Big Crowd Expected for Tuesday’s Thor Auction

March 24, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

A large crowd is expected for Thor Industries Inc.’s auction Tuesday (March 25) of remaining towable inventory, work-in-progress units and assorted componentry at a former Monaco RV towable manufacturing plant in Elkhart, Ind.

Hahn Auctioneers Inc., which is overseeing the liquidation, told they expect as many as 500 people. The auction is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. while a preview of inventory is running today from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Thor has designs to expand production of its Thor Motor Coach Inc. division at the 220,000-square-foot plant on the south side of Elkhart. Thor acquired the facility in February from Allied Specialty Vehicles Inc., which took ownership when it purchased the RV assets of Navistar Inc.

According to a sales flier, the auction will include “enough inventory to run production for weeks,” including three completed RVs, several partially finished vehicles and a lengthy list of supplies.

Phil Hahn told The Elkhart Truth that it’s not unusual for his company to auction off the remnants of a shuttered RV plant, but he doesn’t usually see this much needing liquidation.

To read the entire Truth story click here.


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Navistar CEO Considers Further Cuts, Closings

October 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Embattled U.S. truck and engine maker Navistar International Corp. is cutting administrative and engineering spending and may close factories as it lowers costs, the company’s newly named CEO said on Thursday (Oct. 4).

The maker of International-brand trucks is reviewing all operations beyond its core North American truck and parts business to see whether any need to be fixed, sold or closed, as it seeks to revive profits, CEO Lewis Campbell said in his first interview since taking the reins at Navistar on August 27.

Navistar has largely completed a wave of white-collar layoffs and buyouts that led to about 800 job cuts. It is also reducing engineering spending by 28%, and will review whether it needs all 19 of its North American factories at a time when a shaky U.S. economy is hitting demand for trucks.

“More than likely we’ll have to adjust our footprint. And we’re ready to do that,” said Campbell. “Since I’ve been here we’ve taken every single element of cost and said, ‘Is that where we want to be two years from now, one year from now?’ And if it’s not, let’s get a project in place to do something about it.”

Navistar shares have tumbled some 32% over the past year as the company struggled to win U.S. regulatory approval for a new style of diesel engine. It ended the effort in July and chose to adopt the engine technology used by rivals such as Paccar Inc and Volvo AB .

The Lisle, Ill.-based company, which also makes Monaco recreational vehicles, school buses and military vehicles, lost $241 million through the first nine months of its fiscal year ending Oct 31, after charges of more than $200 million to repair engines made in 2010 and 2011.

Analysts do not expect Navistar to return to profitability until the third quarter of fiscal 2013, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Navistar had 19,000 employees at the end of its last fiscal year.


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Navistar Shifts Chassis Work to Monaco Facility

June 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The decision by Navistar International Corp. to idle its Workhorse Custom Chassis operation will not bring an end to its entire chassis production, according to a report in the Elkhart Truth.

Instead, the recreational vehicle chassis manufacturing will be shifted to Navistar’s subsidiary Monaco RV LLC, bringing more work and more jobs to the plant on Nelson’s Parkway in Elkhart, according to Navistar spokesman Steve Schrier. Monaco is in the process of hiring 250 new employees to help with the incoming chassis work as well as the additional motorhome production.

Navistar, based in Lisle, Ill., included the announcement about shuttering Workhorse when it released its second quarter results for the fiscal year 2012. The vehicle and engine manufacturer posted a loss of $172 million during the quarter, largely because of $104 million in warranty charges to repair its engines.

To view the entire article in the Elkhart Truth click here.


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Ore. Developer Buys Former Monaco Complex

June 8, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Eugene, Ore., developer Steve Lee said he has struck a deal to buy the sprawling former Monaco Coach Corp. recreational vehicle manufacturing plant.

The Register Guard reported that Lee on Thursday (July 7) said he and his wife, Sally, have agreed to purchase the 69-acre complex that produced RVs for Coburg-based Monaco Coach before plummeting sales pushed the firm into bankruptcy three years ago.

Lee’s deal to buy nine buildings totaling nearly 1 million square feet is with a division of Navistar International Corp., which acquired the property as part of its acquisition of Monaco Coach in 2009. Lee said terms of the deal with Illinois-based Navistar prevent him from disclosing the purchase price or the date the property will change hands.

“It will be in the near future,” said Lee, a local developer with experience in housing, office and retail construction.

At its peak before financial troubles hit the RV industry, Monaco employed about 2,000 people in Coburg. Employment at Monaco had shrunk dramatically since 2008, and Navistar earlier this year moved production of Monaco RVs, along with some management work, from Coburg to Wakarusa, Ind., plus other management jobs to Illinois.

