Thor Motor Coach is officially up and running at its second site in Wakarusa, Ind., following the startup of the company’s first production line at the new facilities there last week.
The move into the former Monaco facility comes at a good time for Thor Motor Coach (TMC). “The motorhome market is up 30% this year, which is very robust,” said TMC President Jeff Kime. “We are up even more at 55% and are gaining market share.”
The Elkhart, Ind.-based subsidiary of Thor Industries Inc. moved a production line from Elkhart to Wakarusa, transferring 250 employees with it. Thor itself moved its corporate headquarters from Jackson Center, Ohio, to Elkhart earlier this year.
“We will be starting a second production line in Wakarusa next month because we are at capacity in Elkhart,” Kime said, adding that the company plans to add another 100 workers in Wakarusa and another 100 workers in Elkhart over the next 90 days.
“This enables us to expand production lines here in Elkhart and actually add another production line. It’s a win-win,” he added. “It increases our capacity, and our output here.”
The 500,000-square-foot addition to TMC’s nearly 700,000 square feet in Elkhart also opens up future expansion possibilities. “We have longer-term plans. There’s room for a third production line in Wakarusa and more available land,” Kime said. “We do not quite have volume to fill it at the moment, but we have plans for the future.”
The former Monaco facility became available earlier this year when Allied Specialty Vehicle acquired Monaco and Holiday Rambler from Navistar Inc. and moved motorhome production to Decatur, Ind.
Bob Martin, president and CEO of Thor Industries, said TMC production will utilize the biggest portion of the extensive manufacturing campus but that the company is still developing plans for other segments — including the paint facilities for use by Thor division Keystone RV Co. “We do have another phase of utilizing plants for other pieces. I don’t have the full picture yet,” Martin said.