After securing funding from an overseas investor, MVP RV turned the lights back on at its Moreno Valley, Calif., factory and began building trailers a few weeks ago with 55 workers, slowly paying back debts one at a time, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise.
“Everybody is driving with their brakes on,” said CEO and President Brad Williams, referring to the calculated approach the company is taking to increase production and pay suppliers and contact dealerships.
The company isn’t currently hiring or accepting applications, he said.
On Friday (March 26), he had two pages of trailer orders on his desk.
Gary and Dottie Williams, of Hawthorne — no relation to Brad Williams — ordered the company’s Summit travel trailer in April 2009. Nearly a year later, Gary Williams still has a deposit on the trailer through Giant RV and expects it to be delivered soon.
“I didn’t mind waiting,” he said. “If you wait and it’s something you really like, it’s worth the wait.”
Williams shut down MVP RV’s plant in the middle of 2009. Lacking capital, the company first tried merging with competitors and then sought loans from banks. Neither proved successful, so the company went overseas looking for investors.
The company considered bankruptcy, but didn’t want to “go out like that,” said Roger Humeston, CFO and chief administrative officer. Humeston said he explained to investors that the RV industry was bound to “come back with a vengeance.”
While looking for funding for their RV operations, they encountered CT&T, a South Korean firm interested in making small electric vehicles in the Unites States.
The idea of MVP-EV was born. Executives of both companies announced a partnership in September that would have MVP build CT&T’s cars, but not before MVP raised investment capital to reopen the Moreno Valley plant and retrofit the facility to make electric vehicles.
Unable to secure funding, the plan to build CT&T’s vehicles has hit a “plateau,” Williams said. The agreement between the two companies doesn’t preclude CT&T from partnering with another West coast manufacturer, he said.