With an eye on continued growth, RV supplier Drew Industries Inc. announced that its subsidiary, Lippert Components Inc., has purchased one company and is in the process of acquiring another.
The South Bend (Ind.) Tribune reported that Lippert Components already has completed its purchase of Innovative Design Solutions for $36 million. IDS, which employs 100 people, is a Troy, Mich.-based designer, developer and manufacturer of electronic systems with a wide variety of RV applications.
Lippert also said it has reached an agreement in principle to acquire certain assets of Star Design of Elkhart for $12 million.
“Growth is part of the reason for the purchase,” said Kirk Sobecki, operations controller for Lippert Components via email. “We also like the companies for the strong management teams and the products that they bring to the Lippert family of products.”
Lippert employs about 5,000 people in northern Indiana.
In 2013 Lippert relocated its RV thermoforming plastic production from Texas to a location in Elkhart that’s large enough to accommodate expected growth, said Scott Mereness, Drew’s president, in a release. “We have continued to grow our RV and specialty markets plastics business since then, and we are excited to boost further growth with the acquisition of Star Design.”
Star Design will maintain its current Elkhart site, Sobecki said.
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Drew Industries Inc., a manufacturer of components for the recreational vehicle and manufactured housing industries, will release its second quarter financial results before the market opens on Aug. 6.
Drew Industries, parent to Lippert Components Inc. and Kinro Inc., also will host a conference call on Aug. 6 at 11 a.m. EDT to discuss its results and other business matters. Participation in the question-and-answer session of the call will be limited to institutional investors and analysts. Individual investors, retail brokers and the media are invited to listen to a live webcast of the call on Drew Industries’ website at www.drewindustries.com.
Participating in the conference call will be Chairman Leigh Abrams, CEO Jason Lippert and Joe Giordano, CFO and treasurer.
Drew Industries Inc.’s plans to relocate its headquarters from White Plains, N.Y., to Indiana’s Elkhart County will add up to 800 jobs to the area, according to a press release from the Indiana Economic Development Corp.
Drew, parent to RV and manufactured housing suppliers Lippert Components Inc. and Kinro Inc., announced the relocation in February along with key management changes, including the appointment of Jason D. Lippert as the company’s chairman and CEO.
The company said it plans to invest $12.75 million to renovate and equip four manufacturing facilities in Goshen and Elkhart. As part of the project, Drew will install new manufacturing and production lines, which are expected to be operational this year.
“Our focus on job creation is paying off as Indiana’s economic momentum continues,” said Gov. Mike Pence. “Drew Industries’ announcement builds on our strength as the RV capital of the world and serves as the latest proof that our convenient location, competitive tax environment and talented workforce have put Indiana on the map as a state that works for business.”
With more than 5,200 full-time employees across the country, Drew Industries currently has approximately 3,400 employees in Indiana. The company has already begun hiring additional engineers, furniture assemblers, general laborers, drivers and welders in Elkhart County.
“We have experienced significant growth over the past three years,” said Lippert. “When looking to relocate our corporate headquarters, Indiana made the most sense due to its talented workforce, and because most of the RVs produced in the United States are produced in Elkhart County. We greatly appreciate the support provided to us by the state of Indiana, Elkhart County and the cities of Goshen and Elkhart and we look forward to continued growth and future success here.”
“We’re excited about Drew Industries’ plans for expansion,” said Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore. “This expansion further solidifies Elkhart’s position as the RV capital of the world. I look forward to many more future expansions like this in the community.”
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Drew up to $4.3 million in conditional tax credits and up to $200,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The city of Elkhart and the city of Goshen will consider additional property tax abatements at the request of the Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County.
“Elkhart County is fortunate to have Drew Industries,” said Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman. “They have become one of the largest employers in the city of Goshen and Elkhart County. We are pleased with their ongoing commitment to investing in our community and applaud their success.”
Denver Mattress Hospitality has partnered exclusively with Lippert Components Inc. to distribute premium mattresses to the RV industry through Denver Mattress Hospitality’s RV Division.
“The aftermarket program for our RV Collection was developed by April Klein and myself,” said Erin Hudson, project manager of the RV division. “She built many of the relationships with our partnered dealerships across the country and we’re very excited to be working with her again. Our goal is to offer exceptional service and to meet the growing needs of RV dealerships, especially with regards to better sleep systems, and we feel that April Klein and her team are the best people for the job.”
Lippert Components is made up of Lippert Interior Solutions, Lippert Components Parts and Mobile Outfitters, which oversee manufacturer accounts, dealership accounts and wholesaler accounts, respectively.
Hudson added, “We made this decision with our customers in the forefront. We feel that the customer service and distribution capabilities of the Lippert companies will better service our customers and allow us to expand our offerings to meet the growing needs of the RV industry.”
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. (IEDC) has played a role in the expansion of the RV industry in Elkhart County.
