Thor Industries Inc. today (Jan. 9) announced plans to move its corporate headquarters by spring from its long-time base in Jackson Center, Ohio, to a new location along the St. Joseph River in downtown Elkhart, Ind.
“Given our commitment to the RV industry, we want to be more accessible and active in the community where a large majority of RVs are produced and where more than 70% of our operations are located,” said Thor Chairman and CEO Peter B. Orthwein in a press release. “With so many of Thor’s operations located in Elkhart and neighboring LaGrange counties, it makes sense to have our corporate management and support services as close to as many of our operating subsidiaries as possible.”
As part of the move, Thor’s existing corporate services staff already located in Elkhart will be housed in the new corporate facility on Beardsley Avenue.
“Thor has had a Thor Support Services facility in Elkhart with 30 people for the last three years,” reports Thor President and COO Bob Martin. “We’ve had our human resources, accounting, legal and information technology functions operating out of that office, which is on the north side of Elkhart. We’ve outgrown the offices, so we decided to find a larger office space and have found a building in downtown Elkhart that has been empty for several years and that we’re currently refurbishing.”
Thor’s new headquarters, which will house a staff of 30 to 40, a relatively small number for an 8,800-employee company, was originally the corporate base of Coachmen Industries Inc.
“The building needed a lot of work,” Martin told RVBUSINESS.com. “We’re doing a total renovation. We’ve actually even changed the entrance locations. So, the building looks different. We wanted to put our own image or signature on it so that people don’t see it as the old Coachmen building. And as you go inside, it will be a totally different look and feel. But it’s a great downtown Elkhart location, and it’s great for the community. It draws more people downtown and gets me a lot closer to some of the divisions that are south of Elkhart as well as some of the suppliers, and it keeps us more centrally located.
“We’ll also have enough room to have a board room there so that board members can actually come from New York and elsewhere to board meetings in Elkhart,” said Martin. “It’s a great thing for our company to get our board and entire company more tied to the Elkhart community because 70% of our production is in northern Indiana in Elkhart and LaGrange counties. So it only makes sense for Thor to be here.”
As for the remaining corporate staff in Jackson Center, Martin says there’s really only a couple of employees who haven’t already moved to northern Indiana, and they’ll likely commute.
“The Thor family of companies represent the nation’s largest manufacturer of RVs and a major producer of buses and ambulances, and we’re delighted to have them in Elkhart,” added Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore. “Their presence in the downtown area will bring more investors and corporate activity to our economy, which is great for everyone.”