WAKARUSA — When Pete Liegl and Jeff Rank said in January they needed space to expand Prime Time’s RV manufacturing space, they weren’t kidding.
Rank, who manages the company for owner Forest River, issued an announcement Monday afternoon, Feb. 5, that Prime Time saw a 71 percent increase in retail registrations in January.
“It’s easy to show a 71 percent increase when you’re just starting, but we’ve been around the block a few times now and to still be growing at this rate is a huge compliment,” said Ken Walters, national sales manager for Prime Time. The company started in 2009.
“Prime Time, like our dealers, has been very bullish on retail sales prospects going into 2013,” said Walters. “Our product managers unveiled a strong lineup of new, innovative floor plans, features and programs last fall at the Elkhart open house and Louisville shows. Our dealers sensed the opportunity, aggressively stocked inventory, and subsequently had great success at the early retail shows. We expected strong growth, but a 71% increase over last year has been a pleasant surprise.”
Many of Prime Time’s largest dealers have benefitted from record-level consumer traffic at their respective retail RV shows, according to the company. “With historically low interest rates still in place and fuel prices leveling off, there seems to be an upbeat attitude with our customers and they are coming out to buy a new RV,” said Eddie Unger, corporate sales manager of Tom Raper RVs in Richmond. “The Prime Time brands continue to be a hot seller for our dealerships and we have gotten off to a big start with their products so far this year.”
Liegl, head of Forest River, explained in January that the company was glad to start taking over the Utilimaster campus in Wakarusa because of the company’s growth in Wakarusa.
Rank said his company started moving equipment into an empty Utilimaster building before Forest River even formally bought the site.
The transition process will take months as Utilimaster moves to its new site in Bristol, but Liegl described it as an arrangement that benefits both companies.