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Bob Wheeler
Bob Wheeler

Airstream CEO Addresses COVID-19 Pandemic


Airstream President and CEO Bob Wheeler recently issued a note in response to the coronavirus situation.

 

Dear Airstream Community,

As I sat down to write this, I struggled to even know where to begin. Just take a moment to think about how different things were just a few weeks ago. We were still going out, going to work, meeting with others. The pandemic was still mostly an abstraction; something that was happening elsewhere. Our calendars were still full of future plans: weddings, graduations, vacations, conventions...all things that now seem inconceivable in this new and unrecognizable landscape. But ultimately it helped to focus on the concrete things we can do today for our associates, our dealers, our customers, and our community.

Here’s what we’re working on.

To keep our people safe, all associates who can work remotely are working from home. In Jackson Center, Ohio, we’re following the state’s directive to “stay at home” from Tuesday, March 24 until April 6. Production associates and other non-essential staff as determined by guidelines from the state of Ohio have been furloughed with continuing health insurance and other benefits. Barring any other changes, we hope to welcome our associates back once the government gives the all-clear.

To keep you safe, we have significantly increased our cleaning and disinfecting processes at Airstream’s factory to protect our employees and our future customers. Using the CDC’s guidelines, we’ve published a guide to help you clean and disinfect your Airstream should you have any lingering concerns.

To support Airstreamers, our customer service and technical support is still available to assist our customers. Our factory service in Jackson Center is still open as an essential service, equipped with a smaller staff to support those who need help.  Please be sure to call ahead to discuss service options before coming to Jackson Center.

While limited phone support is also available, we encourage you to reach us online first and to visit our knowledge base or submit a support ticket. For those of you whose warranty is coming to a close but have an item that needs to be repaired and you cannot make it to a dealer because of coronavirus-related travel issues, please be sure to reach out to our call center by phone or email to note the problem you are having so we can cover the warranty item at a later date, even if it is past your warranty expiration.

To support our community, we recently partnered with Ohio-based Wilson Health to help facilitate their COVID-19 testing and care efforts. Airstream has loaned Nest trailers to support those performing testing at drive-through testing sites. Additionally, our sewing team, which is usually busy making cushions and draperies for our travel trailers and touring coaches, is currently working from home making personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical professionals and first responders. Airstream will continue to work with our local, state, and federal government partners to assist where we can in the coming weeks.

At our dealerships, we recommend speaking with your local dealership representative in advance of any upcoming sales or service appointments and follow local guidance about non-essential travel to ensure a safe visit. We’re also working with our dealers to notify those of you who have placed orders and will be impacted by the temporary shutdown.

In times like these, it helps us to remember the words of our founder, Wally Byam, and his passion to bring people together through travel and the outdoors. Decades ago he penned a creed that inspires the work we do every day. If you haven’t read it (or haven’t read it recently), I encourage you to spend some time with it. It’s inspiring and describes a way of living that brings people together and broadens our understanding of the world. We could all use a little of that right now.

Please share your questions, feedback, and suggestions by contacting us. (We will read every single message.) 

Be well, be safe, and be compassionate.

I look forward to seeing you on the road again soon.

Bob Wheeler
President and CEO 
Airstream Inc.

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