Carriage, Lender May Be Nearing Agreement

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October 22, 2011 by   8 Comments

A bank that filed a lawsuit to take possession of Carriage Inc. in Millersburg, Ind., may be open to a deal to turn the company around, according to a Carriage consultant quoted in a front-page article in today’s (Oct. 22) The Goshen (Ind.) News.

“We got to have our meeting with the bank,” Rick Van Es, a business turnaround consultant, said Friday afternoon. “I think we are on a positive track right now.”

PNC Bank of Indianapolis filed a lawsuit in Elkhart Superior Court 1 Tuesday asking for control of Carriage, which the bank says owes it more than $5 million. Glenn Cushman is the owner of Carriage Inc., which has been based in Millersburg for the past 45 years. The company manufactures luxury fifth-wheel recreational vehicles. Cushman has been unreachable for comment on the legal developments.

Van Es said the situation is headed in a positive direction right now. He said there is still a lot of work to do on working out a restructuring of the company that the bank will agree to.

And Van Es admits the Millersburg community is very worried about the possibility of losing a traditional company and the 200 jobs there.

“We have all been fighting for this company and these jobs in Millersburg,” he said.

He said while there are 200 jobs at Carriage, each of those jobs have a positive effect on Millersburg eight to 10 times over.

“It’s not over yet,” he said, “but I believe it is headed in the right direction.”

Van Es said the bank found defaults in the legal covenants in its agreements with Cushman, but not with Cushman’s payments. “The company always made their payments on time,” Van Es said.

He said PNC Bank is the only senior secured lender the company has.

Despite the financial and legal issues, Carriage has popular RV products that are in demand through about 90 dealers nationwide, according to Van Es.

“(The Carriage brand) is very much in demand,” Van Es said. “It is a marquee brand. We have had an outpouring of sentiments from dealers cheering us on. It is a good feeling to have everyone pulling for you.”

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8 Responses to “Carriage, Lender May Be Nearing Agreement”

  1. Neil & Monica Pearcy on October 22nd, 2011 1:15 pm

    I sure hope things get settled. We are on our second Carriage in 11 years and cannot visualize owning any other products. More than that we are members of the club which has become an extended family.

  2. Chuck Spelman on October 23rd, 2011 8:17 am

    After all Carriage has done for us this is good news. They are good people once you meet them in person and spend time with them. Their were alot of lessons learned on both sides, consumer and manufacture over a years time as we brought our own situation to a close. Without mentioning certain names in the organization due to the situation at hand, I personally thank them for helping us work things out. Bye the way it was great talking to ya Buckey while we were at the factory. Lets all hope for the best!

  3. Wild Wolf Products on October 23rd, 2011 8:50 am

    Sure hope the company is back to doing what they do best. Making the best camper for the $$. We had plans on buying a Cameo this coming spring, and still have those same plans. We will still buy a new unit if they are rolling off the line. If not we will be looking at one sitting on the dealers lot or a almost new used unit.

  4. Dave Cunningham on October 23rd, 2011 2:42 pm

    I was a parts rep there in the PSW department. I’ve already found a job at another RV company. I can’t wait around. And to the best of my knowledge, I’ll never see the 72 hours of vacation pay that was owed to me. I’ve been there 10 years, and it is sad to say I’m through with Carriage. I have a feeling I’m not the only one. Others are looking for jobs elsewhere. Even if they do “right the ship”, There won’t be a whole lot of people to fill the positions.

  5. Shan McLemore on October 24th, 2011 2:42 pm

    You know, in this land of making a buck, somehow Carriage has managed to hang in there. From what I know, they make a great product. Over the years I have seen so many companies come and go. But Carriage was always there. I think back on when I was an RV dealer, and I wish I had had the opportunity to do business with them. Off the top of my head, Carriage, Western RV, and Chinook – all great companies that didn’t make it- I hope Carriage continues to make it.

  6. Chuck Spelman on October 29th, 2011 9:56 am

    When you spend more to make a quality product, then the economy goes south due to causes of greed in the Fed Govt, you have to make marketing changes to stay afloat which are positive to the bottom line until warranty issues start to arise. Having been apart of this as a consumer as I prieviously stated, Carriage was starting to make changes to the road to recovery, but that 5M was owed trying to keep their product as quality not quanity. If you went to the plant in the past year you would see no inventory like most of the other manufactures in the area. I just retired and would be willing to donate my time to help them get back on line doing what ever. I just made a trip across the US and had a rather large problem that Carriage helped us get repaired. I have meet alot of the employees and they all have a high standard of workmanship which answers alot of questions. The RV industry has a long road ahead but it’s owners like myself who will wither the storm with them and support the changes they make. Thank to all the employees and we support you and respect you.

  7. Theresa Felder on November 3rd, 2011 10:43 pm

    I also hope we can go back to work soon.. I have been with Carriage for 12 years and I miss my JOB. I miss my boss… Now how many people can say that?

  8. John Darrenkamp on November 6th, 2011 5:24 pm

    Yes let’s get back to building the best RV’s in the world
    been doing it for 36 years. I miss my job and my Carriage family.