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Carriage Assets Will Go on Auction Block Feb. 9

Myron Bowling Auctioneers, Hamilton, Ohio, is advertising the “complete liquidation” of the assets for luxury fifth-wheel manufacturer Carriage Inc., scheduled for 9 a.m. on Feb. 9 at the company’s Millersburg, Ind., headquarters.

Carriage was a venerable manufacturer known for its inventive engineering and commitment to quality, building high-end fifth-wheels under the Cabo, Cameo, Carri-Lite and Royals International brands. Auction listings include finished RVs, raw materials, brand names and equipment. (For details, click here.)

News first surfaced in mid-October that Carriage, founded by Clarence Yoder in 1969, was having financial troubles. RVBUSINESS.com reported that PNC Bank out of Indianapolis had filed suit Oct. 18 to take possession of Carriage, which reportedly owed the bank more than $5 million. The suit came a day after around 180 Carriage workers were furloughed.

The bank was demanding immediate payment of overdue loans and maintained in the suit in Elkhart County Superior Court I that Carriage owner Glenn Cushman was in default of his financial obligations to PNC Bank from as far back as September of 2009, requiring the issuance of several loan extensions.

Rick Van Es, who was hired six weeks prior to the filing at the request of PNC Bank to engineer a restructuring of the company, claimed at the time that Carriage was “blindsided” after submitting a viable turnaround plan to PNC.

“We were very much blindsided because the other thing that happened here is that the company was requested to find replacement financing for PNC,” Van Es told RVBUSINESS.com. “PNC had suggested that if the company could replace its operating line of credit – and also bring in enough money to pay down the mortgage to an 85% loan-to-value – that the bank would be happy to continue to move forward with the company.

“The company raised all the money that was required to achieve that, and we actually have not only commitment letters from those lenders, we were actually reviewing contracts and got to the point where our new lenders asked PNC for payoff letters, and PNC would not provide them. At the end of the day, what PNC said was ‘we’re not interested; we’re going to file a suit.”

After the proceedings with PNC became public, RVBUSINESS.com reported that Carriage owners and dealers rallied behind the builder.

“We’ve had an outpouring of concern from Carriage owners, 90 dealers, nothing but positive support for us, and it’s sad,” said Ed Kinney, vice president of sales and marketing for Carriage. “It affects 200 people in the community, the vendors and dealers nationwide and in Canada. Actually, we’ve got units on line right now that are supposed to be going to England, and the bank won’t work with us to make this work.”

Despite reports in local media that PNC and Carriage were close to an agreement, no deal was ever finalized.


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Comments Disabled To "Carriage Assets Will Go on Auction Block Feb. 9"

#1 Comment By Scott Y. On January 3, 2012 @ 3:25 pm

I am extreamly disapointed that Carriage couldn’t get a agreement with PNC Bank that they both could live with. The company had a solid reputation, and had been in business for a long time. I guess banks don’t care how long you’ve been a customer.. It’s the mentality well what have you done for me today.. That was yesterday.. prevailes!

I don’t understand why a big company couldn’t get $5 mill. together through a different bank, or through letting the workers buy out the company to become a publicly owned company or employee owned?? (I’m not a finance guru)

The bottom line is, I hope someone comes along & buys everything then keeps the doors open and the Carriage name going, just with different ownership & management. (I blame the management for failing to keep Carriage alive.. they let everyone down but themselves. I’m sure “they” aren’t hurting.. They were “taken care of” & snatched up by other big RV companies to try and use then to start their own line of high end 5th wheels.. (I use Thor & Redwood.. Evergreen & another high end 5th wheel not yet named…as examples)..

I still hope to own a Carriage someday soon.. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed to see what happens!!

#2 Comment By Fred On January 3, 2012 @ 3:54 pm

I think that PNC should be investigated for questionable business practices and the miss use of the Obama bailout funds that was suppose to help people and small business’s get bank loans.
I have an $80,000+, 2010 Carriage recreational vehicle that I won’t be able to get warranty repairs made, should the unit need them.
Why would PNC not give payoff figures requested by the new lenders?

#3 Comment By Richard G On January 3, 2012 @ 8:17 pm

Shame shame on PNC. If the report above is true, I cannot imagine why the big bad bank would pull the rug on this old trusted compay. If the company is sold and there is a deficiency, the Carriage company would have no alternative but to declare banjruptcy, leaving the bank with a very large charge-off.
Seems to me, the bank would rather work with Carriage in lieu of taking a big loss.

I worked for a large domestic car manufacturing, the finance division, and we were instructed to do everything possible to keep the, customer in their car. The company wanted their money, not a vehicle.

So sorry Carriage, I was about to order a 5th wheel, but now, who knows. Maybe Thor or Forrest River will buy the company and put all those employees back to work.

#4 Comment By bonnie On January 3, 2012 @ 9:52 pm

I blame PNC Bank and owner Glenn Cushman. This bank should be investigated Obama wants to keep jobs so why not help a company like Carriage whom has always stood above their competitors on quality. They have been around for as long as I can remember. This is very sad for employees as well as their customers.

#5 Comment By mac On January 4, 2012 @ 4:50 pm

I worked at carriage and I will say that the new owner and the management was definitely the cause of the down fall there was way too much over head too much help in some areas and not enough help in others. But as rumor has it this is not the first RV company the Pnc has put out.

#6 Comment By John On January 11, 2012 @ 6:58 pm

Someone should be investigated word on the street has it several buyers with lots of
cash made offers and were turned down by PNC. Then comes liquidation fat cat
investment banker walks away hands clean pockets full of cash. PNC has their
cash leaving 180 dedicated loyal hardworking employees scrambling to pay
mortgages and car payments.I started working at Carriage at 19 years old now
going on 57 its going to be hard to move on. Thank you C.T. and Ideanna Yoder
for a great place to work the last 36 and a half years.