Goshen, Ind.-based Lippert Components Inc (LCI) announced the promotion of Marc Grimes to VP of towable chassis engineering, according to a press release.
Grimes, who has served on Lippert’s frame operations team for 13 years, graduated from Miami of Ohio with a bachelor’s in engineering. He will take the lead in frame engineering and design, structural analysis, finite element analysis (FEA) and product development, as well as leading the frame sales and audit teams he helped create.
His group will focus on creating better design solutions for LCI’s OEM customers by working closely with their engineering departments. Grimes will also focus on next generation frame designs and new frame features.
“This new team will develop the next generation of chassis products to maximize structural strength and use of materials, and minimize weight,” said Grimes. “Part of this process involves sitting down with our customers and working closely with each of them, offering more value in the way of design, testing and assistance with our customers’ design process. Our goal is to continue to offer customized efficient designs for each and every one of our customers.”
“Chassis have evolved significantly over the last 10 years,” said Jason Lippert, CEO of LCI. “Chassis design has historically been straightforward for the most part, but today there are complex storage solutions, turning radius designs, leveling systems, multiple slide-out rooms, integrated hitches and bike racks to name just a few. This growing complexity of the chassis makes it important for us to focus on where the future of chassis design is going, and Marc will help us get there.”
LCI currently produces over 250,000 frames per year. Just recently, LCI invested further in their research and development program by adding a rapid prototype machine, new testing equipment, and dedicated fabrication equipment to help bring new products to the market at the speed in which the RV industry moves.
Goshen, Ind.-based Lippert Components Inc announced today (Dec. 20) that Ryan Smith has been promoted to vice president of the Lippert Interior Solutions division (formerly Seating Technology).
According to a press release, Smith has eight years of experience in the furniture business, including the last four with Lippert Interior Solutions. Previously, Smith served as vice president of sales for the division.
“Ryan Smith has a phenomenal understanding of our customers’ furniture needs, as well as great relationships with all of our key business partners,” said Lippert Components CEO Jason Lippert. “Our customers tell me on a regular basis that he always exceeds their expectations, which is a great testament to his capabilities. He has a sense of urgency with our customers that is second to none.”
Recently, LCI consolidated several of its Indiana-based furniture operations into a large, newly renovated facility on the south side of Goshen. This facility utilizes state-of-the-art equipment and is vertically integrated for furniture manufacturing. Nationwide, the Lippert Interior Solutions division now has approximately 400,000 square feet of manufacturing space and 500 employees.
Smith’s responsibilities as vice president of Lippert Interior Solutions will include management of sales, engineering, manufacturing, R&D and product development of all furniture and mattress product teams.
“We have a great team of people led by Mark Taylor, director of operations for the furniture group, and Shannon Angle, operations manager for the mattress group,” said Smith. “Having the best employees in the industry, who take care of our customers and deliver innovative quality products, has helped us grow our furniture and mattress sales over the past few years.”
Goshen, Ind.-based Lippert Components Inc. reported steady growth in its Mobile Outfitters division, which began operations in early 2012. According to a press release, the unit sells branded aftermarket RV and trailer products through warehouse distributors that supply RV dealers, and has continued to expand the network during the past year.
The Mobile Outfitters’ offerings include the Correct Track II alignment system, Ground Control automatic leveling system, Never Fail Bushings, Equa-Flex suspension systems, the integrated keyless entry system RV Lock, Solera awnings, All American Hitch fifth-wheel hitches and RV mattresses through their Traveler’s Sleep Center collection.
“The Mobile Outfitters has a two-pronged approach towards improving the mobile lifestyle for RV enthusiasts and specialty trailer owners,” said Mobile Outfitters’ General Manager Steve Paul. “First, is to channel the vast array of unique products that LCI has developed over decades of serving manufacturers in the RV and specialty trailer markets through warehouse distributors to dealers and consumers. Second, is to create a full line of RV accessory and safety innovations flowing from hands-on RV camping and field research resulting in new technologies that consumers need and demand.”
Mobile Outfitters recently showcased its aftermarket products at the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) National RV Trade Show.
“We are very pleased with the success of our Mobile Outfitters aftermarket display at the 2012 RVIA trade show,” said Paul. “Our booth, as well as the LCI booth were busy all day, every day of the show. The comments we received were very positive. We intend to continue building The Mobile Outfitters’ brand by offering new, innovative products to additional distributors and dealers throughout 2013.”
Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) will showcase a wide variety of innovative products and technologies in booths 1, 1A, 2, 2A, and 5-8 at the 500th Annual National RV Trade Show Nov. 27-29 in Louisville, Ky.
LCI, its The Mobile Outfitters aftermarket division and its trailer, truck, and transit sales team will be displaying innovative new products, along with their existing line of successful components for RVs, specialty, cargo, utility and marine trailers, and mobile/modular homes and offices, according to a news release.
View These LCI Products and Technologies at the RVIA Show
- All American Hitch is a smoother, quieter and virtually maintenance free fifth-wheel hitch for towing RVs and cargo trailers. Air cells absorb the energy transfer between the tow vehicle and the trailer. The All American Hitch provides a quieter ride with less vibration than traditional fifth-wheel hitch systems. Read more about All American Hitch here.
