A member of the family that founded Oregon-based Country Coach plans to reopen the company in January, on what appears to be a smaller scale — at least initially — than the RV maker formerly operated on, the Eugene Register-Guard reported.
Country Coach LLC went out of business last year.
Newly incorporated Country Coach Corp. says on its website: “We are pleased to announce that Country Coach Corporation is starting up operations at the factory in Junction City, Oregon, on January 3, 2011. At that time we will post contact numbers for our service center and our technical service support lines here on our website.”
“Country Coach Corporation owns all of the intellectual property (IP) of the former Country Coach, Inc. and Country Coach LLC,” according to the website, www.countrycoach.com. “This IP includes all of the production tooling and molds for fabricating virtually every part of your Country Coach Motorhome. Also included in the IP are all of the engineering drawings, bills of material, and as-built configurations for Country Coach Motor homes and DynoMax chassis built over the years.
“Our initial goal is to use the power of the IP and factory trained personnel to supply complete coach service, parts manufacturing, paint shop, phone technical service, and consignment sales to help maintain the investment in your Country Coach Motorhome.”
At the bottom of the website is a photo of a Country Coach RV, with the caption “Ron Lee’s 2009 Country Coach Magna.” Lee, who could not be reached for comment, is listed as the agent for Country Coach Corp. in state records.
Lee’s brother, Bob, founded Country Coach in 1973. The company was sold to California-based National R.V. Holdings in 1996, but Lee and others complained about what they saw as the new owner’s lack of support for the Junction City operation. A group led by Los Angeles investment banker Bryant Riley that included Bob Lee bought Country Coach back in 2007, shortly before the recession hit. Country Coach LLC, which had financial problems, attempted to reorganize under the protection of bankruptcy court, was unable to do so and was liquidated.
Earlier this year, Ron and Bob Lee and Bob’s wife, Terry, bought the company’s intellectual property as well as key pieces of equipment at auction. The family already owns most of the land and buildings.
Junction City’s interim administrator, Jamon Kent, said Friday that the city is aware — “and very supportive” — of efforts to resurrect Country Coach in some form.
“Country Coach is an extremely important part of our town and has been for some time,” Kent said. At its peak, Country Coach employed about 1,800 people. And, Kent said, the company and its employees supported other local businesses.
Kent said he believes Ron Lee plans, at least initially, to serve Country Coach owners who want to repair or modify their RVs, rather than build new ones. David Diamond, who is working with Lee on the start-up, said he couldn’t provide much information beyond what is on the company website.
But, he said, “Ron Lee has three goals: To save the property, to save the name Country Coach, and to bring back jobs to Lane County for so many workers that formerly worked for Country Coach, or the RV industry, or any industry that has gone away in our neighborhood.”