Indiana’s LaGrange County Economic Development Corp. (LCEDC) has awarded a $50,000 grant from the LaGrange County Investment Fund to CrossRoads RV.
According to a press release, the towable builder announced last December that it was expanding operations and constructing a new facility at its campus in Topeka. The project is expected to result in the creation of up to 250 new jobs at CrossRoads RV by 2014, and will include approximately $3.9 million in new investment in the community.
“We are thankful for the assistance from the LCEDC and the LaGrange County Investment Fund,” said Don Emahiser, president of CrossRoads RV. “We were nearing capacity with our current facilities, and really needed to find additional manufacturing space. This grant from the Investment Fund really helped us make constructing a new facility that is tailored to our needs a reality.”
“We are always happy to help a local company like CrossRoads RV expand their operations in our community,” said Ken Mishler, chair of the LaGrange County Investment Fund Advisory Board. “This grant helped CrossRoads RV create another large investment into our LaGrange County community and we are thrilled that they have continued to grow locally.”
The CrossRoads RV grant represents the largest job creation project to date. “Making LaGrange County attractive for business investment is the main goal of the LCEDC and the Investment Fund. We are thankful to the LaGrange County Commissioners and Council for giving us the ability to provide an investment incentive such as this to our customers to help them bring growth to our community,” said Mark Leu, chairman for the LCEDC. “Their foresight in helping the LCEDC create this fund continues to pay dividends for our economic development efforts.”
“CrossRoads RV has been a great partner for the Town of Topeka and LaGrange County, and we’re excited that they have continued to grow in our community,” said Keith Gillenwater, president and CEO of the LaGrange County Economic Development Corp. “A local success story like the continued growth of CrossRoads RV as one of our largest employers is truly what the mission of the LCEDC is all about –bettering the lives of all in our community through the opportunities that economic development brings.”
On a snowy Indiana morning that was clouded with the past, the future emerged bright as Syracuse, Ind.-based Redwood RV, a division of Thor Industries Inc., purchased the brand names, trademarks and intellectual property of venerable RV manufacturer Carriage Inc. Tuesday (Feb. 21) during a court-ordered liquidation of Carriage assets.
Carriage, a luxury fifth-wheel manufacturer established in 1969, was ordered into liquidation following protracted discussions between company executives and its lenders, primarily PNC Bank out of Indianapolis. Ultimately, PNC filed suit Oct. 18 to take possession of Carriage, which reportedly owed the bank more than $5 million.
More than 700 bidders had reportedly registered with Ross, Ohio-based Myron Bowling Auctioneers Inc. for the one-day event. Bidding for the Carriage intangible assets was the high point of the event, which also included everything from lots of axles to finished fifth-wheels.
“It’s a historic brand, it’s been around for more than 40 years, and we think there’s a place for historical brands in this industry,” said Don Emahiser, president of both Redwood RV and Topeka, Ind.-based CrossRoads RV. “And we think we’re a company that’s up to the challenge of continuing its legacy.”
Emahiser told RVBUSINESS.com that the Thor division had its eye on the Carriage brand since the former Millersburg, Ind., company had faltered last fall and it became evident that the intellectual property might become available.
“Once the company shut down, we knew the name would be available and, yes, there was an attraction there,” Emahiser noted. “But up until then, no, because Redwood’s been doing amazingly well.
“It’s (Carriage) a brand name we felt we could do something with — and if it became available, who better than us to carry on the tradition?
“But it wasn’t something we planned until Carriage went out of business.”
Emahiser said his own personal link to Carriage — he was president of the builder prior to moving to Thor two years ago and helping to establish Redwood — was an element in the decision to acquire the Carriage brand.
“Not only that,” he added, “but we have a lot of Carriage DNA throughout Redwood and CrossRoads. Likewise, the changes we have going on here have attracted people with Carriage in their background.
“We have, beyond myself, in other executive positions, group leaders, foremen, all the way down to entry-level spots. So we have a good amount of the carriage DNA here. When the brands became available to us it was almost a natural to try to make a play for them.”
According to Emahiser, there is no timetable or firm plans to announce when the Thor division will bring back the Carriage name, which was reportedly purchased for $100,000.
Twenty-six military families enjoyed CrossRoads RV’s hospitality this past summer in “Operation Appreciation”.
According to a press release, CrossRoads RV partnered with Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resort at Barton Lake in Fremont, Ind., to offer free lodging for members of the U.S. military and their families in appreciation of their service to the country.
The park donated a seasonal lot while CrossRoads RV supplied a Hampton destination trailer, which the Topeka, Ind.-based company manufactures. The program began May 6 and ran through the camping season.
