Earthbound RV LLC, a maker of fuel-efficient recreational vehicles, announced Tuesday (Feb. 16) that it will site a new manufacturing operation in Marion, Ind., creating up to 300 new jobs by 2013, according to a news release.
The newly established firm will invest in the purchase of new equipment and make upgrades to an existing facility in Marion, located 40 miles northeast of Indianapolis. The company plans to lease 92,000 square feet of the building for its assembly operations and headquarters. It will be moving from its facility in Middlebury, Ind., where it has operated since its founding in 2008.
“As expected, the RV industry is reinventing itself and starting to bounce back,” said Gov. Mitch Daniels. “We couldn’t be happier to see the revolution happen here in Indiana, a state known for high quality production and skilled workers.”
Earthbound RV’s travel trailers can weigh up to 1,500 pounds less than a conventionally designed RV and are made using recyclable, low volatile organic compound materials such as composites and aluminum. The company plans to begin production of its towable RVs in March.
“We are extremely excited to be moving to Marion. This wonderful opportunity would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of Mayor Seybold and his terrific staff and the IEDC,” said Bill Hughes, Earthbound RV chief operating officer. “It became very clear to us that living and working in Marion was the right direction for Earthbound RV, and we look forward to a great relationship with the local community. We greatly appreciate the trust and confidence that has been placed upon us.”
Earthbound RV currently has seven models in development and an established network of dealerships located throughout the United States and in Canada. The company plans to begin hiring production associates as facility modifications are completed in the next 30 days. Earthbound RV expects to add 60 workers this year.
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Earthbound RV LLC up to $900,000 in performance-based tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. The city of Marion will provide additional incentives.
“Marion and Grant County have a wealth of highly skilled individuals necessary to carry out the quality and value goals already visible in the Earthbound product, we are thrilled to have won their business,” said Mayor Wayne Seybold. “This company will add to the diversity and growth that we have seen in our manufacturing sector and we are thrilled to grow jobs in our community by 300.”
Earthbound RV’s announcement comes just more than two months after recreational vehicle manufacturer, Riverside Travel Trailers, announced it would invest more than $1.1 million to expand its manufacturing operations in north central Indiana, creating 100 new jobs by 2011.
The Earthbound RV senior management team Include Ken Geljack, president, and Bill Hughes, COO, former executives of Four Winds RV, Fleetwood RV, and Dutchmen RV. Another strategic alliance is with technology company TekModo. (www.tekmodo.net )
The company also noted that having three Indiana Wesleyan University graduates in the company (two of C. David Hoefer’s sons and Earthbound COO Bill Hughes) played a significant role in the decision to choose Marion, where the university is located.