Grand Design RV Co. was honored by RVBusiness, receiving the magazine’s “2014 Top RV Debut,” according to a press release.
During the Louisville RV Show, Grand Design debuted its latest floorplan, the Solitude 379 featuring a front living room.
“Grand Design was founded on creating innovative products that identify our customer’s needs,” said Don Clark, Grand Design’s president and co-owner. “It is an honor for our designs to be recognized by industry experts such as RVBusiness. We are very pleased with the success that Marc Hauser and his design team had at Louisville with the Solitude 379.”
Hauser, general manager of the Middlebury, Ind.-based builder, stated, “This was definitely a team effort. Everything in this ground breaking floorplan came together with the help of everyone at Grand Design. It was a huge hit with the dealers and we couldn’t be happier with our new unit. Our dealers will see other innovative, ‘out of the box’ creations yet this spring. These are exciting times at Grand Design.”
A meeting over a bowl of chili and a drink in a nearby town proved to satisfy the appetite of three longtime recreational vehicle leaders in 2012.
As reported by the South Bend Tribune, brothers Bill and Ron Fenech and Don Clark, all longtime leaders at Keystone RV Co. and its parent, Thor Industries Inc., decided right then and there to start their own RV company, Grand Design RV.
With Clark as president and the Fenech brothers as fellow owners, Grand Design celebrated Tuesday (March 19) the making of its 100th luxury fifth-wheel, the Solitude, in fewer than 90 days of existence. Along with their employees, they also celebrated the recent hiring of Grand Design’s 100th employee.
The celebration took place at the former Four Seasons plant in Middlebury, Ind., the new company’s home, which includes four plants totaling more than 400,000 square feet plus one office building on a 67-acre campus not far from the Indiana Toll Road.
“All of us have some entrepreneurial blood in ourselves,” said Bill Fenech. “It was time to do something different.”
Jerry McCarthy, Grand Design’s vice president, described the Fenech brothers and Clark as icons in the industry.
Bill Fenech was a founder of Keystone and also was president of Thor Motor Coach when he left to start Grand Design. Don Clark was president of Dutchmen, Komfort and Breckenridge Group, and Ron Fenech, who was out of town Tuesday, was president of all of the RV companies for Thor when the trio left.
“They have a passion for recreational vehicles and their lifestyle as well as the interaction with the dealer network,” McCarthy explained. “And they just wanted to be in it again.”
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