As reported by The Elkhart Truth, in Elkhart County since 2011, the economic development organization has been a part of nine expansions, including Lippert Components and Kinro Manufacturing Inc., Supreme Industries Inc. and Spartan Motors Inc. totaling $31.7 million in new investment and 1,608 new jobs by 2015.
The companies that have grown in Elkhart County 2011 received $9.4 million in performance-based tax credits and $732,500 in training grants from the IEDC.
Daniel J. Hasler, CEO of the state economic development agency, is optimistic that 250 companies will choose Indiana in 2012 to either expand or relocate their operations. He pointed to the high rankings from CEO magazine and the Tax Foundation along with the infrastructure investments funded by Major Moves and the recently passed Right to Work legislation as indicators of Indiana’s ability to appeal to businesses.
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Drew Industries Inc., a leading supplier of components for recreational vehicles and manufactured homes, today (Aug. 8) announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Lippert Components Inc., is preparing to launch a newly developed line of RV awnings. This new product line will be formally introduced in late September at the open house events held by RV manufacturers in Indiana.
According to a press release, the awnings will be manufactured in one of Lippert Components’ existing facilities in Goshen, Ind., available in both manual and electric versions. Todd Driver, vice president of operations, RV Products, and Steve Jenkins, director of manufacturing for RV Accessory Products, and his operating team, will provide the manufacturing leadership for this product line. The company plans to market the awnings directly to RV manufacturers, as well as through aftermarket distributors.
“As with our previous product introductions, the RV awning product line has been designed to add significant value for the RV owner, and the awnings will be priced to provide value to our customers, the RV manufacturers,” said Jason Lippert, CEO of Lippert Components. “By pricing the product right, providing more durable components and offering innovative features and options not generally found in the marketplace, we expect to capture market share in this $100 million plus market.”
“The raw materials, components and manufacturing processes used in awnings are very similar to those we use extensively in our existing product lines, so we will be able to quickly ramp up production and efficiencies,” said Scott Mereness, president of Lippert Components. “Further, with our previously announced aluminum extrusion facility, scheduled to open late in the third quarter of 2011, we will be able to produce the extruded aluminum components used in our awnings. Additional information about the aluminum extrusion project will be forthcoming.”
“The RV awnings are another step forward in our long-standing strategic plan of profitable growth through new product introductions, acquisitions and market share gains,” added Jason Lippert. “The introduction of this exciting product line follows two accretive acquisitions we made so far this year, which added an aggregate of nearly $25 million in annual sales. We will continue to pursue similar opportunities, both through internal development and acquisitions.”
White Plain, N.Y.-based Drew Industries Inc. a leading supplier of components for recreational vehicles and manufactured homes, today reported net income for the second quarter, ended June 30, of $11.0 million ($0.49 per diluted share), a 14% increase over net income of $9.6 million ($0.43 per diluted share) reported in the second quarter of 2010.
Second quarter sales increased 7% to $186 million from $174 million the previous year, the result of a 9% increase in Drew’s RV segment sales, and a 1% decline in Drew’s MH segment sales. The RV segment, which manufactures components primarily for travel trailer and fifth-wheel RVs, represented 84% of consolidated sales, while the MH segment sales represented 16%. Industrywide wholesale shipments of travel trailer and fifth-wheel RVs increased 6% in the second quarter, while industrywide production of manufactured homes declined an estimated 11%.
“In the second quarter of 2011, we continued to increase our content per RV and manufactured home, and expand our sales to other industries, such as mid-size buses, modular housing and specialty trailers,” said Fred Zinn, president and CEO of Drew, which is parent to Lippert Components Inc. and Kinro Inc. “As a result, we were able to largely overcome the impact on our industries of slower economic growth in the second quarter of 2011 than had been anticipated. Our consolidated sales increased again in July 2011, reaching approximately $49 million, about 3% above July 2010 sales, despite July 2011 having one less shipping day than July 2010.”
On July 19, 2011, Drew acquired certain assets and business of M-Tec, an Indiana-based manufacturer of components for RVs and mobile office units. This was Drew’s second acquisition of the year, following the January 2011 acquisition of Home-Style, the leading manufacturer of RV furniture and mattresses in the growing Northwest RV market.
“The M-Tec acquisition enables us to expand our product line of components for motorhomes, a market which offers significant long-term opportunity,” said Jason Lippert, CEO of Lippert and Kinro. “The two acquisitions we’ve made so far this year were particularly attractive because we will use our purchasing power and manufacturing expertise to reduce the cost structure of the acquired operations. With our debt-free balance sheet, significant credit availability and outstanding operating management team, we have the capability to continue to invest in profitable growth opportunities.”
“We have also made major strides towards capturing new markets, expanding our customer service capabilities, and further increasing the depth of our management team,” said Scott Mereness, president of Lippert Components and Kinro.
