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Northwest’s Poulsbo RV to Carry Monaco Brand

February 2, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Monaco RV logo (new)Monaco RV announced today (Feb. 2) it has signed an agreement with Poulsbo RV to sell the Monaco brand of products, according to a news release.

Poulsbo RV is one of the premier dealers in the Northwest with locations in Auburn, Everett, Kent and Mount Vernon, Wash., and has been selling and servicing RVs since 1986. Poulsbo RV was recently recognized with the Blue Ribbon Award, honoring the dealer as a Top 10 RV retailer in North America. Poulsbo RV will sell the Monaco brand of products at its Kent location.

“Poulsbo RV is the type of organization that we as a company strive to conduct business with,” said Mike Snell, senior vice president of sales and product development for Monaco RV. “Poulsbo has an expert sales and service team, and we know our customers will have a wonderful experience when working together with the Poulsbo RV team. We’re looking forward to many years of mutual success, and are thrilled to have a dealer partner selling our motorized products in the state of Washington.”

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Lazydays Takes on Monaco RV Motorized Line

January 12, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Lazydays announced today (Jan. 12) that it has taken on the newest line of motorhomes by Monaco RV LLC.

Lazydays CEO John Horton said in a news release that Seffner, Fla.-based Lazydays and Monaco share a passionate dedication to RVers that has resulted in scores of happy customers in the past and will continue to grow as the RV industry moves into the future.

“Over the past decade, Lazydays and Monaco have cultivated a strong relationship built on trust and the mutual devotion to helping RVers fulfill their dreams,” said Horton. “We look forward to building on this relationship. As a longtime top Monaco dealer, we are confident that Monaco RV will be a market leader for many years to come.”

Monaco RV President Kay Toolson asserted that Lazydays’ commitment to its customers is extraordinary and that both Lazydays’ and Monaco’s tremendous devotion to the RVer is a sign that the future is bright for those who love RVing.

“It has always been our goal at Monaco, as it has with Lazydays, to take care of our customers better than any competitor ever could,” said Toolson. “The bond between our two companies is going to make the experience for our mutual customers the best it can possibly be. We look forward to many successful years together.”

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Guaranty RV Signs on With Monaco/R-Vision

December 22, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Kay Toolson (right of Monaco RV and Herb Till of Guaranty RV welcome their new partnership.

Kay Toolson (right) of Monaco RV and Herb Nill of Guaranty RV welcome their new partnership.

Monaco RV announced its partnership with one of the nation’s largest and most respected RV dealerships, Guaranty RV, located in Junction City, Ore.

Guaranty RV and owner Herb Nill, the 2009 recipient of the Dave Altman Award for lifetime achievement, will carry Monaco brand motorhomes, as well R-Vision brand towables, according to a news release.

“We’re extremely proud for the Monaco and R-Vision brands to partner once again with such a tremendous organization as Guaranty RV,” said Kay Toolson, president, Monaco RV.

“They are a nationally respected RV dealer with highly regarded values and integrity, first-class sales and service facilities, and a loyal customer base that has come to expect unequalled customer service from its friendly and knowledgeable staff. We simply couldn’t be happier to join forces with Guaranty RV to bring our mutual customers the very best recreational vehicles on the market along with the industry’s highest level of service after the sale.”

“Guaranty has been selling Monaco motorhomes since they’ve been building them,” said Nill, president, Guaranty RV. “We value the quality people, products and experience associated with the Monaco organization. As this year’s Dave Altman Award recipient as the nation’s top dealer, it’s only logical that Guaranty RV represent one of the top RV manufacturers in the industry. It’s an ideal marriage.”

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Monaco RV Worker Proud to Introduce the President

August 7, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

 

Herm Wiley introducing President Obama on Wednesday.

Herm Wiley introducing President Obama on Wednesday.

Nerves took hold of Herman Wiley minutes before he was to take the stage in front of hundreds of co-workers, politicians and members of the national media on Wednesday (Aug. 5) in Wakarusa, Ind.

