RV Maker Thor Hopes to digitally connect RV owners across the world with new venture
Elkhart-based Thor Industries (NYSE:THO) will join with several companies to bring digital connectivity to RV owners across the world. The 50/50 joint venture, titled TH2, pairs Thor with New Zealand-based Tourism Holdings Ltd. Thor's initial investment in TH2 is $50 million.
TH2 also announced it has acquired the assets of a number of companies, including Roadtrippers, Roadtrippers Australasia, Cosmos, Mighway, and CamperMate.
The TH2 platform will focus on digitally connecting RV enthusiasts by allowing them to plan and book trips, receive roadside assistance, peer-to-peer RV and campsite rental. The system will also combine an RV owner's record keeping and allow dealers to provide support with online vehicle manuals and more. Thor officials say TH2 will increase efficiencies in pricing, fleet management and service.
“As the world leader in the recreational vehicle industry, we are constantly evaluating ways to improve the overall RV experience for our customers,” said Bob Martin, Thor President and CEO. “Through this joint venture, we believe we can offer a variety of products and services that provide invaluable benefits, via digital connectivity, to an evolving consumer base. As the breadth of our consumer base continues to widen, with more and more younger consumers entering the market, we must provide them with innovative solutions to not only capture their interest, but also to retain them as life-long customers.
The new joint venture will be headquartered in Cincinnati, with Airstream (Thor Subsidiary) President and CEO Bob Wheeler serving as President. Thor will use the equity method of accounting for the venture, which will begin in the third quarter of fiscal 2018. Company officials say the transaction is expected to have little impact on Thor's fiscal year 2018 earnings.
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