Canadian Dealer Eyes Fleetwood Plant
A veteran Canadian RV dealer proposes to buy the Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. travel trailer plant in La Grande, Ore., and begin production there of a new product.
Craig Little, owner of Arbutus RV & Marine Sales Ltd., Cobble Hill, British Columbia, told RVBusiness today (April 28) that he hopes to close on the purchase of the 103,000-square-foot plant and adjoining property in May and begin production yet this year.
The proposed purchase price is $1.8 million, Fleetwood revealed in a motion filed with the federal bankruptcy court overseeing its Chapter 11 reorganization.
Little, a 21-year veteran of the RV business, has been a major Fleetwood dealer in the Northwest, carrying the company’s towable and motorized products as well as manufactured housing and recreational park trailers, he said. He owns five dealerships, all located on Vancouver Island. This would be his first entry into manufacturing.
The demise of Fleetwood’s travel trailer business and British Columbia-based BigFoot Industries, two of Little’s leading brands, as well as the uncertainty over the future of the Monaco Coach line, prompted Little to look elsewhere for product, he said
He said the idea of manufacturing his own brand could minimize some of those challenges and provide “a stable source of inventory.”
He hopes “to do a quick turnaround and get product in the field” later this year.
However, at this point, no plans are set in stone and he did not reveal any details as to specifications or even a product name.
The Fleetwood assets he is buying consist of real property, buildings, equipment and other assets used in and associated with the manufacturing of travel trailers.
The hearing to approve the proposed sale of the plant will be conducted before Judge Meredith A. Jury in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, Riverside Division, on May 13.