- Wireless Automatic Leveling: LCI will unveil its one touch wireless leveling. Using the Linc Wireless remote control, or the Linc Pad tablet, consumers can now automatically level their RV. This wireless technology works with either of the OEM versions of the Level Up or Ground Control automatic leveling systems. View the Level Up video here. View the Ground Control video here. Read more about Ground Control here.
- Linc Pad, an electronic wireless tablet, gives RV owners total control over many of the functions in their RV from one centralized, touch-screen. At the touch of a finger, Linc Pad can control everything from leveling, slide-outs, lighting, TVs, bed lifts, awnings, generators, landing gear, heating and air conditioning, fireplaces and keyless entry. Read more about Lind Pad here. View the video here.
- The Friction Hinge is a new option on all LCI entry doors. It allows the entry door to stay open in winds up to 15 MPH, is 100% integrated (requiring no additional parts), replaces gas struts and plastic door catches that often break, and creates a sturdier entry door. The Friction Hinge is one of the many new entry door innovations available from LCI. Read more about Friction Hinge here.
Goshen, Ind.-based Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) announced that Dana Gehman has been named as motorized engineering manager. According to a press release, Gehman has been hired to “better serve the unique requirements of the motorized RV industry” for Lippert and sister company Kinro Inc.
Gehman comes to LCI/Kinro with 23 years experience at Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. Most recently he worked with Fleetwood’s motorized division and oversaw the development of motorhome “hulls,” which is essentially everything above the floor of the RV.
“Dana understands the engineering behind motorized RVs, and more importantly, how many of our products interrelate with motorhome construction,” says Andy Murray, vice president of RV sales for LCI and Kinro. “Dana will be the central point of engineering contact for our motorized customers, and will work with our existing engineering teams to support our entire catalog of motorhome products including slideouts, leveling systems, windows and electronics.
“We recognize the needs of our motorized customers are somewhat unique compared to our traditional customer base, so Dana will be a critical part of our strategy to provide the best products and service in the motorized industry.”
Gehman noted, “I’m excited to bring almost 25 years of innovative product development and problem solving experience, from folding trailers to motorhomes, to Lippert Components and its customers.”
Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) announced today (Nov. 12) that it is realigning its furniture and seating divisions into a rebranded Lippert Interior Solutions. According to a news release, the company is also consolidating two 70,000 square foot seating manufacturing facilities in Goshen, Ind., into one newly outfitted 160,000 square-foot manufacturing plant.
“We want to bring all of our plants that are manufacturing furniture, seating and mattress products under one brand name with a new focus on putting out the best product available on the market for RV OEMS and other market niches,” said LCI CEO Jason Lippert.
The launch of Lippert Interior Solutions will include rebranding the Homestyle division in Idaho and the Michiana Mattress division in Goshen, as well as the plant realignment in Indiana.
The Indiana plant consolidation will result in additional employment at the new facility, taking the number of employees in that division to approximately 300. The new facility is expected to be online in the first quarter of 2013 and will be headed by General Manager Mark Taylor and Ryan Smith, vice president of sales for Lippert Interior Solutions.
“This consolidation and expansion into a larger facility allow us to ‘lean up’ the operation, improve workflow and consolidate raw materials and manufacturing into one plant,” said LCI Vice President and National Operations Manager Todd Driver.
“Consolidating the facilities will also make the operation more vertically integrated,” said LCI Director of Product Development Jeff Few. “Consolidating the wood division, the steel division, and the foam cutting operation streamlines management and communications, and accelerates production and product development while increasing quality control and improving design.”
Drew Industries Inc., parent to suppliers Lippert Components Inc. and Kinro Inc., reported a 70% increase in net income for its third quarter, ended Sept. 30, boosted by strong performance from the RV segment and recent acquisitions.
Earnings during the period totaled $9.8 million, or 43 cents per diluted share, compared to $5.6 million, or 25 cents per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2011. Net sales in the 2012 third quarter grew 36% to $226 million from $166.7 million a year ago, including a 43% increase in RV revenue. The RV segment accounted for 86% of Drew’s consolidated sales.
RV sales growth was largely due to a 19% increase in industrywide wholesale shipments of travel trailers and fifth-wheels, Drew’s primary RV market, as well as market share gains, acquisitions and increased sales to adjacent industries. Excluding the impact of acquisitions, sales increased 27%.
“Sales in the 2012 third quarter increased nearly $60 million compared to the year-earlier quarter, on which the company achieved incremental operating profit of $5.7 million. This is an improvement from the year-over-year incremental margin we achieved in the second quarter of 2012, and in the first quarter of 2012,” said Fred Zinn, Drew’s president and CEO. “Greater-than-expected demand continued to reduce production efficiencies during the 2012 third quarter; however, we expect production efficiencies to further improve before the 2013 selling season.”
For the nine months Drew reported sales of $700.9 million compared to $521.6 million a year ago while net income rose to $32.6 million from nearly $26 million.
