Word spread throughout the industry today (Jan. 20) that the manufacturer of the legendary Coleman folding camping trailer — FTCA Inc. — has shut down its plant in Somerset, Pa.
And while company spokesmen were unavailable for comment, it appears that those rumors are true – based on reports from several reliable sources.
”We got an e-mail from our regional sales manager stating that they (company employees) were told yesterday at 3 o’clock that the company was no longer in business,” confirms Andy Heck, president of Alpin Haus, a Coleman dealer in Amsterdam, N.Y., since the 1970s. “We assumed that an announcement would be made to a dealer body as a whole.”
On the other hand, several other Coleman dealers contacted today said they had not been informed of the company’s closure.
Meanwhile, Heck predicts that the Coleman brand, built for a period of years prior to FTCA by Fleetwood Enterprises Inc., will reappear. FTCA was licensing the Coleman brand name from outdoor outfitter The Coleman Company Inc., Wichita, Kan.
”I think someone will take it over,” Heck said. ”It’s too good a brand for someone not to pick it up.”
FTCA was formed in 2008 by Bethesda, Md.-based investment firm Blackstreet Capital Management LLC, which bought the Somerset plant from Fleetwood.
Coleman itself built popups in Somerset from 1967 to 1989 when Fleetwood purchased the company.
Fleetwood built Coleman popups until 2003 when Fleetwood and Coleman parted ways.