Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from an article by the Press-Enterprise, Riverside, Calif., offering an in-depth look at the up-and-down ride endured by now shuttered MVP RV Inc. and its relationship with Chinese entrepreneur Winston Chung. To view the entire story click here.
MVP RV Inc., a Riverside, Calif., company that had high hopes of selling $5 billion worth of recreational vehicles to China, has shut down and will be sold off amid a dispute pitting one foreign investor against others.
After faltering in 2009, the company had been given a second chance and seemingly a financial windfall when Winston Chung, a Chinese businessman and inventor of a type of lithium batteries, came to its rescue.
Chung was named chairman and after making an initial investment, pledged another $310 million to MVP RV so it could export 30,000 recreational vehicles to China including all-electric models, a plan that earned the company a trip to Washington, D.C. and mention by the White House as it lauded trade opportunities with China.
There’s hope the company could return to recreational vehicle production again depending on who buys it, which could include Chung himself who has reportedly made offers. It wouldn’t be the first time MVP RV had been revived in its short life that’s included very public ups and downs.
Three former Thor California executives started the company in mid-2008 just as the recession was taking hold and by 2009 shut down the factory in search of an investor. At first, the company made the auto show rounds lauding a partnership with a South Korean firm to build all-electric cars, but the deal never happened. Then Chung came on board and MVP RV fired up a former Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. factory to build RVs, including electric prototypes with Chung’s battery technology.
But Chung had been one among a group of Chinese investors called Fadar International who now argue Chung shoved them out of the MVP investment, used the RV company as a method to gain international prominence and crafted a fraudulent document to claim full ownership of their stake in MVP RV, according to a lawsuit filed last August in Riverside County Superior Court.
The litigation is pending, but in mid-December Fadar International called for the shutdown of MVP RV and signed over its assets to a firm that liquidates companies to pay off creditors versus forcing a company to file for bankruptcy.
Shortly after, the company laid off its entire work force, about 200 people, but didn’t file a WARN notice with the state.
To read the entire article click here.