Business Insider: Airstream's CEO Explains How The Coronavirus Pandemic Convinced Him To Pursue Work-From-Anywhere Innovations

Jul 22, 2020

Airstream CEO Bob Wheeler wants to be clear that he's in no way happy about the COVID-19 crisis. He is, however, happy that none of his factory employees have tested positive for the virus. And it turns out that the pandemic has led to a business boom for Airstream, the likes of which Wheeler has never seen. It's easy to see why.

"It's hard to imagine a product that checks as many boxes as an RV for the emerging pandemic lifestyle," he said in an interview with Business Insider.

For several years now, Airstream has been courting younger buyers and looking to adapt its business to changes in mobility by thinking about a driverless future and enhancing connectivity.

Wheeler said two trends have come into sharper focus during the pandemic: working from home and and remote learning.

The first, he said, is all about "taking your job on the road." If work from home can actually be work from anywhere, then an Airstream could become a rolling office. Wheeler pointed to the fact that Airstream founder Wally Byam routinely worked from one of his own trailers.

"We're developing variations for our travel trailer floor plans, with dedicated workspaces," he said. When work is over, desks and other systems can be stowed away.

Life on the road is changing for kids, too. So, Wheeler said, Airstream is thinking about how families can take life, work, and education on the road. That's entailed reliable by WiFi — through a partnership with AT&T — and a powerful antennae built into the trailer.

"Mom and dad can work, and kids can learn," he said. "It's right in the middle of what Airstream is all about."

Check out the full article from Business Insider here.