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Dutchmen is Consolidating Western Production

September 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc., a subsidiary of Thor Industries Inc., will be moving production from Burley, Idaho, and Clackamas, Ore., to its manufacturing campus in Pendleton, Ore.  According to a press release, the moves to a dedicated western manufacturing facility are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2013.

The consolidation by Dutchmen to Pendleton is expected to add 125 jobs to the area; current employees in Burley and Clackamas will be offered the opportunity to relocate.

The Burley and Clackamas plants currently build Dutchmen’s popular Coleman, Aspen Trail, Denali and Dutchmen-brand models.  According to Dutchmen executive vice president Aram Koltookian, the relocation will enable Dutchmen to improve production, including benefiting from the extensive RV manufacturing infrastructure located at the Pendleton site.

“This move will help Dutchmen and our dealers to maintain our lead over the competition with products built for the western market,” said Koltookian. “The Pendleton campus offers us newly retooled production lines, room to expand, and the many advantages of on-site vendor relationships.  This location will significantly improve our operating efficiencies in order to better serve our West Coast dealers.”

Keystone RV Co. opened the Pendleton campus in 2000, and expanded it in 2009 with the purchase of a former Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. facility.  The campus consists of over 400,000 square feet under roof on approximately 45 acres.

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Jay Howe Joins Dutchmen’s Denali Sales Team

September 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Jay Howe

RV industry veteran Jay Howe has joined Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc. as regional sales manager for the company’s Denali product line, according to a press release.

In his new position, Howe is responsible for working with RV dealers in the central United States to market Denali travel trailers and fifth-wheels, including the recently introduced Trail Edition. He will also explore new opportunities in market areas where the Denali brand is not currently represented.

 ”We are pleased to have Jay join our team. He has great values, strong character, and is trusted in our industry,”  said Troy James, general manager. ”We continue to add top candidates to the Denali team to help us maintain the tremendous growth we’ve seen this year.”

Speaking of Howe’s two decades in the RV industry, James added, “Along with his successful past experience, Jay brings us the skills necessary to take Denali to a whole new level. He’s the perfect fit to help lead us in the fresh route Dutchmen Manufacturing is taking.”

Howe noted he is excited about his new position, and called it “the opportunity of a lifetime,” adding, “This is a “tremendously positive and comfortable fit for me, my background, history, and current situation. I’m extremely excited with the direction this company is headed.”

A graduate of Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, Howe holds a bachelor’s in journalism. He resides in Longview, Texas and may be reached on at (903) 235-6507 or via e-mail at jhowe@dutchmen.com.

 

 

 

 

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West Joins Dutchmen Coleman Team as RSM

September 4, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Scott West

Scott West has joined Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc. as a regional sales manager for the company’s Coleman product line.

According to a press release, he will serve dealers in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States, as well as the Eastern provinces of Canada. West will also have responsibility for further expanding the significant market share increase experienced by Coleman’s three travel trailer lines in the past year.

West brings 14 years of RV industry experience to his new position. “Scott has worked in sales, engineering, purchasing, bill of materials and production for various brands and types of RVs,” Troy James, general manager, noted. “His well-rounded knowledge provides a unique understanding of what goes into an RV and why. We’re excited he’s handling the Coleman line.”

Coleman produces Expedition LT, Expedition conventional and Explorer ultralite travel trailers. These products range from a cozy, inexpensive 14-footer to a spacious 33-footer. The 100-year-old Coleman Co. is a world leader in the production of camping gear and outdoor equipment. “Coleman is really going places,” West said. “I couldn’t believe all the expansion projects happening at Dutchmen. They’re planning for the future big time.”

West attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., and joined the RV industry in 1999. He resides in Burr Oak, Mich., and can be contacted at (269) 625-2633 or via e-mail at swest@dutchmen.com.

 

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Dutchmen Manufacturing Appoints Lees as RSM

August 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Lance Lees

Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc. has named Lance Lees as regional sales manager for its Dutchmen product line.

According to a press release, Lees will be responsible for new market penetration and increasing Dutchmen travel trailer sales. His territory comprises Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Missouri, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and New Mexico. Lees joined Dutchmen in April.

“I am looking forward to Lance’s enthusiasm in working with our current Dutchmen accounts and growing our Midwest business,” said Troy James, general manager for the Goshen, Ind.-based Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary. “Lance will be a great team asset, concentrating only on the Dutchmen brand.”

