and gala.
About Fleetwood Enterprises
Fleetwood RV is the recreational vehicle operations group within
Fleetwood Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: FLE), a leading producer of recreational
vehicles and manufactured housing through its subsidiaries. Fleetwood's
recreational vehicle line includes motor homes, travel trailers, and fifth
wheels. Fleetwood RV products are distributed through a nationwide network of
approximately 750 dealers. For more information on Fleetwood Enterprises,
visit our website at http://www.fleetwood.com.
For further information:
For further information: Heather Everett of Fleetwood Enterprises,
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