Who Owns Grand Design RV? 6 Facts You Should Know (Explained)

Who owns grand design RV

Have you ever wondered who owns Grand Design RV? Look no more. We´ve got you covered.

Grand Design RV is a company that is well known for producing RVs which have, well, more grandeur designs to them.

So, who owns Grand Design RV? Grand Design RV is owned by Winnebago Industries. Winnebago is one of the Key Players in the RV industry.

Who is Grand Design RV?

Grand Design RV is a brand name that first appeared in 2012.

The company specializes in the production of travel trailers, fifth wheels, and toy haulers.

grand design rv exterior

Grand Design, mostly, produces travel trailers with a slightly more luxurious feel to them. Some would argue that their models retain somewhat of an ‘exclusive’ charm to them.

Due to the way in which the Grand Design RV business is structured, we are not able to share information about the production of travel trailers by the company. However, it is likely to only be a small amount. At least compared to the other vehicles produced by the owner. 

The company produces the bulk of its travel trailers in Middlebury, Indiana. However, there is a strong chance that some of their accessories are manufactured in different locations around the United States. 

Who Owns Grand Design RV?

As we said before, Grand Design RV is more of a brand name. As near as we can tell, it has never existed as an independent company. Instead, the owner of Grand Design decided that it wanted to enter the luxury travel trailer space, and the Grand Design RV brand was born.

So, who is the owner of Grand Design RV? Well, the company is owned by one of the largest RV manufacturers in the world; Winnebago Industries.

As with many of the companies that are owned by these major operations, it is difficult to find information about Winnebago Industries on the Grand Design RV page.

We suppose this is because Grand Design is trying to give off the impression that they are an independent company. However, we can assure you that they are not.

We will talk more about how the company is managed later on. 

Read also: Who Owns Winnebago Industries: 7 Facts You Should Know (Explained)

The History of Winnebago Industries 

We are sure that most of the people reading this will have heard of Winnebago Industries. It is one of the largest RV manufacturers in the United States, and many of its models also end up being shipped overseas.

However, we felt that we should give you an overview of the history of Winnebago Industries. It may make understanding their leadership structure a little bit easier! 

Winnebago Industries got started in the late 1950s. The main purpose of the company back then was to help a town overcome an economic downturn.

One of the owners of the original Winnebago Industries determined that the RV market was where any new business needed to be, and he determined that making RVs was probably the best way to rejuvenate the economy.

The company started to produce their very first RVs in 1966, and they have gone from strength to strength ever since.

At some point, the company decided to change the ownership structure (more on that in a short while), and they decided to build up several different brands away from the Winnebago name, but still boasting the same sort of quality that Winnebago RVs were known for. Grand Design was one of these.

The Ownership Structure of Winnebago Industries

Winnebago Industries is a public company. This means that members of the public (including you) are allowed to purchase shares in the business. The result is that the ownership structure of Winnebago Industries is somewhat convoluted.

In theory, there are thousands upon thousands of shareholders for Winnebago Industries. It is tough to know exactly how many as shares are changing hands all of the time. However, the shareholders are all classed as owners in the business.

In reality, the main owners of the business will be the people and companies that own a sizeable number of shares. We are talking more than 5% of all of the available shares. There are only about a dozen companies that own a good proportion of the shares.

Who Are Major Shareholders in Winnebago Industries?

None of the major shareholders in Winnebago Industries will be RV firms. Instead, they are investment and pension companies. 

The reason why they own a stake in Winnebago Industries is not to have an impact on the running of the business. Instead, it is so that they can profit whenever Winnebago Industries does good.

The reason why Winnebago Industries went public is so that by selling their shares, they are able to attract a huge amount of investment into the company. 

When somebody owns shares in a company like Winnebago Industries, they get a cut of the profits at the end of the year. It is never going to be a huge sum of cash, but when you own a ton of shares, it really starts to add up.

The money that the investors and pension companies earn from investing in Winnebago Industries will be given to the investors in their company or, in the case of pensions, dished out to anybody that has a pension with them.

It is tough to know exactly who is behind these investment firms. This is because most of those investment firms will have hundreds, if not thousands, of people pouring money into them. None of this information is going to be public information.