He added, “Lance Lees is a name this industry will hear for years to come, and I am thrilled he’s a member of our Dutchmen team.”

Lees comes to Dutchmen with retail experience in the RV and manufactured housing industries, including serving in virtually every capacity at his parents’ MH dealership.

“I’m excited to be part of the Dutchmen team,” Lees said. “I looks forward to meeting and working with our dealers, and am especially eager to show them the new 2014 Dutchmen lineup. We’ve made significant, positive changes.”

Lees attended Indiana’s Vincennes University and is a native of Syracuse. He may be reached at (574) 975-0639 or via e-mail at llees@dutchmen.com.

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Dutchmen Approved to Expand Goshen Campus

July 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The Goshen, Ind., Board of Works and Safety members Monday (July 29) approved a request by Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc. that paves the way for a large remodeling and improvement project at the company’s existing manufacturing campus in the city.

According to a report by the Goshen News, Matt Schuster, manager of site development services with Jones Petrie Rafinski, said that Dutchmen’s proposed improvements include constructing a new industrial facility, stormwater drainage improvements, additional employee parking and demolition of existing obsolete buildings. Dutchmen is a subsidiary of Thor Industries Inc.

Due to the size of the campus, Schuster said the new proposed building is designed to utilize an existing sewer line within the campus, which is approximately 40 feet from the proposed southeast corner of the new facility. However, based upon the location of the existing off-site utilities, Schuster noted that a public sewer main is not readily available off to serve the new building.

“On the proposed site, what they’re seeking to do is construct to an existing sanitary sewer line,” Schuster said. “What they’re requesting is the board’s permission for approval of the new facility to be considered an accessory structure within the campus to be allowed to connect to the existing sanitary sewer line which is off of Dierdorff Road.”

The board approved the request with the condition that the new facility will be required to either obtain a sanitary sewer easement or connect to a public sewer main should the structure ever be parceled off from the rest of the campus and sold to another entity.

 

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Thor Initiates Executive Changes at Dutchmen

March 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Thor Industries Inc. today (March 19) announced a series of organizational changes at its Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc. subsidiary.

Effective immediately, Matt Zimmerman, president of Keystone RV Co., will assume the additional responsibilities of overseeing Dutchmen RV, replacing Cam Boyer. In addition, Aram Koltookian, formerly general manager at Keystone, will become executive vice president of Dutchmen.

According to a new release, the moves are expected to result in improved operating efficiencies, product quality and customer support.

“Matt and Aram have played a major role in Keystone RV’s success over the past 14 years,” said Thor President and COO Bob Martin. “We plan to draw on their ability to lead a well-managed, customer-focused organization as we focus on accelerating Dutchmen’s growth.”

Martin underscored the strength of the Dutchmen dealer network and Dutchmen brands, noting, “Voltage, Coleman, Aspen Trail and Denali are highly regarded names that attract strong consumer interest and dealer commitment. We believe that the entire Dutchmen family will grow and prosper as overall quality and back-end support continue to improve.”

“Dutchmen RV has great momentum right now,” commented Zimmerman. “It is our primary focus to keep that going as we strengthen all areas of the business to handle further growth. Dutchmen RV will remain independent and continue to develop and bring to market exciting new Dutchmen-branded products. In addition, Dutchmen will continue to operate with its own sales force, engineering staff, product development team and production facilities. The only changes the Dutchmen dealer should see are improved quality and customer support.”

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Izbicki to Head Dutchmen’s Service Operations

February 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Jim Izbicki

Jim Izbicki has joined Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc. as director of service operations, according to a press release. In the new position, Izbicki will oversee Dutchmen’s parts, service and warranty departments.

“Jim comes from the RV customer service side of the business,” said Kelly Green, vice president of operations. “He brings 26 years of building and maintaining strong customer/dealer relationships throughout North America, and we’re glad to have him on board.”

Izbicki noted, “Priority one is making sure Dutchmen is easy to do business with. We’re evaluating our staffing to guarantee we have the people in place to properly take care of our customers.”

Izbicki is also working on developing Dutchmen’s online parts catalog, as well as improving the timeliness and accuracy of parts orders.

