Do you really know the RV Brands
on the market?
5 Star RV Service, LLC / Beth Roe / October 31, 2021
While shopping for a new RV one might think there are hundreds of companies to choose from. When in reality, as of fall 2021 there are really only around three that make up 99% of the brands. As with most industries right now, we can thank the merger and acquisition times we are currently living for that. Along with record breaking growth in the RV industry over 2020 and 2021. We will look at the three major RV companies below in no particular order.
Thor Industries the largest family of RV companies, is located in Elkhart IN, and has 13 RV companies under their wing. As of a June 2021 press release, Thor boasts a 105.7% increase in revenue. The very first RV company Thor acquired in 1980, which was surprising to me, AIRSTREAM (yes that means they didn't start out as an RV manufacturer). Heartland RV, Hymer, Dutchmen, Jayco Starcraft (owned by Jayco before they purchased Jayco), Keystone RV, Thor Motor Coach (a consolidation of Four Winds International & Damon Motor Coach), Crossroads RV, K-Z, Redwood RV (a subsidiary of Crossroads RV), Postle Aluminum (An aluminum manufacturer), and last but certainly not least Tiffin (most recently purchased in 2020)
I bet you didn't know the insurance giant Berkshire Hathaway is in the RV industry! Yep and why not? Berkshire Hathaway owns businesses in insurance, rail transportation, energy generation & distribution, manufacturing, and retailing. Although insurance generates the most revenue, manufacturing generates most of their earnings before taxes. Berkshire Hathaway purchased Forest River, Inc. in 2005 after the current owner at that time Pete Liegl contacted Warren Buffett asking to be acquired. The brands that now fall under Berkshire Hathaway are: Coachmen RV, Dynamax Corporation, East To West travel trailers, Forest River RV, Palomino, Prime Time Manufacturing, Shasta RV, US Cargo, Elkhart Coach, Berkshire Coach, Champion Bus, and ElDorado Motor Corp.
REV Group was formerly know as Allied Specialty Vehicles. REV Group is an American manufacturer of specialty vehicles, including buses, fire trucks, ambulances, and recreational vehicles. The company has yearly revenue of over $1 billion. The company is led by Rod Rushing, CEO, formerly of Johnson Controls. In 2010 Allied Specialty Vehicles merged with four companies Collins Industries, E-One, Halcore Group, and Fleetwood Enterprises. Then in 2015 they changed their name to REV Group. The RV Brands under REV Group are: American Coach, Fleetwood Enterprises, Monaco Coach, holiday Rambler, Renegade RV, Midwest Automotive Designs, Lance Camper.