Elkhart, Ind.-based Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) hired Larry Revelino as director of international business relations, according to a press release. With more than 15 years of experience in the RV industry, including working with manufacturers in the European and Australian RV/caravan markets, Revelino will help LCI understand the global marketplace.
“LCI is made up of exceptionally creative and talented industry professionals,” said Revelino. “I’m excited to be a part of a team that can see an opportunity in the market and identify resources to capitalize on that opportunity.”
Revelino has led several RV-related businesses, including RBW Industries, which specialized in hitches, stabilization mechanisms and slideout systems. Most recently he worked as vice president of tactical projects for a global RV component supplier.
In his new position, Revelino will spend time in Australia, Europe and other international markets assessing the dynamics of the local marketplace, building relationships with OEMs and developing products.
LCI CEO Jason Lippert is excited to have Revelino on board and believes he will help LCI grow its global presence and tap into potential new markets. “Over the past several years, LCI has been slowly growing business in Europe and Australia,” he said. “We have a few key relationships in place, and it’s time to expand our overseas business development. Larry knows our products well and will work to develop strong relationships with international customers so that we can potentially grow our presence and business there in the future.”
Revelino added, “LCI is an outstanding company. I’ve always admired its ability to develop groundbreaking products. I’m excited to represent LCI in the international marketplace and to help grow our product offerings as well as tailor new products specifically for international customers.”
Lippert Components Inc.’s (LCI) has named Brian Hess as new chassis division product manager, according to a press release.
“I am excited and honored to be a part of a dynamic and growing company,” said Hess. “I am passionate about new product innovation and developing the best solutions to fill customer needs.”
As product manager, Hess will spend time with customers, listening to the needs of the market and work closely with the LCI research and development team to develop products to fill those needs. Hess has a diverse education in engineering and law and “his proven track record in the industry make him a natural fit for this new role within the LCI hassis division,” according to Lippert.
LCI Vice President of RV Sales Andy Murray believes Hess is the right fit at the right time for LCI. “As the need for innovative products continues to grow in our industry, we have been hard at work taking our research and development capabilities to the next level,” he said. “We are focusing on listening to our customers and finding solutions to their needs. Brian’s ability to build strong relationships with customers and his creative flair make him ideal for this new position. He understands the needs of the industry and will work with our teams to provide fresh, new products to fill those needs.”
Hess added, “The LCI management team is always looking to improve the quality of customer service and products. I hope to be a strong contributor to the continued growth and success of LCI.”
Hess can be contacted at (574) 361-5185 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) and Kinro Inc. announced that Andy Pocock has been promoted to vice president of sales, specialty and manufactured housing markets, according to a press release.
For more than eight years, Pocock has led LCI and Kinro teams in many roles, including general manager of suspension and running gear. For the past 2 1/2 years, he served as director of business development of the specialty markets division.
In his new role, Pocock will oversee the manufactured housing and specialty markets teams. This combined sales team will focus on growing revenue content in manufactured and modular housing; truck cap; cargo and horse/livestock trailer; transit and school bus; marine and automotive accessories markets. He will also oversee business development in other markets.
“Andy has been a key member of our team for many years,” said LCI and Kinro President Scott Mereness. “His relationship-building skills and his broad company experience make him an excellent leader for this team.”
Pocock added, “I am proud to be a part of a team that seeks to exceed customer expectations every day. The specialty and manufactured housing markets present great potential for growth, and I am excited for the opportunity we have to grow and expand our business in these markets.”
Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) announced it has acquired the rights to manufacture, distribute and sell ToyLok products to the RV, cargo, utility, horse/livestock and marine trailer industries from Peak Recreational Products.
“We’re very excited to be able to offer the ToyLok product to all of our customers in the RV and trailer markets,” said LCI Vice President of Sales Andy Murray.
According to a press release, ToyLok is a patented tamper-resistant, retractable cable lock that can be permanently mounted to any RV or trailer chassis. ToyLok allows customers to easily secure valuable personal property outside an RV or trailer by extending the self-retracting cable, looping it through valuables and locking it with the specialty padlock.
ToyLok features a strong, 15-foot PVC-coated nylon cable that guards personal items from abrasion damage; an internal pulley and braking system that allows users to choose optimal cable length; and a built-in clutch to prevent cable snap-back when retracting.
“Every RV and trailer owner has a need to secure certain items when they are away from the site,” added Murray. “ToyLok is a product that makes this process — and thus the camping experience — a little easier.”
The recently completed move by Lippert Components Inc. and Kinro Inc. of a plastics production operation from Texas to Elkhart, Ind., could result in 100 new jobs in the next 18 months.
