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Dutchmen

  Name: Date Entered:  
 Dutchmen

09/12/2002

Driving for Excellence

Thor Industries, Inc., was founded on August 29, 1980, when Wade F. B. Thompson and Peter B. Orthwein acquired Airstream, the most recognized name in the industry. The name "Thor" combined the first two letters of each entrepreneur's name. Despite its famous image, Airstream had not fared well during the economic downturn of the late 1970's. By focusing on improving quality while reducing costs, Airstream returned to profitability in its first year under the new Thor management.

In 1982 Thor purchased the Canadian company, General Coach, which manufactures travel trailers and motorhomes. Also part of this acquisition was Thor America, which manufactures Citation and Chateau travel trailers and fifth wheels.

In 1984 Thor became a public company and in 1986 was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. That same year Forbes magazine ranked Thor sixth out of the "200 best small companies in America."

In 1991 Thor acquired Dutchmen, now one of the largest brands of conventional and fifth wheel travel trailers in the world. Four Winds International, manufacturer of class A and C motorhomes, was acquired in 1992. Komfort, a maker of fifth-wheel and conventional travel trailers, and Skamper, a builder of folding camping trailers, became members of the Thor family in 1995.

In 1995, the Aerolite lightweight travel trailer was introduced, combining an aluminum frame, laminated construction and European styling. At an affordable price, this revolutionary trailer is ideal for towing behind today's cars, mini-vans and sport-utility vehicles. The Aerolite and Thor's Dutchmen folding camping trailers are the perfect starter vehicles for the younger family.

1996 saw the startup of Thor California and the introduction of the Tahoe and Wanderer brands of trailers and fifth wheels. These excellent products became instant hits with RVers and the fastest-growing brands on the market.

In 2001, with the acquisition of Keystone RV, Thor Industries became the largest RV manufacturer in North America.

Thor is also the largest mid-size bus manufacturer in North America.

Thor's growth and success can mostly be attributed to its outstanding employees and solid relationships with suppliers. With over 4,000 employees, Thor offers employees incentives based on productivity and profits while encouraging them to be actively involved in community programs. Thor executives serve on the boards of numerous civic organizations.

Thor has been driving for excellence for nearly 22 years. It's a commitment reaching far into the future, and well beyond the next 22 years.

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