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Winnebago Diversifies, Building Shuttle Buses

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November 5, 2012 by   Leave a Comment

The company famous for motorhomes is going into the bus business. The Mason City (Iowa) Globe Gazette reported that Winnebago Industries Inc. is getting ready to produce Metro Link, a new transit bus that the manufacturer said will use some of its motorhome technology in a shuttle-type bus.

According to Randy Potts, chairman, CEO and president for the Forest City-based company, it’s part of Winnebago’s effort to diversify its business in a way to avert a repeat of a downturn in 2008 that caused the company to close one factory and shrink its work force from a peak of 4,220 in August 2004 to 1,694 five years later.

“My challenge is to make Winnebago the leader in the industry in unit volume, in revenues and profits, naturally. Beyond that, we do need to look for ways of expanding our business, either parallel to or outside the RV market,” Potts said.

The first step was forming the Winnebago of Indiana LLC subsidiary, which builds SunnyBrook and Winnebago brand towable products. Now, Winnebago plans to turn out buses.

Three prototypes of the 25-seat vehicle already have been built and tested, Potts said, noting the tests came out “very well.”

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