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Drew Industries Inc., a leading supplier of components for recreational vehicles and manufactured homes, today reported that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Lippert Components Inc., acquired certain assets and business of M-Tec Corp. The acquired business has annual sales of approximately $12 million, primarily of components for RVs and mobile office units.
The purchase price of $6 million was paid from available cash. Depending on sales levels achieved by the acquired business over the next three years, the company may pay an additional purchase price of approximately $0.6 million. Drew expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive to earnings.
The primary manufacturing facilities of the acquired business are in northern Indiana. Goshen, Ind.-based Lippert will lease these facilities for one year, during which time it will consolidate the new production into its existing facilities, substantially reducing the production costs of the acquired business.
“Acquisitions like this have been a big factor in enabling Drew to continually expand,” said Fred Zinn, Drew’s president and CEO. “Further, we have the capability to reduce the cost structure of the acquired operations. As with the eight other acquisitions we have made during the past four years, we were able to complete this acquisition without incurring debt. With no debt, about $30 million in available cash, and an outstanding operating management team, we have the resources to continue to pursue expansion opportunities which we believe will yield favorable returns on our investments.”
“This acquisition is attractive from several perspectives,” said Jason Lippert, CEO of Lippert Components. “First, it allows us to expand our product line of components for motorhomes by adding the bridge beam used in certain motorhome chassis. Historically, we have focused primarily on components for towable RVs, and, while we plan to continue to grow in that market, we see significant opportunity in motorhome components. The newly-acquired bridge beam product line is a great addition to the motorhome chassis modification business we acquired in 2010. Further, the mobile office unit chassis produced by M-Tec is similar to the chassis for manufactured homes we currently produce, so we will be able to use our manufacturing expertise and purchasing power to reduce the production cost of these products.”
“We are also gaining several talented managers through this acquisition,” said Scott Mereness, president of Lippert Components. “We expect they will play a significant role in taking the acquired business to the next level by utilizing the resources and capabilities available through Lippert Components. We also expect these new managers to be instrumental in other areas of our business. The new products and management talent, along with cost reductions we can achieve, make this a very attractive acquisition.”
Lippert Components Inc., a subsidiary of Drew Industries Inc., announced today (July 18) the opening of its new, state-of-the-art customer service center.
According to a news release, the new service center at Lippert’s headquarters in Goshen, Ind., will also have the capability to sell and install aftermarket products such as windows, doors, suspension and Trailair products, and the Level Up towable RV leveling system.
The new service center has five service bays and is staffed by 40 highly trained repair personnel and service technicians, who can both install and answer technical questions on a wide array of RV products sold by Lippert Components and its sister company, Kinro, Inc.
“Our new service center is also fully equipped with customer-friendly conveniences, such as Internet access, TV, and kitchen facilities, to help ensure that our customers are comfortable and productive while we are providing service or installing new features for their RVs,” said Andrew VanSchoick, Lippert’s director of customer service.
“Andrew and his entire team have consistently done an outstanding job of meeting the service needs of retail customers, the RV dealer network and RV manufacturers,” said Jason Lippert, CEO of Lippert Components and Kinro. “Our new service center, located in the heart of ‘RV country,’ will enable us to provide these services even more efficiently, and install new aftermarket features, in one convenient location. Outstanding customer service has always been key to the success of Lippert Components and Kinro, and once again we believe we have raised the bar for superior service. We are all very excited to significantly expand our capabilities to serve the RV industry.”
Lippert Components Inc. and Kinro Inc. today (June 5) announced they have launched a new effort to expand their sales of aftermarket RV products, hiring industry veteran Bob Mater as director of RV aftermarket services to head up this operation.
“Many of our existing RV products, including doors, windows, mattresses, upholstered seating, leveling devices, suspension products, slideouts, and other accessories, have significant aftermarket potential,” said Jason Lippert, CEO of Goshen, Ind.-based Lippert Components and Arlington, Texas-based Kinro. “Bob Mater is a true veteran, with 18 years experience in the RV and trailer aftermarket, and he is a great choice to lead this new effort. Our current RV aftermarket sales of $13 million, only scratch the surface of this opportunity. We believe we can profitably expand our sales into this market by devoting a talented team, as well as a separate facility, to focus strictly on gaining additional aftermarket business through RV dealers and wholesale distributors. This effort is another in a series of many steps we have taken over the years to continue to increase both our sales and profits.”
Scott Mereness, president of Lippert Components and Kinro added, “Many of our RV components now include features that were not available on new RVs just a few years ago. As a result, our on-line ‘e-store’ (store.lci1.com), where these new products are available for purchase, has recently gained quite a bit of attention from dealers and wholesale distributors, as well as from RVers. This success has given us enough insight about the potential aftermarket demand for our RV products for us to be confident that an additional focus on this market should be well worth the effort.”
The companies, subsidiaries of Drew Industries Inc., are major suppliers to the recreational vehicle and manufactured housing industries.