Investment firms really do want to do their best to keep the personal information of their clients personal, after all.

Because of all of this, we do not know who owns Winnebago Industries and, in turn, we don’t know who owns Grand Design outside of saying that it is a brand that belongs to Winnebago Industries.

Who Makes the Decisions at Winnebago Industries?

As we said, there are thousands of shareholders for Winnebago Industries. These shareholders are all owners of the company. However, as you can imagine, none of them are going to be making business decisions for Winnebago Industries. This would become rather convoluted.

In theory, for any one shareholder to have much of a say in Winnebago Industries and the running of Grand Design, they would need to own 50% of the shares.

There isn’t a single shareholder that even comes close to this.

Each year, shareholders are allowed to let their views be known. They will also have voting power over certain decisions that a company makes. This includes the recruitment of the board. However, they won’t really be making any huge decisions.

So, who does make the decisions for Winnebago Industries and Grand Design?

The Decision Makers at Grand Design

The day-to-day running of Grand Design is left in the hands of their CEO Don Clark. You can look at him as the brand manager. He is the person that decides when the brand introduces new models into the mix.

He is the one that sets budgets and helps Grand Design reach production and profit targets.

Anything that is related to only Grand Design will be left in his hands. Now, he is not an owner of the company. He may have received some shares as part of his compensation package. However, since he is the CEO, he is an employee for Grand Design, and nothing more than that.

The Decision Makers at Winnebago Industries

Michael Happe is the current CEO of Winnebago Industries. This means that Don Clark has to report to him.

Again, Michael Happe is not classed as an owner of Winnebago Industries. He is a CEO. However, it wouldn’t be surprising to us if he had shares in the company. This normally forms a key part of a compensation package for CEOs.

After all, knowing that the CEO is going to make money when the company is ‘on the up’ is going to be highly motivating for them.

Michael Happe is not going to have a huge role in the running of Grand Design. He will likely consult with Don Clark on occasion.

He may also give Grand Design budgets and targets, but Grand Design is such a small part of Winnebago Industries that he doesn’t need to involve himself in that side of things too much.

You can think of Michael Happe as the guy that is making decisions that will impact Winnebago Industries as a whole, while Don Clark is more of a ‘team leader’ that is controlling his own team.

Michael Happe is in place at the whim of the shareholders. Well, at the whim of the board of the company.

If the majority of shareholders do not like how Michael Happe is performing, then they can vote him out at any time.

Although, since the company has been making record amounts of profit since Michael Happe was brought in as the CEO back in 2017, we doubt that this is something that will be happening any time soon.

Can Anybody Buy Shares in Winnebago Industries? 

As we said before, anybody is able to buy shares in Winnebago Industries. This is because it is listed on the stock market.

If you can find a stockbroker, then you will be able to buy shares from them. However, do bear in mind that a single share in Winnebago Industries is not going to be all that cheap.

It also will not carry that many benefits beyond being a single share in one of the largest RV manufactures in the world. To make any sort of money from share owning, you would have to own hundreds, if not thousands, of them.

Once you own a share in Winnebago Industries, you will be entitled to the same rights as any other owner. This means that you will have voting rights on certain decisions, and you will also be able to get a cut of the profits at the end of the year.

That being said, we aren’t really here to talk about shareholders. We are not advisors. We just wanted to make you aware of the ownership structure of Winnebago Industries and Grand Design. 


So, there you have it. Grand Design RV is a part of Winnebago Industries. In fact, it is nothing more than a brand name applied to some of the more prestigious vehicles produced by Winnebago.

In turn, Winnebago Industries is a public company. This means that the main owners of the company are going to be pension firms and investment companies.

Neither of these is going to have a major impact on the running of the company. Instead, that is something that will be left in the hands of experienced and capable CEOs. 




Mike Gilmour

Hi, I'm Mike, co-founder, and editor of RV and Playa. My passion is traveling (with my RV) and enjoying the day at the beach (Playa)! Well, I originally created this blog as a way to share what I've learned by experimenting with the RV lifestyle, and I want to help others develop in life through new skills and opportunities.

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