The South Bend Tribune reported that about 50 of the jobs already have been filled, said Gary McPhail, CFO for Lippert and Kinro. Fewer than five people will be transferring from the thermoforming plastics business in Waxahachie, Texas, he said.
The 100 jobs were part of the spring announcement from Lippert and Kinro that indicated 800 jobs would be coming to Elkhart and Goshen over the next several years.
“It was a natural move for us to relocate a portion of our thermoforming manufacturing to Indiana,” said Scott Mereness, Lippert Components president, in a news release. “The new location allows us to collaborate more closely with customers on product development.
“We will use the open manufacturing space in Texas for axle production. Now both of these product lines have room to grow and are strategically positioned closer to the customer base they will primarily serve.”
Lippert Components and Kinro are subsidiaries of Drew Industries Inc. in Elkhart.
Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) held daily product drawings and gave away several products — including an RV Supreme Euro Top Mattress from Denver Mattress — during the second annual Forest River Owners Group (FROG) International Rally at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds Aug. 4-10.
According to a press release, LCI performed complimentary laser alignment and safety checks on more than 80 RVs and performed many upgrade product installations throughout the week. LCI’s aftermarket and customer service teams led seminars, gave product presentations and conducted install demonstrations for attendees. They were also on hand all week to answer questions, provide safety tips and get feedback from customers on products.
“The FROG Rally gives us a great opportunity to talk to customers who are using our products every day,” said General Manager Steve Paul. “We want their feedback so we can continue to improve products and provide the best customer experience.”
Forest River Owners Group Director Bob Byrne was happy to see LCI at the rally following up with customers. “LCI is a VIP partner at the rally. They pitch in and contribute to the effort with service and components. We’re really excited that LCI is offering the laser alignment and safety check to all of our towables at no charge.”
Interestingly, Jay and Maria Thomas of Avon, Ind., sat down to purchase the RV Supreme Euro Top Mattress, when they realized they had won it. “I handed the LCI rep my credit card, and she said ‘You aren’t going to believe this, but you won the mattress,’” said Jay. “And it’s wonderful. It sleeps like the one at home.”
Lippert Components Inc. has introduced StrapTek, a new weight distribution product that employs a ratchet winch and heavy-duty polyester straps instead of traditional chains and snap-up brackets. According to a press release, StrapTek allows users to safely and easily adjust weight distribution spring bars on travel trailers and cargo trailers with a standard socket wrench.
“Like other RVers out there, hooking up my weight distribution system made me anxious,” said product developer Dave Gramlin. “I was tired of dealing with noisy, cumbersome and potentially dangerous chain systems that sometimes left me with bruises.”
Traditional chain systems can require raising and lowering the tow vehicle with a jack several times to get the right tension. StrapTek adjusts by simply tightening or loosening the straps using a standard socket wrench, saving time and energy.
“StrapTek is a safe alternative that also provides superior sway control,” added Gramlin.
StrapTek integrates easily with most weight distribution hitch systems on the market and is available in a fully integrated OEM version as well as a “universal-fit” aftermarket kit. In addition to the towing benefits and easy hookup StrapTek provides to the end user, the OEM version provides manufacturers another benefit.
“Because of the fully integrated OEM design, manufacturers no longer need to leave open space on the draw bars to accommodate aftermarket bracket systems,” said LCI Vice President of Sales Andy Murray. “This gives OEMs more freedom on placement of LP tanks, battery trays, spare tires, etc. We believe this is a significant benefit and know our customers will find innovative ways to take advantage of this added flexibility.”
Drew Industries Inc., parent to RV and MH suppliers Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) and Kinro Inc., today (Aug. 6) reported improved earnings, driven by higher margins, along with record sales for its second quarter, ended June 30.
Net income for the period was $15.9 million, or 67 cents per diluted share, compared to $11.7 million, or 52 cents per share, the previous year.
“Our operating profit margins improved sequentially in the second quarter of 2013 primarily due to efficiency improvements implemented by management, as well as the benefits of spreading fixed costs over a seasonally larger sales base and seasonally lower payroll taxes,” said Jason Lippert, Drew’s CEO. “This sequential margin gain was greater than originally expected, as many of the improvements implemented by management resulted in efficiency gains sooner than anticipated. We were confident that the steps we had taken to meet anticipated customer demand and improve profitability were correct, and it was reassuring to see the results of these efforts in the 2013 second quarter.”
