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A Dealer’s Opinion On Winnebago and Newmar

I have to let it go. This Winnebago and Newmar thing. I want you to know that I have sought outside help and my therapist believes that I am making some progress but it will take time. Time to heal. Time to forgive.

Matt Miller, how could you do this!

Oops. Sorry. It comes out. The pain. The hurt. The betrayal.

I continue to read opinions on the deal even though, as far as I can tell, no one seems to have read Winnebago’s U.S. SEC Form 8-K to understand the specifics of the deal. And I get that. Not everyone wants to jump into that level of detail.

When a company borrows almost $300 million to make an acquisition and that company has to answer to shareholders, it is naive to think that the culture of Newmar won’t be impacted. It will. The only question is whether the impact is unduly negative, mildly annoying or downright positive.

Winnebago, Newmar and the dealer community understand that current Newmar owners are not very happy with the news. And that the negative reaction could really hurt future sales as a large percentage of existing Newmar owners are repeat buyers. And so the marketing of the deal begins.

The key messages?

Matt Miller is still running the company with the same executive team and the same group of employees. Newmar is still committed to its values around quality and customer support. The deal will help Newmar continue to grow and flourish.

Mount Comfort RV is very active on YouTube. Chris Anderson, in particular, is well known for his comprehensive video walkthroughs on Newmar coaches. I watched his video on a 2016 Newmar Dutch Star 4018 dozens of times while we were waiting for our coach to be built. The unit he showed was very similar to our coach.

This is the first video I have seen on YouTube that provides a dealer’s perspective on the Winnebago and Newmar deal. Ken Eckstein, the president of Mount Comfort RV, takes time to put out this video presumably to assure his current and future Newmar customers that all is not lost.

The spin from Winnebago and Newmar reminds me of what I used to deal with as a corporate executive. Whenever the senior team made a significant or controversial decision, we had to spend time on WSWSHH.

WSWSHH?

What Should We Say Happened Here.

The spin. The press release. How to manage the customer and employee response. We had a corporate communications group that specialized in crafting the specific FAQs and talking points all precisely documented in a comprehensive communication plan. All done before the news about the decision went public.

Just like the Winnebago and Newmar deal.

So, take it with a grain of salt. We will know within a year or two what kind of company Newmar will become after the acquisition. Better or worse? Again, we will know soon enough.

Here is another take on the deal by David Bott, a popular RV blogger with Outside Our Bubble:

My take has been captured in these posts:

Winnebago Acquires Newmar

NewWinnie

A Bit More On The Newmar Winnebago Deal

2020 Newmar Dutch Star

Until now, there was no video evidence of the new 2020 Dutch Star models. I kept searching though.

Newmar has updated their website with all of their 2020 models including the Dutch Star. You can find the details on the Dutch Star from Newmar over here.

On the web I found two videos. One from Chris Anderson at Mount Comfort RV. Chris was out first. He walks us through a 2020 Dutch Star 3709. We find our 40-foot model to be a bit small for our liking. I don’t think we could fit into a 37-foot model but it looks well designed with a king-sized bed and a bath and a half floor plan.

The only other video I have found so far is in Spanish. Jorge Martinez of North Trail RV walks us through a 2020 Dutch Star 4369, the most popular floor plan from Newmar. Jorge published his YouTube video a day after Chris. A runner-up prize only.

I expect to see a few more videos coming out soon as the 2020s are now being delivered to dealers.