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Old 12-21-2020, 10:16 AM   #1
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Tiffin sells itself to Thor for $300 million

https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/thor...mln-2020-12-21

Winnebago got Newmar and now Thor has both Entegra and Tiffin. Forest River might need to up its game on the Berkshire or position itself as a lower-cost alternative.

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Old 12-21-2020, 01:04 PM   #2
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Smart move by Bob Tiffin. RV sales are over the top right now but a big crash is coming. Just think back to what happened to the industry in the first decade of this century. It’s highly likely the 300 million the Tiffin got from Thor is more than they would receive a year from now. Also don’t forget about the major tax increases on the horizon.

We’re going to have to wait and see if the Indiana construction mentality drifts down to Alabama. If it does then there goes another manufacturer into the gutter.
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Old 12-24-2020, 02:48 PM   #3
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Would I buy a Tiffin, yes. Would I buy a Thor, no. Well now what? Was leery about buying a Newmar after took over by Winnebago, but I would buy a Winnebago.
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Old 12-24-2020, 02:56 PM   #4
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If Tiffins were all they were cracked up to be, I would have bought one, but they aren't and I didn't. Thor, however, might drag Tiffin (almost) down to their low level. The only place quality might still exist is with the small boutique builders, but their product selections are limited.
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Old 12-25-2020, 01:37 PM   #5
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Would I buy a Tiffin, yes. Would I buy a Thor, no. Well now what? Was leery about buying a Newmar after took over by Winnebago, but I would buy a Winnebago.
Thor actually helped Airstream after they bought airstream. Opened up whole new markets for airstream. Now they can hardly keep up with the demand.

The Tiffin family is remaining with the company as well so this may be a very good thing for the brand.
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Old 12-25-2020, 02:07 PM   #6
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Several years ago, I remember reading that "Old Man Tiffin" was retiring and, he'd be handing over control to his "yougins"( who quickly implemented changes that resulted in Tiffin quality going down the crapper). "OMT" had to come out of retirement to keep the Tiffin brand alive. Sounds like the "yougins" may finally have prevailed after all.
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Old 12-25-2020, 02:26 PM   #7
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Having owned a Tiffin Allegro Bus (2010 43' tag axle unit) I was extremely impressed with Tiffin. At the time those units were plagued by the "Big Three" defects... roof rails, plumbing bay floor and slide floor. Tiffin was extremely gracious about replacing all three in anyone who experienced any of these defects. They did so in our coach. They paid for a local dealer to do it, and we were not happy with the way the roof rails were done. We went thru Red Bay, Alabama and camped at the factory campground for what turned into a month where they redid the roof rails as well as many other details we wanted fixed or upgraded. It was a long list as we are very particular and it was staggering how many of these changes they "good willed us" on - did them for free. Including a massive job of my own stupid accidental creation! This was in 2014 long after any other dealer would have even thought to do anything for free or under warranty. CUSTOMER SERVICE was the hallmark of their philosophy and they completely won our unending respect and admiration. We will never forget our time in Red Bay (including Mr J's pizza).

Another quick story which actually predates our Red Bay visit bears a quick retelling. We were pulling into Tucson and I heard this terrible sound coming from the big Cummins Diesel. Pulled into a repair shop who put my up on their outdoor rack walked underneath and went Ahha! Showed me where the 3" exhaust pipe coming off the Turbo had sheared. They said they could fix it but it would take some time as they would have to have a new section of pipe build. I called Tiffin Factory service and didn't even finish explaining the problem, before the guy said yep, we know about that issue... I am gonna send you a brand new piece out, no charge, including shipping! Again, the coach was already 4 years old and this was exhaust system! I cannot think of anyone else who would have done this, The large part arrived in a few days and cost me nothing except shop labor... the parts cost Tiffin absorbed was more than $1000.

All this to say that Tiffin has always been unparalleled in the industry IMHO. I have told these stories many times. We sold our beloved bus in 2017 when I thought we were done with RV Travel, but later decided to resume "travel lite" and bought a 32' Forester. It ain't a Tiffin but it is a pretty nice unit. Subsequently we decided to add a 5th wheel to our arsenal and chose a Vanleigh Vilano, built by the Tiffin subsidiary. Here again the quality is head and shoulders above the previous Keystone 5th wheel we had.

When we were looking at Class C motorhomes we looked at the Thor Quantum, I think it was... it has the floorplan we wanted. I was absolutely staggered they they didn't include leveling jacks, only stabilizers. Give me a friggin break! I remember wondering to myself how many other corners they cut. Not a chance in hell I would have bought a motorhome without leveling jacks. In 10 years of travel and hundreds of RV parks, I have maybe stayed in a handful which gave me a level pad. We carry blocks and rubber leveling squares as well, but jacks are indispensable IMHO.