“Everything we do is dedicated to complete customer satisfaction, and to that end, we’re currently working on warranty procedure changes we plan to implement in the next 60 to 90 days,” Izbicki said.

Izbicki began his RV industry career in 1987 and has worked for several RV manufacturers as a parts advisor, tech writer, parts and service manager, and director of parts and service.

Izbicki attended the University of Pittsburgh, is married, and lives with his wife and son in northern Indiana.

 

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Ryan Elliott Joins Aerolite as Product Manager

November 12, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Aerolite's Ryan Thwait and Ryan Elliott

Ryan Elliott has joined Aerolite, a division of Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc., as product manager. According to a press release, Elliott will manage the growth of Aerolite’s completely redesigned products by “providing input during product design and development and expanding the division’s dealer base through new market penetration.”

“Ryan came from the industry’s fifth-wheel market segment,” General Manager Ryan Thwait said. “He is one of the RV industry’s strongest reps in building and maintaining dealer relationships, and brings 10 years experience in dealer contact and product expertise to the ultralite market.”

Thwait added that Elliott’s experience and input has been instrumental in redesigning Aerolite to include “higher end features at the same price point. This is the only travel trailer in the industry with a standard king bed,” he noted. Another new addition is a redesigned exterior with new gray graphics and a contemporary front cap.

Five new Aerolite floorplans debuted at the RV Open House held in September. “The Aerolite line now goes from 16-foot expandables to 35-foot travel trailers, all with a whole new look inside and out,” Thwait said. Elliott noted that a major part of his new job is planning and design. “We want to make sure our product is right for the retail customer, so we listen to feedback from our owners and dealers. Then, staff from production, purchasing, sales, marketing and management work together as a team to build greater value into the Aerolite brand.”

Elliott began his RV industry career just out of college in Dutchmen’s parts and service department. He then worked in sales for both Monaco Coach Corp. and Heartland RV LLC prior to joining Aerolite. Elliott earned a bachelor’s in sales and marketing from Indiana State University in Terre Haute. He and his wife, Sarah, live in Goshen, Ind., with their son and daughter.

 

 

 

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Dutchmen Names McDougall Regional Manager

November 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Len McDougall

Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc. has named Len McDougall as regional sales manager for the company’s Dutchmen travel trailer brand.

According to a press release, McDougall has worked in the Canadian and U.S. RV manufacturing sectors, with responsibilities including national sales manager and territory sales representative, as well as extensive participation in product development. McDougall was also a founding member of the Leisure Lifestyle Marketing Group, which evolved into the Go RVing Canada Committee.

“Len brings 20-plus years of valuable RV sales, marketing and management experience, coupled with genuine enthusiasm,” said Dutchmen General Manager Rob Groover. “With Len’s contributions, Dutchmen is looking forward to continued Canadian growth.”

McDougall has served RV dealers across North America, and refers to himself as a member of the ‘50-10 Club’, for having visited all 50 states and 10 provinces. He is married with two children and will serve all provinces from his Canadian-based office.

 

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Coleman Towable Brand Gets New Life for 2013

October 2, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

Dutchmen's Coleman trailer

Goshen, Ind.-based Dutchmen Mfg. Inc. is breathing new life into the legendary Coleman brand name with the debut this fall of its completely revamped Coleman travel trailer. The initial “ultra-light” version was unveiled in September at the Pennsylvania RV & Camping Association’s (PRVCA) Hershey Show and Elkhart’s 5th Annual RV Open House Week. Dutchmen’s first wave of upgraded 16- to 36-foot, fiberglass-skinned Coleman towables feature new graphics on gray color-infused fiberglass exteriors, fully enclosed insulated underbellies, larger water capacities and enhanced insulation. And they’re more firmly linked to The Coleman Co. Inc. and its storied brand with the standard inclusion in each new unit of two Coleman folding chairs with dedicated storage modules. Coleman coolers, lanterns, indoor-outdoors tables and sleeping bags are also options. “It was just a complete redo of the product,” says Product Manager Troy James, whose staff incorporated residential and marine themes in the interiors of the $9,995-$33,500 retail line. “Coleman in the past used to try and be everything to everybody and, simply put, it was just a Dutchmen with a different sticker on the outside. Well, it’s not that way anymore, not only because of the product changes, but in how we’re approaching it internally at Thor. It’s a complete focused sales team on it now.”

 

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