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RV Podcast

Mike Wendland

RV Podcast
47 min2020 DEC 23
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The RV Podcast's big new this week is the announced $300 million purchase of Tiffin Motorhomes by the giant Thor Industries, which already is the largest RV manufacturer in the world.

The purchase absorbs one of the few remaining independent family-owned RV makers, run by the Tiffin family of Alabama whose luxury motorhomes are known for attention to detail and quality construction.

Thor, which has aggressively been gobbling up numerous RV brands across the country as well as the Hymer RV company in Europe over the past few years, vows that other than accounting procedures, little will be changed as they take over Tiffin.

You can listen to the complete episode of the RV Podcast in the player below. And scroll down this page for shownotes for links and resources about all the things we talk about.

Regarding the Thor buys Tiffin story

Here’s an excerpt released by both companies of an interview between Tiffin’s owner, Bob Tiffin, age 78, and Thor’s CEO Bon Martin discussing the acquisition and what it means.

I’ve met and interviewed both Bob Tiffin and Bon Martin several times over the years I've been covering the RV Lifestyle.

Bob Tiffin is a legend in the industry for his personal attention to his customers. At RV shows, he shakes every hand he can find as folks tour his luxurious coaches, even handing out his direct phone number to those who ask.

Bon Martin is a well-respected industry veteran. I have always found him to be congenial and a straight shooter.

Tiffin Management will stay the same under Thor Ownership

Tiffin Motorhomes is known for its luxurious Class A motorhomes and, more recently, it's Class C Wayfarer

And I take them both at their word that the acquisition will not change the quality or service Tiffin owners have come to expect. Bob Tiffin’s sons and even a grandson are very active in running various elements of the Tiffin company, which is one of the largest employers in the state of Alabama.

Tiffin will continue to be headquartered in Red Bay, AL, where it has been since 1972. They also have some operations in neighboring Mississippi.

“We needed a partner who we could trust would sustain all of those elements and help us grow the business in a manner that is consistent with how we’ve done business at Tiffin for nearly 50 years,” said Bob Tiffin.

“The dealers and customers who love the Tiffin brand will continue to receive the high-quality products they have grown to expect. And I am not going anywhere as I will continue to operate the Tiffin companies as I have with no timeline for change.

“My sons, Van and Tim, as well as my grandson, Leigh, will also continue to have major roles in the Tiffin business. Instead of feeling like I sold a business, I feel like we have aligned with a great company that will enable us to take Tiffin to a new level while maintaining the Tiffin culture and brand integrity that has set us apart from our competitors for years.”

Thor expects Tiffin to add Class B vans and towables

The top of the Line Tiffin Zephyr model sells for almost $700,000

Martin, of Thor, stresses that Tiffin will “operate as stand-alone operating company within the Thor family of companies.”

But Martin sees Tiffin expanding into different RV markets besides its premier models on the Class A motorhome chassis, and more recently, it’s Wayfarer line of Class C coaches.

Martin and Thor want to move into different segments.

“Tiffin currently has no offerings in either the travel trailer or Class B segments,” he said. “Growing the great Tiffin brand name into these segments will be well-received by dealers and consumers alike.”

Now that Thor Buys Tiffin,