Ron Lee Updates the Country Coach Recovery
From the RV industry to semiconductor plants, manufacturing companies in Oregon crumbled under the weight of the so-called Great Recession.
As the American economy recovers, manufacturing companies are starting to rebuild, KEZI-TV, Eugene, Ore., reported.
The recession hit the motorcoach industry like a tidal wave and wiped out dealerships and manufacturers.
“It was devastating to the RV industry, but the RV industry is coming out of it,” said Ron Lee, president of Country Coach Corp.
Lee is the new owner of Country Coach. His brother Bob started the company in 1974.
“I was here in the beginning when we were called Country Camper, and I just have this, I guess it’s a passion for this company,” Ron Lee said.
Ron Lee retired from Country Coach in 1995.
In 2008, the company started to experience rough water that soon turned into bankruptcy and eventually Country Coach went out of business. The assets were sold at auction.
With a new purpose and a new plan, Ron Lee came back in hopes to rescue the drowning company.
“I came back for the auction and purchased the intellectual property and the equipment that I needed,” Lee said.
With that equipment, Lee threw a life preserver to Country Coach.
His employees are now building coaches on an order basis.
“We now can build any part of a Country Coach, including doing it totally, but we still have excess space,” Lee said.
As for that extra space and the 15 employees he needs to pay, he’s using something he calls “incubator companies” to build the life raft.
“We have two of those coming on right now,” Lee said.
Those incubator companies help Lee broaden his base and keep that life raft afloat, which is a method other manufacturers are employing as well.
Country Coach is building again with future plans to build sustainable coaches.
“If you have some sort of faith in mankind and especially this American spirit, you have to know that it’s going to come back and it’s going to come back stronger than ever, and I just want to be there when it happens,” Lee said.