Airstream Joins Bank Of America To Help Educate First-Time RV Buyers


For recreational vehicle brands like Airstream, one of the biggest challenges in managing the industry’s current sales boom is educating new buyers on the difference between financing an RV and financing an RV. a car. So the Jackson Center, Ohio-based luxury brand owned by Thor Industries just announced a new partnership with Bank of America called Airstream Financial that is setting up an online platform and other means. communicate with clients about the ins and outs of RV financing before they leave. in a showroom to buy an Airstream – and take their confusion with them.

There is no doubt that the thousands of young people and newbies who make up a large part of the flow of RV buyers these days are a great thing for Airstream and the rest of the industry, giving manufacturers and dealers an opportunity. generational. If played right, this Covid-era phenomenon could go a long way in lifting the RV industry out of the usual cycle of boom and bust that has plagued it since its inception half a century ago.

Helping consumers understand how they can finance a vehicle purchase that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars is essential, Justin Humphreys, Airstream vice president of sales, told me. One of the reasons this is so important is that grasping this understanding is almost always good news for someone buying an RV. That’s because RVs qualify for tax deductions as a second home (as long as they’re not a third home), which means the daunting picture of paying for an Airstream in the long run may not be. not be so intimidating for a buyer who has made wrong assumptions.

“You can get financing for up to 20 years for an RV, whereas with a car, of course, it’s less than 10 years,” Humphreys said. “So there are big tax advantages. “

And lenders, including Bank of America, Wachovia, and US Bank, have been used to providing RV loans for years. The problem, Humphreys said, is that the traditional approach of RV dealerships has been to wait until the end of the sale process to discuss financing with buyers.

“It is only when the consumer buys the product and begins to enter the [finance and insurance] office as they discover the benefits of financing an RV that they probably didn’t know about, ”Humphreys said. “Our concern about this is that if they don’t know the financing options early in the buying cycle, they might not think they can afford the monthly commitment because they think about it in terms. car loan. “

The goal of the partnership with Bank of America is to help educate potential buyers of Airstream in advance and streamline the financing process for them. Airstream Financial is a tool that dealers can use with tire launchers and others to help them understand the loans available to them and grasp all dimensions of the RV financing process – a development that will likely help the brand to sell even more units.

“The process is streamlined from the customer’s first visit to a website, which offers things like a loan calculator and the ability to ask dealers a question,” Humphreys explained. “We help customers realize exactly what it will cost earlier in the process rather than later. And while Airstream dealers will continue to be able to offer other forms of financing, Airstream Financial will also become a platform to offer “other services and programs” in the future – like, maybe , a leasing program, in an industry that does not lease vehicles.

The new partnership with Bank of America goes hand in hand with Airstream’s global efforts to elevate its brand and its entire retail system out of what can be a confusing quagmire of brands, vehicles and alternatives. at the typical American recreational vehicle dealership that carries a number of brands. One after another, Airstream worked with resellers to establish independent, Airstream-only outlets located in huge air-conditioned facilities – and offering only Airstreams. There are 25 in North America now.

For example, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Vogt RV has erected a new, fully air-conditioned 60,000 square foot outlet called the Airstream DFW. “They only sell Airstreams there,” Humphreys said. “It’s completely transformative for us and the dealership, and customers love it. It’s a brand experience, and it’s only Airstream.

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