Goshen, Ind.-based Keystone RV Co. announced today (Aug. 19) the appointment of Josh Staley as product manager for the Laredo line of travel trailers and fifth-wheels. Formally district sales manager for Keystone Raptor, Staley is an eight-year industry veteran.
“I am excited to take over leadership of this popular Keystone brand,” Staley said in a press release. “Laredo’s ‘Life Size Lightweight’ message is resonating well with our dealers and retail customers. We will continue to focus on features that are important like bigger refrigerators, taller ceilings, residential showers, bigger beds and larger TVs and bundle them with what is one of the strongest travel trailer floorplan lineups in the industry.”
Laredo currently offers eight travel trailer floorplans, eight full-sized fifth-wheels, and five Super Lite fifth-wheels.
“Thanks to our strong dealer network Laredo is experiencing significant sales increases with year-to-date growth in excess of 20%,” Staley said. “My goal is to continue this growth and expand Laredo’s success. At the September Open House our dealers will be thrilled with industry-first floorplans and exciting interior and exterior changes.”
Staley resides in Goshen with his wife Heather and two children.
Keystone RV Co. will build a new 64,000-square-foot factory on 10 acres of empty land adjacent to its Goshen, Ind., campus to assemble the Laredo travel trailer and fifth-wheel lines along with the Outback Sydney-edition fifth-wheel.
The new facility, for which the northern Indiana company will break ground later this month, is expected to be completed in January and will employ 100 to 150 workers.
The Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary currently manufactures the Laredo and Outback Sydney-edition lines in some of the other 16 plants that the company operates in Goshen and Pendleton, Ore.
Keystone President Bob Martin provided details of the expansion during an employee luncheon today (June 3) in Goshen.
During the last year, Keystone has hired about 1,000 workers and now employs just over 3,000 people, Martin told RVBUSINESS.com. That’s close to the work force the all-towable manufacturer employed before the recession.
Hiring for the new plant will begin in January, he said.
Although retail sales through March have been relatively flat throughout the industry compared to 2009, Martin said an internal sales barometer showed Keystone retail sales up 20% in May compared to the May 2009.
”Dealers are restocking their shelves,” Martin said. ”Many had very strong spring retail shows.”
Martin noted that it was June 2009 when the RV industry started to recover from the recessionary woes that plagued manufacturers, dealers and suppliers.
”It wasn’t until late June and July that there were signs that the RV industry was coming back,” Martin said.