We almost purchased an Entegra. It was one of three manufacturers that we seriously considered for our new coach back in 2015. The other two? Newmar and Tiffin. We went with Newmar and, despite a number of issues, we are fine with our decision.
Entegra had a good reputation prior to being acquired by Thor. And there were concerns that the acquisition would have a negative impact on Entegra.
Thor’s stock has been on quite a roll lately.
Thor’s quarterly revenue fell over 21 percent from last year. The stock took a big tumble last week after Thor released poor fiscal first-quarter results. RV sales had a 24 percent drop.
I caught an interview that Thor’s CEO, Bob Martin, did with Jim Cramer where he blamed rising tariffs on Aluminum and Steel for the negative impact on earnings.
To counteract the rising costs of production, Martin intended to cut raw costs and de-content its higher end motorcoaches. De-content means taking ancillary products and features out of these coaches. Less is more.
So what does this mean for Entegra owners?
This thread on the IRV2 forum, Has Thor changed Entegra, highlights the dilemma facing buyers of new coaches. Good product? Good service?
I suspect for most buyers, a purchase that begins to close in on half a million, can influence your opinion in one of two ways: I made a good decision or I made a bad decision. And the reason is simple enough. All of these coaches will have issues. All of them. And when you have a lot of issues, you begin to question your decision.
I am of the view that anyone looking to purchase a coach from Entegra, Newmar or Tiffin, should expect to have issues and should expect to have mixed results in terms of how the issues get resolved. This is part of the ownership experience.
Shame on you Entegra, Bontrager stood up in front of an audience of 100 people who were Entegra owners at the 2016 Springfest and told everyone that you had always been a family business and would always be a family business with family values bla bla bla and then 3 months down the road sold out to Thor Industries. You then through Tadd Jenkins (the then president of Entegra coach) tried to calm the worried owners and told us that there would be absolutely no change apart from the name above the door, everything else will remain the same, same management team etc etc. Tadd was then pushed out closely followed by Chuck Lasley who took over from Tadd and a few other key people. This is a direct quote from Derek Bontrager :
“The day we stop listening to our customers is the day our demise begins and no one understands that better than we do.”
Are they listening??? Do they lie to their owners? You answer the question. I know the answer!
This is their YouTube video that describes their experience picking up their coach after servicing. Sadly, their experience is not unique.