Navistar employs a total of 150 people in Oregon’s Lane and Linn counties, including at a manufacturing plant in Harrisburg that makes RV trailers.

Lee said he will convert the empty buildings in Coburg to a business park called Coburg North. A Monaco RV service center, with about 70 employees, operates from one of the buildings, and the firm will remain there and lease the structure after the property is acquired. Lee said he will seek tenants for the buildings that range in size from 3,700 square feet to 330,000 square feet.

Lee said he worked for Monaco Coach as its construction representative in the mid 1990s when the firm built the manufacturing facility. When he learned a few months ago that the property was for sale, he became interested in buying it.

“I poured my heart into this creation, and when I heard it was going to be sold, I could not imagine anyone else having the chance to buy it and bring it back to life,” he said. “I love the city of Coburg and wanted to be able to help breathe some new air back into the town. The facility is an ideal location for business and I cannot wait to get started.”


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Navistar Incurs 2Q Net Loss, Workhorse Idled

June 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Navistar International Corp. posted a second-quarter net loss of $172 million, or $2.50 per share, compared to net income of $74 million, or $0.93 per share, a year ago. Adjusted net loss was $137 million, or $1.99 per share, versus net income of $102 million, or $1.30 per share, last year.

Sales and revenues for the quarter were $3.3 billion compared to $3.36 billion in the prior year. Results included unfavorable shifts in military product mix reflective of lower military budgets, industry-wide higher commodity and fuel costs, an asset impairment charge of $28 million relating to the company’s decision to idle its Workhorse Custom Chassis business, and a charge for $24 million for certain extended warranty costs.

“Certainly, our first half performance was unacceptable. It included a warranty reserve to repair early 2010 and 2011 vehicles,” said Daniel C. Ustian, chairman, president and CEO for Navistar, parent to Monaco RV LLC. “We were also affected by speculation surrounding our engine certification for our Class 8 engine, which is why we are working tirelessly with the U.S. EPA to get resolution.”

The company further announced a management realignment designed to give momentum to its strategy of “great products, competitive cost and profitable growth.” Troy Clarke, currently president of Navistar Asia Pacific, will assume responsibility for all Navistar’s operations in the newly-created role of president, Truck and Engine.

Jack Allen will become president of North America Truck and Parts, an expansion of his current role, and Engine Group President Eric Tech will expand his role to become president of Global Truck and Engine, responsible for all of our business operations outside of North America. The changes will take effect from July 1, following board approval.

Looking forward, for fiscal year ending Oct. 31, Navistar expects adjusted net income to be between break-even and $140 million, or $0 to $2.00 adjusted earnings per share. Analysts expect the company to earn $3.73 per share for the year.

To view the entire report click here.

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Monaco Continues to Add Workers in Indiana

June 4, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Negative news about jobs sent the markets nose-diving last week as the Labor Department said employers hired just 69,000 workers last month, less than half of what was expected.

Despite that negative news, Monaco RV is in the process of adding 250 new jobs at its plant in Wakarusa, Ind., according to a report by WSBT TV.

Only four years ago, Monaco cut about 1,400 workers and filed for bankruptcy. Since then, the manufacturer was purchased by Navistar Inc. and employment has been steadily climbing.

“I start my job today,” David BeMiller, a new hire said.

BeMiller is just one of the nearly 250 new employees Monaco is hiring. He’s worked in the RV industry nearly his entire life, but like many RV workers, he had been laid off for several months.

“I kept on looking for jobs and it seemed like there wasn’t much of anything out there,” he said.

This is just the latest job announcement for Monaco. In August, the company consolidated its motorhome operations in Oregon with the factory in Wakarusa. That brought about 300 new jobs to the Elkhart County factory. Now, the company is ramping up production and needs to add to its work force.

“We’re ramping up production as we speak,” Bill Osborne, vice president of custom products for Navistar’s Monaco and Workhorse Custom Chassis LLC subsidiaries. “We started diesel production and we’re currently building 15 per week and are on our way to ramping up to 22 per week in late June time period.”

Osborne says adding jobs has been the plan since the move from Oregon.

Despite the most recent job numbers that were much lower than expected, he says the RV industry is on the rebound.

“What happens with one month’s job numbers may mean something for those whose business plans go to quarter to quarter, but our goal is to be in this for the long haul.” Osborne said.

Monaco RV now employs more than 550 hourly workers, plus around another 100 administrative employees.

A job fair at the Wakarusa facility was held last week.