Drew reported that its strong performance continued in October as sales increased 35% to $85 million, lifted by the 2012 annual RV open house in Elkhart, Ind., in late September.
“We are no longer ‘looking uphill,’ so to speak,” said Jason Lippert, CEO of Lippert Components and Kinro. “In certain product lines we’ve begun to realize the benefits of resource planning and lean manufacturing initiatives, as well as the investments we’re making to expand capacity. The continued strong demand for our products throughout the third quarter is very encouraging. As a result, our production levels remained very high.
“Implementing our plans to improve production efficiencies has taken longer than expected because it’s very difficult to re-organize production flow while still operating near capacity at several key plants. In the seasonally slower months ahead, we plan to retain more production employees than typical in the slow winter season in order to level out production by building to stock certain high volume products. Retaining employees will also enable us to minimize hiring and training costs when demand ramps up in early 2013. In the fourth quarter of 2012, we also expect to incur costs related to facility re-alignment, and process improvement, as we did in the third quarter. We’re targeting our efforts to help ensure that we achieve stronger production efficiencies next year and beyond.”
To view the entire report click here.
Goshen, Ind.-based Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) reported its line of Solera awnings have been well received by OEMs and dealers, according to a press release.
Assembled entirely in Indiana’s Elkhart County, the Solera awning is an example of LCI’s vertically integrated production capabilities, with certain parts created in their Indiana-based aluminum extrusion plant. Over 40 RV OEMs now install the LCI Solera awning as standard or optional equipment.
“OEMs are reporting several benefits of our Solera awning,” said Lippert Vice President of Sales Andy Murray. “For example, Solera awnings are engineered to hold up against the elements. The fabric is cold-crack protected to below zero temps and is of a high-tensile strength. Our fabrics are also universal in style to drastically reduce SKU management and meet fire-proof ratings under the FR302 and NFPA-701 standards.”
Josh Miller, product manager for Keystone RV Co.’s Sprinter noted, “Lippert’s awning can adjust on either side easier than the competition with a friction joint that enables the camper to shed rainwater left or right depending on the campsite.”
Lippert said that Solera awnings were also generating sales to RV consumers through Lippert’s Mobile Outfitters aftermarket division.
“Solera awnings have an easy ‘plug-and-play’ upgrade from manual to power,” said Mobile Outfitters’ General Manager Steve Paul. “There is no need to disassemble the awning to install a motor, and there’s no change out of adjustable arms when upgrading to a power awning. These design features make Solera a popular seller among our network of dealers and distributors.”
The Mobile Outfitters, the aftermarket division of Lippert Components Inc. (LCI), has released the All American Hitch, a smoother and virtually maintenance-free, fifth-wheel hitch for towing RVs and cargo trailers.
Designed with air cells that absorb the energy transfer between the tow vehicle and the trailer, the All American Hitch provides a quieter ride with less vibration than traditional fifth-wheel hitch systems, according to a news release. The revolutionary new hitch comes ready to attach to standard mounting rails, and can also be adapted to most under-bed, square gooseneck attachment systems, as well as the Ford Puck system.
The All American Hitch has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) up to 22,000 pounds. With a height adjustment range from 12 1/2 inches to 17 1/2 inches, the All American Hitch can be mounted in either the center position of the truck bed rails or three inches to the rear, providing a tighter turning radius. The fully articulating head isolates the tow vehicle from trailer movement to aid in hooking and unhooking at various angles.
“The All American Hitch is designed to be the smoothest, quietest and most flexible fifth-wheel hitch ever produced in our industry,” said Sonny Dismuke, Mobile Outfitters product development manager. “It is incredibly durable and literally requires no maintenance because it needs no lubrication.”
“This new hitch system is another example of how The Mobile Outfitters is continually introducing products that enhance the mobile lifestyle,” said Mobile Outfitters General Manager Steve Paul. “We’re also proud of the fact that the All American Hitch is built with parts that are 100 percent manufactured and assembled in America.”
Dealers and distributors can find the Mobile Outfitters online at www.themobileoutfitters.com.
Drew Industries Inc., parent to Lippert Components Inc. and Kinro Inc., will ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Oct. 5 to commemorate Drew’s 50th year as a publicly owned company.
According to a press release, members of Drew’s board along with executive officers from Drew, Lippert and Kinro will join in the ceremony.
Drew’s initial public offering was completed in 1962, at which time it was engaged primarily in real estate financing, ownership and management. During the ensuing years, as a result of management’s focus on creating shareholder value, Drew entered new markets while completing over 35 acquisitions.
Today, from 31 factories located throughout the U.S. and with a work force of 5,000 employees, Drew is the largest supplier of components to major national manufacturers of recreational vehicles and manufactured homes and has annual revenues in excess of $800 million.
Drew Chairman Leigh J. Abrams noted, “We are extremely pleased with the success of our first 50 years, and our young and dynamic operating executives that have risen to top management positions with us over the past decade. They have the capability, enthusiasm and experience to continue to propel the company forward.”