Winnebago History & Expert RV Service and Repair at Almaden RV in San Jose, CA.
John Hanson started building Winnebagos Motor Homes or RV’s in of February 1958, but soon after experienced economic downturn.
Hanson and So, a group of community leaders and Hanson worked with a firm in California called Modernistic Industries in efforts to bring life into the new company and jobs to their local economy.
Their plans worked out and the motor home building company was soon purchased by 5 individuals from the midwest and Hanson took his post as as president.
In 1960 he changed the name of the company to Winnebago Industries. To improve they manufactured their own furniture and other RV components designed specifically for the motor home industry. They invented something called “Thermo-Panel”, which is a strong, lightweight RV siding that became characteristic look of Winnebago RVs.
Finally in 1966 Winnebago’s first motor home for public sale was available. These RVs were sold at about 1/2 the price of the typical motor homes being sold at that time.
Through the 11980 the model names of Brave, the Indian, the Chieftain, and the Warrior were taken form the Native American Tribes.
Originally the Winnebago RVs were most often identified by a W painted on the side with a stripe from back to the front of the motor home.
Built on the Dodge B-series van chassis and at about 19 and a half feet long the Minnie Winnie was produced in 1973.
This model continued with a Ford or Chevy after 1980 with long frames and boxes until about 2006.
Winnebago developed a line of smaller Class B RV’s which were slightly larger than a passenger van using various bodies and power plants. Building and selling this type of Class B motor home continues today with Winnebago’s use of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis.
In December 2010 Winnebago purchased SunnyBrook RV to sell towable RV’s.
In 1982 an Australian investment group name Binn’s Knotts tried to steal the Winnebago name and produced look alike RV’s. In 1992, Winnebago and Binns agreed to a settlement to stop passing selling their RV’s as those of Winnebago, but the continued none the less. In 1997 Winnebago was registered as trademark in Australia owned by Binn’s Knotts. Finally in 2012 a Justice of the Federal Court of Australia found that Winnebago was “intentionally hijacked” by the Sydney businessman, Bruce Binns and all rights to Winnebago were revoked.
But in an court of appeal in 2013 the court overturned the ruling because for twenty five years Knott had been manufacturing and selling the Winnebago RV and that he would be permitted to continue to use the Winnebago name and logos, provided the distinction between its business and that of Winnebago’s was made clear.
Winnebago Industries Inc as of 2014.
Founded Forest City, Iowa, USA on February 12, 1958
Headquarters Forest City, Iowa, USA
Revenue $945.2 million
Operating income = $63.9 million
Net income = $45.0 million
Number of employees = 2,850
Slogan = Changing the Face of Motor Homes.