Net sales in the second quarter increased to a record $287 million, 14% higher than $251 million in the same period last year. The growth was a result of a 16% sales increase by Drew’s RV segment, which accounted for 88% of consolidated net sales this quarter. Sales of recently introduced components for towable and motorhome RVs also contributed to the revenue increase, as did sales to adjacent industries and the aftermarket.
The company reported that its content per towable RV and motorhome for the 12 months ended June 2013 increased 5% and 23%, respectively, from the year-earlier period as a result of recent product introductions, product improvements and market share gains.
For the six months, Drew posted net income of $24.2 million, or $1.03 per share, versus $22.8 million, or $1.01 per share, a year ago while sales rose to $539.8 million from $474.56 million.
“Our labor efficiencies continued to improve, with labor costs as a percent of sales declining in the second quarter of 2013,” continued Jason Lippert. “This improvement followed a sequential reduction of labor as a percent of sales of more than 1%t in the first quarter of 2013. These reductions during the first two quarters of 2013 were primarily due to improved production processes, as well as expected declines in the costs of implementing facility consolidations and realignments. Nonetheless, we are continuing to implement additional efficiency improvements as we identify them. However, the benefits of such improvements on our operating margins in the latter half of 2013 will likely be offset by the spreading of fixed costs over a seasonally smaller sales base.”
In July 2013, Drew’s consolidated net sales reached approximately $83 million – 13% higher than in July 2012 – as a result of continued solid growth in the company’s RV segment.
To view the entire report click here.
Goshen, Ind.-based Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) announced that its Level Up automatic RV leveling system is now offered with wireless remote control.
“Our wireless remote systems have been well received for several years,” said LCI Vice President of Sales Andy Murray. “Our customers requested that we integrate this wireless technology into our leveling systems, and now several RV brands are using the product.”
“Any RV OEM already using our wireless remote system, Linc, for their RVs can now connect it to work seamlessly with Level Up,” continued Murray. “For those who don’t have an existing wireless remote, and want to add one to their Level Up system only, we can provide that stand alone capability as well.”
Level Up is a four-point or six-point automatic leveling system that comes as an option or standard on more than two dozen RV brands. The system levels an RV in less than a minute using a one-touch auto-leveling feature, and includes an auto rehitch memory function that remembers the exact height at which the RV was unhitched. Wireless capability allows users to walk around the unit while leveling and pause the leveling sequence if necessary.
“The industry is moving more towards automatic leveling for travel trailer and fifth-wheel RVs,” said Jason Lippert, CEO of Drew Industries Inc., LCI’s parent company. “We’re finding that many OEMs are turning to LCI and Level Up as their choice to meet growing consumer demand. As an industry leader in leveling products, we will continue to innovate to ensure we are producing the best leveling systems.”
Since Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC adopted Lippert Component’s Inc.’s Level Up automatic hydraulic leveling system in January 2013 as an option on its new Sundance travel trailer brand, every unit sold has been built with the Level Up system.
“We were looking for some key features that would set the Sundance trailer apart from other brands, and we felt the automatic hydraulic leveling was one way to do that,” said Heartland Vice President of Sales Coley Brady in a press release. “The response has been outstanding.”
Heartland General Manager Paul Craven noted, “Level Up has played an important part in the launch of the new Sundance travel trailer.”
LCI CEO Jason Lippert points out that “the RV industry is moving more towards automatic leveling for travel trailers and fifth-wheels. We’re finding that OEMs are turning to LCI and Level Up to meet consumer demand.”
LCI’s reported that average weekly sales of Level Up systems have grown 65% in the past year.
“At one time, automatic leveling was something found only on high-end units such as expensive luxury fifth-wheel RVs,” said LCI Vice President of Sales Andy Murray. “But now customers want leveling upgrades on less expensive fifth-wheel and travel trailer RVs. OEMs are looking to our Level Up system to fulfill this demand.”
Level Up is a four-point or six-point automatic hydraulic leveling system designed to quickly and safely level an RV with only the touch of a button and comes with an auto re-hitch memory function that remembers the exact height at which the RV was unhitched.
To watch a video offering a rundown of the features and benefits of the Level Up system click here.
Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) reports that all welders in its M-Tec specialty and motorized chassis manufacturing facility have been certified.
According to a press release, 62 M-Tec welders are certified in gas metal arc welding. Ten additional employees were specially certified to inspect and monitor processes for consistent quality work.
Employees participated in rigorous classroom and hands-on training through Bumgarner Welding and Inspection Inc. in the certification program.
“By establishing and maintaining this level of quality, we separate ourselves from the competition as we supply our customers with products, which we believe are unequaled,” said M-Tec General Manager David DeVon.
