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Grand Design RV Grows Workforce to Nearly 500

March 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Don Clark, Ron Fenech and Bill Fenech Grand Design RV Co. has hired nearly 500 employees in about 15 months. When you consider the Middlebury, Ind.-based recreational vehicle manufacturer only began producing its first RVs in January 2013 and already has nearly 500 employees, it’s hard to argue with the assessment of its president, Don Clark. “It’s crazy,” he said. “We are not even two years old.” As reported by the South Bend Tribune, Clark co-owns the company with Ron and Bill Fenech.... Read more

Big Crowd Expected for Tuesday’s Thor Auction

March 24, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

A large crowd is expected for Thor Industries Inc.’s auction Tuesday (March 25) of remaining towable inventory, work-in-progress units and assorted componentry at a former Monaco RV towable manufacturing plant in Elkhart, Ind. Hahn Auctioneers Inc., which is overseeing the liquidation, told RVBUSINESS.com they expect as many as 500 people. The auction is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. while a preview of inventory is running today from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thor has designs to expand production... Read more

SSI: Towable Sales Edge Down 1.6% in January

March 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Year-over-year retail towable registrations edged down 1.6% in January, perhaps reflecting the severe winter weather that has affected retail shows and manufacturers’ production schedules. According to the latest report from Statistical Surveys Inc., results showed: • Sales for the high-volume travel trailer sector grew 4.1% in January. • Fifth-wheel registrations declined 12.5% for the month. • Folding camping trailer sales were down 16.1% in January. • Recreational park trailer... Read more

Drew Industries Finalizes Buyout of Star Design

March 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Drew Industries Inc., parent to suppliers Lippert Components Inc. and Kinro Inc., has completed the previously announced acquisition of certain assets and the business of Star Design LLC, an Elkhart, Ind.-based manufacturer of thermoformed sheet plastic products for the RV, bus and specialty vehicle industries. According to a news release, the purchase price was $12.3 million, which was paid at closing from borrowings under Drew’s $75 million line of credit with JPMorgan Chase and Wells... Read more

2014 Elkhart RV Open House Set for Sept. 16-18

March 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Dealers check out product at Forest River display during last year's Open House There’s never a lot of pomp and circumstance or official announcements when it comes to Elkhart County’s RV Open House, an authentically different trade event that has grown over the past six years to become a key stop on the recreational vehicle industry’s annual show tour. In fact, since there’s no governing board, show director or sponsoring organization, the dates are quietly set each year in contacts... Read more

Lippert Leases Facility; Plans to Hire Hundreds

March 13, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Goshen, Ind.-based supplier Lippert Components Inc. plans to bring 180  jobs this year to the former A.J. Wright distribution center on South Bend’s west side, with the possibility of adding hundreds more in coming years. The South Bend Tribune reported that Lippert makes a broad range of components for the RV and manufactured housing industries. The company plans to lease the whole building at 1902 W. Sample St. for 12 years and sublet half of it to another distribution company,... Read more

Motorized RV Sales to Set Growth Pace for 2014

March 11, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Richard Curtin Timed with the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) upbeat Annual Meeting last week (Mar. 4-8) in Southern California was the release of an equally optimistic spring forecast from veteran RVIA prognosticator Richard Curtin, who predicts that RV shipments will total 339,600 units in 2014, a “healthy gain” of 5.7% over the 321,100 units shipped last year. While total 2013 shipments were 12.4% ahead of 2012 in an industry finding its way back to pre-recessionary... Read more

Industry Panel on Tap for May 8 Power Breakfast

March 10, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Hundreds of people who make their living in the recreational vehicle business will again convene with the industry’s national and regional leadership as well as area civic leaders on the morning of May 8, for a fortifying breakfast and a thought-provoking business agenda during the 2nd Annual RV Industry Power Breakfast at the Northern Indiana Event Center and RV/MH Hall of Fame in the RV-building hub of Elkhart, Ind. This year’s Power Breakfast, featuring a 7 a.m. buffet and a 7:15 a.m.... Read more

RVIA Board OKs Regional Office in Elkhart, Ind.

March 7, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

RVIA Chairman Doug Gaeddert After more than a year’s debate, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) board voted Wednesday (Mar. 6) to set up a regional office in Elkhart, Ind., a northern Indiana community around which North America’s RV industry has circled its wagons in the post-recessionary era. The board meeting ran in conjunction with the RVIA Annual Meeting, which opened Tuesday and concludes today at the Park Hyatt Aviara in Carlsbad, Calif. “Yesterday’s... Read more

Dutchmen Aspen Trail Sees Sales Bump in 2013

March 6, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Dutchmen Aspen Trail travel trailer Aspen Trail, a division of Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc., reported that sales for 2013 showed a marked increase according to the year-end report by Statistical Surveys Inc. “Final 2013 Stat Surveys numbers show Aspen Trail’s total sales increased 49% with a market share increase of over 27% for that same time period,” said Ryan Thwaits, Aspen Trail general manager, in a press release. Aspen Trail offers a wide range of travel trailers that combine a high-end... Read more

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