The military families came from eight states, as far away as Texas, and stayed a total of 127 days. Responses to CrossRoads included:
• One service man wrote, “I want to extend my gratitude to you. . .The hospitality that was granted my family was outstanding. They are under an extensive amount of stress due to my deployment. For them to be able to enjoy some down time and relax was well needed. By the kindness of your company that was made possible. Once again, thank you.”
• Another military family wrote, “My husband and I wanted to send you a special note to thank you for the ‘Operation Appreciation RV’ that we stayed in last week at Yogi Bear Campground. It was a wonderful week for our family to be together. The RV was great and made our camping trip a great experience. Thanks again for all your help and effort in planning this trip.”
• “We are going to surprise our kids with this trip!. . .They are going to be thrilled! We absolutely love to camp and this would have been the first year that we wouldn’t have gone. I can’t tell you how much we appreciate this,” said another family.
• A retired Naval Officer read about CrossRoads’ Operation Appreciation and expressed his gratitude by saying, “These men and women make great sacrifices for our freedom and safety. Your efforts to show appreciation is. . .very special to these service men and women. I’m glad to see. . .the American people show their gratitude and appreciation.”
According to Jellystone Park at Barton Lake President of Operations Julie Corcimiglia, the company launched Operation Appreciation as a way of honoring U.S. service men and women for their sacrifice, bravery and hard work to ensure American freedom and plans to continue the program during next summer’s camping season as well.
“We were thrilled to be part of Operation Appreciation honoring our military men and women for their service to our country. It was very rewarding watching the family’s camp and spend quality time together. They all deserve it so much! We are looking forward to meeting the new families again next year,” stated Corcimiglia.
CrossRoads will be accepting reservations for the 2012 camping season on Feb. 1. For reservation please call 888-226-7496 or e-mail email@example.com.
Topeka, Ind.-based towable builder CrossRoads RV has completed its extreme water testing of the new Sunset Trail B.O.S.S.(Bi-lateral Operating Slideout System) front cap slideout.
According to a press release, CrossRoads enlisted the help of the local fire department to simulate heavy rain conditions.
“They used 12,000 gallons of water in the testing, which is equal to 300 inches of rain. The B.O.S.S. front cap slideout was water tight in both the closed and extended positions,” said Director of Marketing Dave Boggs.
Click here to view the water test.
CrossRoads RV is a division of Thor Industries Inc. For more information on the company and its products visit www.crossroadsrv.com.
CrossRoads RV, a manufacturer of towable recreational vehicles, said it plans to expand its operations in the northern Indiana town of Topeka, creating up to 250 jobs by 2014.
The Indianapolis Business Journal reported that the company plans to invest $3.9 million to buy land and construct a 93,000-square-foot facility adjacent to its existing 45-acre campus in Topeka, which is between Elkhart and Fort Wayne. The new facility will house the company’s Cruiser product line and is expected to begin operations in June.
“The new plant will give us the needed flexibility to expand our Cruiser line of RVs,” said Don Emahiser, president of CrossRoads RV. “The work force in Topeka is top-notch in our industry, and we are glad that we are able to expand at our home in this area.”
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered CrossRoads RV up to $2.25 million in tax credits and up to $200,000 in training grants based on the company’s job-creation plans. The town of Topeka will consider additional tax abatement.
CrossRoads RV, a division of Thor Industries Inc., already employs more than 600 at its six plants in Topeka and Syracuse. The company plans to begin hiring additional administrative, manufacturing and maintenance employees early next year.
“Indiana entered the recession making about half of all RVs. Now, we’re making more than four out of five,” Gov. Mitch Daniels said in a statement. “That’s what happens when businesses in a tough economy look hard to see which state has the best economic climate.”
Several RV makers have announced Indiana expansions this year. Lippert Components Inc. and Kinro announced plans to expand production in Goshen and Middlebury, creating up to 330 jobs by 2012. In addition, Cruiser RV announced it would add up to 200 jobs in LaGrange by 2014.
CrossRoads RV is targeting the growing 1/2-ton and 3/4-ton tow vehicle market with the introduction of its Elevation toy hauler, according to a press release.
Initially available in two travel trailer and three fifth-wheel floor plans with more planned, the full-featured Elevation features lightweight engineering and a sleek design that “sets it apart from every other same old toy hauler in the market today.”
“The elevation has been a project driven by passion,” said Matt Thompson, general manager for the Topeka, Ind.-based company’s toy hauler division. “Nearly everyone involved are riders of some sort.”
The 35-foot full-profile Elevation weighs just over 9,500 pounds and is equipped with triple slides, a bath-and-a-half and 10-foot garage. The unit will be displayed at the Nov. 29-Dec. 1 National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., at CrossRoad’s Booth No. 1001 in the South Wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC).
Headquartered in Topeka, Ind., CrossRoads RV is a division of Thor Industries Inc. For further information visit www.crossroadsrv.com.
