Coachmen Expanding Towables Output
Coachmen Industries Inc. will be able to expand its production of certain midsize travel trailers and fifth-wheels by 40% as a result of the company moving the operations of one of its factories from Goshen to Middlebury, Ind., according to Mike Terlep, president of Coachmen RV Co.
Coachmen sold a 79,000-square-foot towables assembly plant in Goshen to Thor Industries Inc.’s Keystone RV Co. subsidiary and Coachmen has relocated the Goshen plant’s activities into a factory it bought from Jayco Inc.
Coachmen began production in its new plant north of Middlebury on Monday (March 29), the same day that it finalized the sale of its Goshen factory to Keystone.
Coachmen bought from Jayco a 114,300-square-foot factory on 12 acres just south of the Indiana-Michigan State Line. It is about 20 miles northeast of Goshen and about five miles north of Middlebury, where Jayco is headquartered and where Coachmen has its main RV assembly complex.
Jayco built the plant north of Middlebury during 2000 to produce Class A motorhomes. Jayco discontinued its Class A motorhome effort about a year ago.
In its new plant, Coachmen is producing midsize Cascade travel trailers, midsize Spirit of America travel trailers and fifth-wheels, and mid-to-larger size Catalina travel trailers and fifth-wheels.
“This facility will allow us to increase our output over the old plant by more than 40%,” Terlep said. “It will also improve our operating efficiencies and quality due to its size and layout, and its proximity to other support operations located on our main complex.
“We are also pleased that the new plant will provide an improved work environment and better facilities for our employees,” Terlep added.
Most of the 90 people who worked at Coachmen’s Goshen plant transferred to the new facility north of Middlebury. And Coachmen plans to hire about 50 more people to staff its new facility.
“The voices of our team members played a large role in our decision to make this investment,” Terlep said. “We looked to our team members and listened to their input as we defined the layout of the new plant for improved material flow, work content and throughput. Their positive response and valuable insight has been absolutely phenomenal.”