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‘Motorhead Garage’ Features Alliance Coach

May 29, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Alliance Coach, the first Monaco RV platinum sales and service dealer, was featured in the “RVing“ episode of this past weekend’s Motorhead Garage TV series on FoxSports Network (FSN).

Highlights of the visit to Alliance Coach, located in Wildwood Fla., included a segment on RV maintenance and repair with Alliance Coach Vice President Brett Howard, a tour of new Monaco and Holiday Rambler RV products with Alliance Coach General Sales Manager Cy Whisnant and a search for the right RV part to fit your needs with Alliance Coach GM Caroline Champion.

Click here to watch a video of the program.

Hosts Sam Memmolo and Dave Bowman also experienced a sneak peek on the latest technology for RV dealership service departments from a leading software company called Systems 2000. Alliance Coach’s service department has gone paperless using Systems 2000ds. This software interacts directly with Apple iPads to enable service advisors to start, track, and complete the entire repair order process electronically – without ever filling out a paper form.

Customers will also benefit from the new paperless system that enhances the ease of repair confirmations and monitoring. These customers are able to electronically sign service orders, receive email confirmations, and even track their units’ repair progress in real time on a monitor in the dealership’s waiting room.

The “Motorhead Garage TV Series” with the original “Dynamic Duo” of Sam Memmolo and Dave Bowman, formerly of Shadetree Mechanic, and the Two Guys Garage, bring the audience a behind the scenes look into the fascinating worlds of trucking, RVing, motorsports, ands innovations. Motorhead Garage can be seen on Fox Sports Network (FSN) national television series each Sunday at 11:30 a.m., and Monday at 4:30 p.m. EST (check your local listings, as times may vary).



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Monaco to Hire Another 125 for Wakarusa Facility

March 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The Monaco RV LLC plant in Wakarusa, Ind., is ramping up production of its diesel-powered motorhomes. That means it expects to hire another 125 workers between now and the end of April, according to a report by WSBT TV, South Bend.

Its parent company, Navistar Inc., recently consolidated a diesel motorhome operation from Coburg, Ore., moving that production to Wakarusa. There are currently 175 workers at the plant, which began manufacturing operations in February.

Bill Osborne, vice president of custom products for Navistar’s Monaco and Workhorse Custom Chassis LLC subsidiaries, noted that the company has been preparing the facility since last fall when it announced its consolidation plans.

He noted that with a launch of this size, it was important “that we didn’t ramp up quickly, making sure the quality is right.”

To view an accompanying video from WSBT click here.



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Monaco’s Downsizing at Ore. Facility Continues

March 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Navistar International Corp. continues with plans to cease production of motorized RVs at its Monaco RV manufacturing facility in Coburg, Ore,, resulting in a loss of 255 jobs.

The Portland Business Journal reported that a notice filed with the Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development indicated Navistar will lay off the employees between March 16 and April 27.

It’s the latest downsizing by Lisle, Ill.-based Navistar, which purchased Monaco out of bankruptcy in 2009 for $47 million. Roughly 450 jobs were lost in Coburg last year when Navistar consolidated all of Monaco’s motorcoach manufacturing at a plant in Wakarusa, Ind., and moved administrative positions to Navistar’s Illinois corporate campus.

At one time, Monaco was one of Oregon’s biggest employers. When it filed for bankruptcy in March 2009, it employed 2,225. In 2007 it had $1.27 billion in sales, making it Oregon’s eighth-largest public company.


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Monaco to Sponsor LPGA Event, Hold RV Rally

September 13, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Monaco RV LLC, a manufacturer of motorized and towable recreational vehicles, will again be the presenting sponsor for the Navistar LPGA Classic at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Capitol Hill in Prattville, Ala., according to a press release.

In conjunction with the golf tournament, over 130 Monaco RV coach owners will assemble to hold their East Coast Come Home LPGA Rally on Sept. 15-18.

The Navistar LPGA Classic will feature 144 stars of the LPGA, including the top ranked players in the world. RVs are the choice of transportation for many players as they travel between tournaments. Several LPGA players are actually camping alongside Monaco RV Rally participants.

The Monaco RV East Coast Come Home LPGA Rally will offer many free-of-charge amenities for rally participants including: tickets to all of the LPGA tournaments, four nights dry-camping, two catered breakfasts, three cocktail hours, three catered dinners, entertainment on Friday and Saturday, leisure activities and games.

One of Monaco RV’s premier dealer partners, Alliance Coach of Wildwood, Fla., will be on site displaying Monaco’s new and innovative “Next Generation of RV’s” for 2012. A customer service team from Monaco RV will also be hand for the four-day event, to provide any needed maintenance and ensure rally participants have a safe and enjoyable time.


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