Topeka, Ind.-based CrossRoads RV announces the appointment of Janae Kurtz as an associate vice president reporting directly to COO Dan Kreider.
According to a press release, Kurtz will be responsible for continuous improvement initiatives involving customer service, parts, warranty, operations and purchasing. Her first assignment is working with Alicia Dunafin, director of customer care. “Improving the service levels to our dealers and retail customers is a top priority,” said Dunafin.
Kurtz comes to CrossRoads RV with 18 years experience in customer service, parts, warranty and lean manufacturing, most recently as vice president of customer service, parts, and warranty for Thor Motor Coach. Prior to that, she was vice president of customer service at Damon Motor Coach before assuming the role of vice president of customer service for Four Winds International.
In addition, Kurtz has served on the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) Tech Certification Board, attended RVIA Lawyer Committee meetings, conducted training seminars and has an established relationship with dealers throughout the industry.
“We are very pleased to welcome Janae to the CrossRoads family,” stated Dan Kreider, Chief Operating Officer of CrossRoads RV. “The depth of her experience and knowledge in the RV industry, as well as her vision for the future, will be a great asset to our company as we continue to grow and gain market share.”
Topeka, Ind.-based CrossRoads RV has introduced the Cruiser Aire towable line, available in five travel trailer and four fifth-wheel double-slide floorplans, all designed for towing by half-ton trucks or SUV’s.
The latest series in the company’s popular Cruiser brand ranges in length from 24 to 32 feet, offering full-depth slideouts and weighing from 4,500 pounds to 7,000 pounds. MSRP’s start at around $23,900 nicely appointed.
The aluminum-framed units are equipped with many standard features that other RV manufacturers offer only as options, including:
• 60-inch by 80-inch deluxe memory foam mattress.
• LED Lights throughout the interior.
• Oversized pass-through storage.
• Cathedral ceilings throughout the unit.
• All double-slide floorplans.
Rudy Boals, national sales manager, noted, “We are excited to offer a product families are able to afford and tow with the half-ton truck or SUV they drive on a daily basis. The Cruiser product is a brand customers have come to know and trust we are entering into the lightweight market with a new spin by introducing double-slide floorplans focused on the lightweight buyer. Our ongoing collaboration with dealers and retail customers has brought a whole new sense of style in the Cruiser Aire.”
The new line also carries CrossRoads RV’s 2 + 5 warranty that protects against defects in materials and workmanship for two years from date of delivery and a five-year structural guarantee against floor, walls, and roof defects.
The all-new Cruiser Aire will be displayed at the Nov. 29-Dec. 1 49th Annual National RV Trade Show Louisville, Ky., at Booth No. 100 in the South Wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC).
Topeka, Ind.-based CrossRoads RV Inc. has “redefined the lightweight fifth-wheel market” with its Sunset Trail line featuring an innovative front cap slide-out system, according to a press release.
The new Sunset Trail offers floorplans starting at 25 feet in length and around 7,500 pounds “true weight” with full-depth slideouts. Other standard features include:
• Front cap slideout with patent pending Bi-lateral Operating Slideout System (B.O.S.S.).
• Barreled ceilings in a fifth-wheel with 8 feet 3 inches of interior height.
• Aerodynamic front cap with LED strip lighting.
• 90-degree turning radius.
• 33% larger windows with automotive trim seal.
• Residential interiors with solid-surface countertops.
Product Manager John Fisher noted, “We have made large strides in the lightweight towable market and will keep this momentum going in 2012. As we introduce our new Sunset Trail fifth-wheel line, we are excited to see the dealer response to the B.O.S.S. front cap slide system technology which provides more livable space and a roomier interior without the ‘feel’ of towing a larger, heavy unit.”
The Sunset Trail fifth-wheel will make its debut at the Nov. 29-Dec. 1 49th Annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky. CrossRoads will display product in Booth No. 1001 in the South Wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC).
Towable builder CrossRoads RV Inc. has outpaced the U.S. and Canadian markets in retail towable sales, according to a press release.
Citing the latest report from Statistical Surveys Inc., for the first eight months of 2011 CrossRoads RV said the company recorded 20% market share growth in the U.S. while the overall market is up 5%. In the Canadian market, the Topeka, Ind.-based manufacturer posted a 27% market share growth in a flat market.
“Our team has improved every product line and we will continue to improve each product going forward,” said Dave Boggs, director of marketing for the Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary. “Obviously all of the hard work is paying off as shown in our considerable market share gains in both the U.S. and Canada.”
CrossRoads RV manufactures a wide variety of travel trailers and fifth-wheels at five plant locations. Its products are distributed through dealers throughout the United States, Canada, France, Japan and Australia.