Vice President of Operations Jason Falk added, “We are excited to distinguish ourselves and offer another great selling point for our customers.”
M-Tec was acquired by LCI in 2011 and specializes in upper chassis upfits, wheel base modification, driveshaft manufacturing, steel and aluminum fabrication and axle spring upgrades.
Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) announced it has acquired certain assets and the engineering team of Midstates Tool & Die & Engineering Inc., a designer and builder of automated equipment, production tooling, progressive dies and one-hit stamping dies. According to a press release, the business will be operated as Lippert Automation, Tool and Die.
“The assets and people we’ve added from Midstates will help us design more efficient and consistent automation processes that are key in producing high quality products for our customers,” said Jason Lippert, CEO of Drew Industries Inc., LCI’s parent company.
The former Midstates team offers decades of experience and provides additional support and expertise as a part of the LCI Steel Division, the release stated. The business also brings LCI several new customers, allowing the Steel Division to further diversify and expand its market reach.
Vice President of LCI Automation and Manufacturing Jeff Few believes the acquisition will help the Steel Division move to the next level. “Combining the seasoned specialists of Midstates with our automation and tool and die team will give us velocity as we further automate to increase productivity and quality,” he said.
Lippert expects the acquisition to drive the next phase of automation for LCI, noting, “The Midstates team has developed a strong reputation for quality workmanship, and we expect to build on that strength.”
“It was definitely a life-changing experience,” said Service Manager Matt Nead, who co-led the trip with Rich Furner in quality control, in a press release. “We are lucky to work for a company that cares about its people and the community.”
Despite the risk of additional tornadoes, the team drove the company RV to Oklahoma, taking with them $4,000 worth of supplies donated by the local DAV chapters of Elkhart, Goshen, Kokomo, Michigan City and Hammond. The team stayed in the RV at Antioch Christian Church, which helped organize relief efforts with sister churches and the Red Cross.
The LCI team worked two days at the Orr Family Farm ─ a large agri-education farm in Oklahoma City ─ where more than 100 horses were killed and buildings were demolished by the storm. The team moved piles of debris, cleared trees and junk from fence lines and prepared an area to become a memorial for pets lost in the devastating storms.
“Mr. Orr was ecstatic that we came back to help at the farm on the second day,” said Furner. “He was in tears, and we were proud we could help pave a path of recovery for his family business.”
Furner was astonished at the devastation they saw, noting, “I served during Iraqi Freedom and the Gulf War and I had never seen destruction as bad as what we saw in Oklahoma.”
Furner expressed his thanks to everyone who supported the team. “Because of the company’s support ─ starting with CEO Jason Lippert ─ we were able to do a lot of good work and help people through this difficult time.”
Visit redcross.org for details on how to donate money to help in the relief effort.
Goshen, Ind.-based Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) announced that Chuck Bell has been promoted to vice president of chassis operations, according to a press release.
After 17 years in a leadership role at LCI, Bell is responsible for managing 1,400 employees at LCI’s Indiana-based chassis facilities that produce more than 200,000 RV frames annually.
“Chuck is a valuable member of the LCI leadership team,” said President Scott Mereness. “He knows the product and builds strong teams to produce products to our high standards.”
CEO Jason Lippert believes Bell will help lead these facilities to further growth in his new role, noting, “Chuck will do a fantastic job leading the chassis facilities and his teams to the next level of operations.”
Bell added, “We have the best team in the industry, and we are motivated to grow and perfect our operations. I want to thank our 1,400 employees who are committed to quality and meeting deadlines. It’s a blessing to work with our exceptional people.”
Nappanee, Ind.-based Gulf Stream Coach Inc. invited key executives, front-line management and staff from Lippert Components Inc. to a golf outing and reception at the Gulf Stream Country Club last Wednesday (June 5) to honor Lippert as its top supplier. “As our business has grown and production has accelerated, the people of Lippert – from top executives to front line managers and staff – have kept pace with our needs, providing innovative, top-quality products and responsive customer service,” Phil Sarvari, Gulf Stream executive vice president, said in a press release. Shown in the photo, Jeff Zumbrun, director of purchasing for Gulf Stream, expresses his appreciation to the Lippert staff prior to the afternoon’s activities. The group enjoyed golf on the Gulf Stream par three course adjacent to the company’s manufacturing facilities and a hearty cookout meal. Members of the group also took advantage of other recreational opportunities at the Country Club, including fishing in the waterways along the golf course. At the event Jason Lippert, chairman and CEO of Lippert parent Drew Industries Inc., noted, “We’re proud and honored to be working with a company with such a long legacy of providing outstanding RVs to Dealers and retail customers.”