Skyline’s Decio Makes Moves to Grow RV Sales
Skyline Corp.’s Terry Decio says he’s back in charge of RV sales after a hiatus of many years, and that he is consolidating all of the company’s RV production in Elkhart, Ind., over the next four or five weeks.
Decio told RVBUSINESS.com that in addition to Elkhart, where the RV and manufactured home builder is based, the company currently operates RV plants in Bristol, Ind., and Mansfield, Texas.
“We will keep the Mansfield plant running for a while, until we decide what to do with it,” said Decio, son of Skyline founder Art Decio. “Texas is still the No. 1 destination state for RVs, so we want to continue to work that market in a big way and will continue shipping a lot of product into the Lone Star State. But we’re going to do it from Elkhart County.”
On the RV side, Skyline today makes smaller travel trailers, destination trailers and park models. Decio is intent on adding to that mix.
“What I’m trying to do is expand the base of product into the market,” says Decio. “I cannot produce the variety of product that buyers are looking for out of the Texas plant. I can give them far more choices out of the Indiana plant because 90% of towable RV’s are built in Indiana and the Elkhart plants are a lot bigger than our facility in Texas.
“I can’t build any of the bigger units in Texas, plus there’s no supplier base. I’m the last plant left down there – everybody else has left. I can’t be flexible or creative, so I made a decision based on the fact that we want to offer more products. I know that in Elkhart I can do anything I want.”
The consolidation comes on the heels of the company’s annual earnings report which showed a net loss of $10.5 million, punctuated by a 10% decline in year-over-year RV sales.
Decio said that Terry Bodenbender, who has been running RV operations, will continue focusing more on product development as he has done for the past 18 months.
“I managed RV’s for a long time. Now, I’ve decided, I want to do it again,” Decio said, noting that he will assume duties as vice president of sales for and marketing for both RV’s and housing. “I ran RV’s for 20 years, then focused on the housing side after 40 years with the company. Everybody’s excited. I’m excited, and I want to keep pushing this business along. I think it’s going to get better and better.”
Skyline builds manufactured housing in several locations, including Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Kansas, California and Oregon. Decio aknowledged that the MH side is “a bigger component” for Skyline than RV’s.
“We’ve always been larger in the housing than we were in the RV’s,” Decio said. “But now we want to grow our RV’s again, too.”
Decio adds that Skyline will have product to show dealers during next month’s Elkhart County RV Open House, exhibiting on Northland Drive in Elkhart.