Country Coach Marks 1st Year, Continues Revival
Junction City, Ore.-based Country Coach Corp. continues to make strides in its comeback under the guidance of President Ron Lee, according to a press release.
One of the original founders of now defunct Country Coach LLC, Lee purchased the intellectual property and opened a 200,000-square-foot service center one year ago as the company marked its first anniversary on Jan. 3.
“We started with motorhome service. We can work on any motorhome but specialize in Country Coaches,” Lee said, noting that the company had reestablished all of the departments necessary to service and repair motorhomes. “This year we have been very busy working on all types of Country Coaches and Prevost conversions along with many other brands.”
In addition, Country Coach has added OEM parts, consignment sales and even an apparel store. Starting out with 10 employees, the firm’s work force has grown to about 25 workers.
Lee said that the first year was spent not only rebuilding the company infrastructure but also rebuilding the poorly maintained buildings.
“When it rained, more water came in than the roof shed,” Lee said. “We reestablished all of the manufacturing departments on the remaining 34 acres and 200,000 square feet of buildings. These included offices with server, computers and phone systems, paint department with state-of-the art downdraft booths, fiberglass and steel fabrication shops, cabinet shop, Dynomo meter, and a brake and laser alignment center.
After receiving a dealership license from the State of Oregon last January, the company is building its consignment business, selling only “very well maintained used coaches,” according to Lee. Currently, the consignment sales department, headed up by Glenn Norris, has a wide selection of coaches in the showroom with several more coaches on the way in preparation for the spring and summer travel months.
“We have really noticed the increase in calls this past week or so. It is like the switch has been turned on,” said Norris.
Country Coach also set up a website, www.countrycoach.com, and a Facebook page, and just released its third edition of the online eMagazine Country Coach Destinations, which offers owners valuable technical advice, news about CCC and even recipes. The latest edition, Winter 2012, can be found at http://destinations.countrycoach.com.
Lee said that he had three goals when he purchased the intellectual property back in 2010 after the company folded. His first priority was to save the property and buildings – with Country Coach LLC in bankruptcy, they had stopped paying the rent on the buildings. Goal number two was to save not only the brand name but the culture. “Bringing back the culture and information to Country Coach owners, who had nowhere to go, was of high importance,” he said.
The third goal was to bring jobs back to his friends at Country Coach and to a community that was devastated by the economy. So far, Country Coach has paid over $750,000 in payroll to employees who were previously employed by Country Coach. “Creating jobs in Junction City was and still is a top priority,” Lee said.
With still many new accomplishments and challenges in the near future, the next goal will be to start manufacturing new product. “This has always been the plan, to build jobs and new motorhomes here at Country Coach,” Lee said.