But then President Barack Obama took Wiley under his wing and helped calm those nerves, according to the South Bend Tribune.

“He took me backstage and told me everything would be all right,” Wiley said. “I took a deep breath and went out there.”

In a confident voice, Wiley told his story to those gathered in front of him – about how he worked in the recreational vehicle business for 32 years at the former Monaco Coach Corp., was recently laid off temporarily while trying to support his two children, and then how he was rehired in June at Monaco RV. 

“I have great faith the economy will turn around,” he told the crowd.

He then introduced the president and shook his hand as Obama made his entrance Wednesday at Monaco RV to thunderous applause from the nearly 200 Monaco employees there.

After the news conference, Wiley spoke about his once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“It felt really good,” said Wiley, 54, of Elkhart. “I was proud to do this. It was beyond anything you could imagine.”

Wiley’s story is not unique. 

In fact, just about every Monaco employee there had two things in common: They are currently employed but had recently been laid off. Most of them lost their jobs sometime between July 2008 – when 1,400 workers were cut – and March.

Some 400 employees have been brought back since Navistar International Corp. bought the company out of bankruptcy and renamed it Monaco RV.

The news that Navistar would receive $39 million in grants to develop batteries and electric vehicles was a sign their company may be on the right track to stability. The money will be spent to build electric trucks with the ability to go 100 miles.

“Hopefully, we can get going and get back the money we were making a few years ago,” said Laura Collins, who makes the commute to Wakarusa from Logansport.

Collins said she took a $5 or $6 an hour pay cut when she returned but said the work is worth it. 

“It’s an industry that once you start working, it’s hard to stop,” she added.

Randy Trotter, of Bristol, Brandon Boisvart, of North Manchester, and Jeff Compton, of Warsaw, stood shoulder to shoulder as they talked about what the grant will do. They, too, were all temporarily laid off when the Monaco plant in Warsaw closed but now are happy to report to Wakarusa daily.

They say the stimulus money is helping them get back to work and secure their jobs.

“It was a struggle, struggle, struggle before we got called back,” Trotter said.

“Yeah, this really got us back to work,” Compton added. 

“And hopefully will keep us there,” Boisvart said.

Rich Esterlie, of Elkhart, was laid off a year and a half ago and struggled to find a job before he was called back.

“There already is a hybrid, now we’re getting involved with an electric line of trucks,” he said. “I definitely think this will help the business.”

Henry Kaiser was more skeptical, adding he hopes more jobs are added, but he said he’s not certain the money will help.

Josh Walters was riding around Wakarusa on his Harley-Davidson shortly after the news conference when he stopped to talk about the grant. 

“I think it’s a great thing as long as (Obama) sticks to what he says,” Walters said. “What’s iffy is having the electric vehicles go for 100 miles. They’ll have to improve on that, but it’s a starting point.”

Walters said he worked as a repo man after he was cut from Monaco.

“That’s when I got to see the other side of the economy,” he said. “I understand what people go through.”

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Obama Lauds Navistar at Hoosier Appearance

August 5, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Hundreds of Navistar employees today (Aug. 5) welcomed President Barack Obama to its Wakarusa, Ind., manufacturing facility to celebrate the award of a $39 million federal grant to develop and build all-electric delivery vehicles and bring jobs to the Elkhart County, Ind., communities.

Through this U.S. Department of Energy grant, Navistar intends to build 400 all-electric vehicles in 2010 and expects that within a couple of years to be producing several thousand vehicles annually, according to a press release. Navistar anticipates hiring additional workers immediately as it ramps up production of the all-electric delivery vehicle. As volumes increase and the market grows, the company estimates opportunities for several hundred more people in the Elkhart area. The grant application calls for the creation of up to 700 jobs, which includes Navistar employees and suppliers.

“The all-electric delivery vehicle is a concrete example of what business and government can do when we work together,” said Dan Ustian, Navistar chairman, president and CEO. “The future is now with this electric vehicle. In fact, we already have interested customers, including some of the most respected names in the industry.”

