It’s been a year of change at Thor Industries Inc. as the company has refocused its efforts on the RV business.
The South Bend (Ind.) Tribune reported that the company took another step in that direction last week by announcing that it had acquired the assets of Bison Coach, a specialty trailer manufacturer, from an operating unit of Navistar Inc. for about $16.7 million.
The latest purchase is part of a whirlwind year for the RV company. In the past year, the company also has moved its corporate headquarters to Elkhart from Jackson Center, Ohio, purchased Livin’ Lite RV, sold its bus business to Allied Specialty Vehicles for $100 million, sold most of the assets of its ambulance subsidiary SJC Industries to Wheeled Coach Industries Inc., a subsidiary of Allied Specialty Vehicles Inc., and purchased the former Navistar and Monaco Coach plant in Wakarusa.
“For us, we’ve really positioned the company to be primarily an RV company,” said Bob Martin, Thor Industries president and CEO, in a phone interview.
“Throughout the year we’ve moved away from ambulance and bus, and we’ve picked up Livin’ Lite, who’s a small RV manufacturer in Wakarusa,” said Martin, who became CEO in June when Peter Orthwein gave up the position to focus on serving as executive chairman of the board.
“We’ve purchased the Wakarusa production complex to manufacture motorhomes for Thor Motor Coach,” he continued. “That’s a part of the market we feel is coming back and that we’re doing very well in.”
Thor’s total Indiana employment is now about 7,600.
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