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By Greg Gerber
Editor, RV Daily Report
I may have spoken too soon when I penned a column last week that suggested “the Erwin Hymer family name is too valuable to have corporate chuckleheads dragging their feet to provide answers to essential questions.”
It now appears that the Erwin Hymer family may be the biggest chuckleheads of all.
The German-owned company, which has refused every single request for information presented to it so far this year, literally shuttered all of its websites today.
People cannot connect to erwinhymergroupna.com or gohymer.com. In fact, people cannot access some of the Hymer brand websites too, such as caradorv.com and roadtrek.com, while www.americanfastbacks.com is still up. Perhaps the Hymer family forgot they own the American company, too.
Shutting off websites is a funny course of action to take for a firm that claims to be earnestly seeking a buyer. You would think a buyer would want to know all it could about the company and its brands.
But, if Erwin Hymer Group was able to acquire Roadtrek without enough due diligence to uncover the financial irregularities that Thor Industries’ auditors uncovered earlier this year, perhaps Hymer is hoping another sucker acquires its wasteland in the dark as well.
I know some employees are steadfastly defending the Hymer family from any suggestion that they played a role in the demise of the North American operation. However, people — real humans — who have any concern for the people who made them billionaires, do not simply turn their backs on those people.
It now appears the Hymers were out to lunch if the North American operation could have devolved from being a valued partner when their company acquired it Feb. 23, 2016, to one the family can’t even talk to less than two years later.
In the Feb. 23, 2016, story about Hymer acquiring Roadtrek, Martin Brandt, the CEO of the Erwin Hymer Group, said he met former CEO Jim Hammill at a trade show in Europe the summer before and immediately recognized a synergy in the two companies and a shared philosophy in their approach to filling the leisure travel needs of the growing RV markets.
“We kept meeting and talking and we were struck by how Hymer and Roadtrek were so alike in being technology-driven, down to earth and customer-oriented,” Hammill said at the time.
Hammill’s customers are now without warranties and unable to get parts. That’s how customer-oriented he was.
Let’s not forget Hammill called our original report of financial scandal at the company he oversaw an “astonishing” fabrication. Since that false report was posted Jan. 18, Thor Industries turned up its nose at acquiring the firm, and the company fired 800 employees without notice last Friday.
It is really astonishing that a financially healthy company would take that type of action.
When Carolin and Christian Hymer visited the Roadtrek plant Sept. 22, 2016, it was Christian who told the staff, “We are very proud to be here and to have you in our family business.”
A family of billionaires doesn’t turn its back on people, stop talking to them and stop answering their questions. Christian Hymer has a misplaced sense of what a “family business” is all about.