That is to say, that the jury is out on Thor quality in my estimation. I watched this video which gave me some confidence that Tiffin quality might not suffer at the outset:
https://rvbusiness.com/videos-bob-ti...r-acquisition/

In my business background, we have experienced other corporate acquisitions where pledges were made and in the end the acquired company was gutted and eventually staffed and run exactly like the parent company. Time will tell It guess. I wish the whole Tiffin family nothing but total success with this move and I hope they can retain their same dedication to 1st class quality and customer service.

Thor owns Entegra as well and they seem to be a pretty impressive luxury coach so there is some hope Tiffin coaches will withstand this merger as well.

Merry Christmas to everyone!
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Old 12-25-2020, 07:11 PM   #8
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Tiffin sells to Thor

Tiffin has been on the top of my list when I move to class a. Not any more. Shame
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Old 12-27-2020, 06:48 AM   #9
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In 2015 we traded our '07 Sunnybrook 3350RKTS fifth wheel in for a Holiday Rambler Vacationer. At the time we thought that HR was a good brand and bought the class A. After a few months we found out that HR, Thor, Fleetwood and Monaco were bought by ARG (Allied Recreation Group) previous to us buying the class A. The class A was a manufacturing disaster. That rv was in the shop for the equivalent of 9 months in the first year of ownership. After that, each trip we went on we wondered "What else will fail?" At one time we had an interior wall separate from an exterior wall: you could see daylight through the separation (the fridge sidewall had separated during a trip and had to be re-attached). Many other issues continued to crop up including slides that failed, generator issues, and the list goes on. So I don't see this buyout as a positive move for Tiffin. My sister and her husband had a Tiffin Phaeton and loved it. The service they got from Tiffin was great and they were very pleased with it.

Service after the sale is the big issue here.

If we had the money to buy a Tiffin when we bought the HR, we would have. We eventually went back to the 5th wheel and now are pleased with it: '17 Cardinal 3250RL.
If we were in the market for a class A, I would consider a used Tiffin rather than a new one (after the acquisition).
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Old 12-27-2020, 08:12 AM   #10
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Thor actually helped Airstream after they bought airstream. Opened up whole new markets for airstream. Now they can hardly keep up with the demand.

The Tiffin family is remaining with the company as well so this may be a very good thing for the brand.


of all the comments about this acquisition, the above is the most appropriate yet: take a look at the salvation of the Airstream brand and you can tell how 'Thor' handles these purchases - they are NOT in any business of 'running' these businesses, but only letting them have the cash flow to FLOURISH, with their parental guidance. Thor has no reason to 'change' anything with Tiffin, or Entegra, or Jayco, or any other brand that they have acquired, as those were already making money and doing well in the business - it makes no sense the 'outcry' from those who actually know very little about how this works. Keep your negative comments to yourselves, as most all of that lies in only personal conjecture.
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Old 12-27-2020, 08:46 AM   #11
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of all the comments about this acquisition, the above is the most appropriate yet: take a look at the salvation of the Airstream brand and you can tell how 'Thor' handles these purchases - they are NOT in any business of 'running' these businesses, but only letting them have the cash flow to FLOURISH, with their parental guidance. Thor has no reason to 'change' anything with Tiffin, or Entegra, or Jayco, or any other brand that they have acquired, as those were already making money and doing well in the business - it makes no sense the 'outcry' from those who actually know very little about how this works. Keep your negative comments to yourselves, as most all of that lies in only personal conjecture.

I believe personal conjecture is also known as opinion, which everyone is entitled to, negative ( in your opinion) or not.
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Old 12-27-2020, 09:55 AM   #12
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of all the comments about this acquisition, the above is the most appropriate yet: take a look at the salvation of the Airstream brand and you can tell how 'Thor' handles these purchases - they are NOT in any business of 'running' these businesses, but only letting them have the cash flow to FLOURISH, with their parental guidance. Thor has no reason to 'change' anything with Tiffin, or Entegra, or Jayco, or any other brand that they have acquired, as those were already making money and doing well in the business - it makes no sense the 'outcry' from those who actually know very little about how this works. Keep your negative comments to yourselves, as most all of that lies in only personal conjecture.
Itís a crap shoot as to how a company operates after a ďtakeoverĒ. Remember the results of the AMF takeover of Harley-Davidson. It took less than a year for the product to deteriorate to totally unacceptable. HD saved by original management team getting the company back.

Or, Bombardier acquiring LearJet, Textron getting Cessna. Both of those actions resulted in lowered quality and increased prices. Or, Apple after its takeover parent got rid of Steve Jobs. Company was on the verge of extinction until Jobs regained control. Look where it is now.

We donít have a clue how the Thor/Tiffin deal is going to work out but Iím betting not good. When the RV industry falls off the cliff within the next 18 months we will find out if the Tiffin/Thor deal was good or bad.
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Old 12-29-2020, 12:04 PM   #13
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I agree with emm-dee: after living through an acquisition myself,(when AT&T bought BellSouth) the customer suffered. When a large amount of money is used to buy another company, methods of operation, personnel all change.
I truly hope that Tiffin does well after the sale, but when a company buys another, the company that's been acquired usually doesn't have any real control.
We'll see: I hope it works well.
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