Fedders Marine and RV to Move and Expand in 2012

Iowa-based Fedders Marine and RV Inc. will move next year from its current 2-acre Le Mars location to a nearby 13-acre space. The dealership purchased the undeveloped land for the new location at an undisclosed price last week.

Owner and CEO Matt Fedders told RV PRO that the dealership plans to begin construction this summer on a service center, campground and retail facility, which will include a showroom, parts store and offices. It won’t open until an unspecified date next fall.

“Simply put, we need more space. Our current location has worked well, but we’re just running out of room,” Fedders said, adding that the dealership recently became the top Cruiser RV dealer in the nation. “Our sales have been strong and steadily increased for the past seven years.”

Fedders Marine and RV has been in business for 67 years and at its current location for 40 years, according to Fedders, who owns the dealership with his wife Julie. The new location will be built at the intersection of Highways 75 and 60, about two miles north from where the dealership currently sits.

“I think we’re going to get better visibility and traffic numbers,” he said.

Designs for the new facilities are still in the early stages as Fedders Marine and RV sorts through contractor bids. However, Fedders envisions the showroom initially holding 10-12 units with room to expand. The building with the showroom, parts store and offices will be around 4,200-square-feet, Fedders estimates.

“We’re still growing so we want the option to increase the show floor space as things progress,” he said.

Once built, the service center will be 7,000-square-feet and include four drive-through service bays and one wash bay.

“It’s going to speed up our service process,” he said. “We won’t have to spend a half hour moving a unit out of the service bays to work on another unit for a half hour. The position we’re in now is tough – always having to move units out to move units in.”

Fedders Marine and RV plans add at least two new employees to its staff of six full-timers and one part-timer, Fedders said. It will also increase inventory prior to moving to the new location.

“We’re already ramping up inventory. We currently have about 45 travel trailers and fifth wheels and I’d like to see that increase by the end of summer to 65 units on-hand,” Fedders said.

The dealership also plans to complete a small campground with up to seven sites at its new location prior to its grand opening. The idea is that new and prospective customers from out of state could have a place to stay before they travel home.

“We like to see people from out of state, from Washington state, for instance, to come to our facility,” Fedders said. “They can jump in their new camper, go down to the campsite and camp for a night. That way, it’ll allow them to make sure everything is functioning properly and everything is what they expected.”

Fedders said he’ll consider in the future adding an RV storage facility at the new site, as well.

The new dealership will have a warm and welcoming atmosphere, Fedders said.

“We want to make it really welcoming with lots of easy parking for RVs, and even semis for unloading freight. We want it to be like an old time porch with a rocking chair – a nice homey atmosphere,” he said.

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