Navistar is in the process of finalizing a joint venture with Modec Ltd. of the United Kingdom to produce and sell electric Class 2c-3 commercial vehicles in North, Central and South America. This zero emission all-electric delivery vehicle would primarily be used by drivers for local deliveries where stop and go driving would otherwise consume a large amount of fuel.

Navistar has three manufacturing facilities in the area: the Monaco RV facility in Wakarusa, Ind., another facility recently purchased from Monaco in Elkhart , Ind., and the Workhorse Custom Chassis facility in Union City, Ind.

“Navistar is keenly aware of our fiscal and social responsibilities as we stand here today in a facility that Navistar bought from a bankrupt entity,” said Ustian. “Navistar believes in its people and products, and that is why the company is investing in the Elkhart area. We have already added jobs since we bought some of the assets of Monaco out of bankruptcy.”

Earlier this year, Navistar purchased certain assets of the recreational vehicle (RV) manufacturing business of Monaco Coach Corporation, one of the nation’s leading recreational vehicle manufacturers.

Navistar’s commitment to innovation is embedded in its DNA. The company’s foundations were laid in 1831 when Cyrus McCormick invented the mechanical reaper, creating a new industry, modern agriculture, which allowed farmers to expand America westward. The company’s reputation for bringing new technologies to market has deep historical roots. The development of an all-electric commercial vehicle would be the latest in clean technologies for the truck and engine market that Navistar has been first to market with.

Hybrid School Bus and Truck and Military Vehicles on Display

Also on display for the president was the company’s hybrid electric plug-in school bus, its hybrid International DuraStar, the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected  vehicle and the International( Husky Tactical Support Vehicle. Navistar was also the first to enter line production of commercial diesel hybrid trucks and school buses. In addition to hybrid-electric trucks and buses, the conventional line-up of International brand commercial trucks is among the most aerodynamic, fuel efficient in the industry.

Advancing Clean Diesel Technologies

For decades, Navistar has demonstrated a commitment to clean diesel technologies that benefit the environment and its customers. In 1989, Navistar was the first original equipment manufacturer to release the smokeless diesel engine and, in 2001, Navistar was the first engine manufacturer to gain certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for meeting particulate and hydrocarbon emissions standards – six years ahead of schedule.

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Lifetime RV Occupies Former Travel Supreme Plant

August 5, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

There is more good news for Elkhart County. Plans are under way for a new division of Forest River Inc. in Wakarusa, Ind. It could send another 200 people back to work, according to WSBT-TV, South Bend.

“Lifetime RV is going to be a great employer; we’re going to treat our people right,” Chris Hermon told WSBT News.

Hermon and Jeff Rank are running the new division called Lifetime RV. Its new home will be the former Travel Supreme RV production complex in Wakarusa, as first reported by RVBUSINESS.com.

“Our plan is to be a full-line RV manufacturer of all towable brands, from entry level stick and tin, all the way to high-end fifth wheels,” Hermon explained. “Our plan is to be in full production in mid- to late-October.”

The division will be bringing in a whole new production setup.

“The infrastructure is here. Our plan is to start from the ground floor,” Hermon said. “The most important thing that we have going for us is dealers are excited about what we’re going to bring to the market.”

He says based on the unique product line they’ll be offering, the experience of the people starting the division, and the available work force, now is a great time to bring a new RV operation online.

“In our mind the timing was exceptionally right with the workforce that’s available out here in Wakarusa and Nappanee,” Hermon added. “That’s really one of the things we’re excited about, is the talent pool that this area possesses.”

With the new Navistar International Corp./Monaco RV operation, plans for the Electric Motors Corp. and now a new RV company, many of the unemployed in the Wakarusa area have more to smile about.

“We’re just more than pleased. It’s our road to recovery, and we’re thinking we’re on the way. We have lots of folks who are still unemployed,” said Wakarusa Town Manager Tom Roeder. “This is just great news. We think we’re coming back.”

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