Los Angeles investment firm Hackman Capital, which purchased the assets of Riverside, Calif.-based MVP RV Inc. April 19, is holding an auction Thursday to divest equipment acquired in the transaction.
The auction, administered by CMA Management Association, will begin at 9:30 (Pacific) and offer online bidding. CMA is allowing interested bidders to preview items today.
According to the CMA site, items will cover a cross section of items including woodworking and manufacturing equipment, tools, parts and several vehicles such as pick-up trucks and electric cars.
As reported by the Press Enterprise, Riverside, Hackman Capital, which buys land and buildings and then sells or leases them, was among a handful of bidders vying for the assets of MVP in last week’s auction – none with RV manufacturing intentions. The amount paid was undisclosed.
For more information visit www.cmaauctions.com.
Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from an article by the Press-Enterprise, Riverside, Calif., offering an in-depth look at the up-and-down ride endured by now shuttered MVP RV Inc. and its relationship with Chinese entrepreneur Winston Chung. To view the entire story click here.
MVP RV Inc., a Riverside, Calif., company that had high hopes of selling $5 billion worth of recreational vehicles to China, has shut down and will be sold off amid a dispute pitting one foreign investor against others.
After faltering in 2009, the company had been given a second chance and seemingly a financial windfall when Winston Chung, a Chinese businessman and inventor of a type of lithium batteries, came to its rescue.
Chung was named chairman and after making an initial investment, pledged another $310 million to MVP RV so it could export 30,000 recreational vehicles to China including all-electric models, a plan that earned the company a trip to Washington, D.C. and mention by the White House as it lauded trade opportunities with China.
There’s hope the company could return to recreational vehicle production again depending on who buys it, which could include Chung himself who has reportedly made offers. It wouldn’t be the first time MVP RV had been revived in its short life that’s included very public ups and downs.
Three former Thor California executives started the company in mid-2008 just as the recession was taking hold and by 2009 shut down the factory in search of an investor. At first, the company made the auto show rounds lauding a partnership with a South Korean firm to build all-electric cars, but the deal never happened. Then Chung came on board and MVP RV fired up a former Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. factory to build RVs, including electric prototypes with Chung’s battery technology.
But Chung had been one among a group of Chinese investors called Fadar International who now argue Chung shoved them out of the MVP investment, used the RV company as a method to gain international prominence and crafted a fraudulent document to claim full ownership of their stake in MVP RV, according to a lawsuit filed last August in Riverside County Superior Court.
The litigation is pending, but in mid-December Fadar International called for the shutdown of MVP RV and signed over its assets to a firm that liquidates companies to pay off creditors versus forcing a company to file for bankruptcy.
Shortly after, the company laid off its entire work force, about 200 people, but didn’t file a WARN notice with the state.
To read the entire article click here.
Brad Williams, president and CEO of Riverside, Calif.-based MVP RV Inc., was recently appointed to a seat on the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) board.
According to a press release, Williams takes up a vacated manufacturer seat with a term running until Sept. 30, 2013. RVIA board members fill seats from a variety of categories in the RV industry to help manage the affairs of the association.
RVIA recently revised the association’s bylaws to have interim appointments to the RVIA board serve the balance of the vacating incumbent’s term so that the election cycle is not disturbed. By maintaining this balance, elections each year will always be for seven seats and each seat will always be for a three-year term.
Williams is a 30-year veteran of the RV industry who previously worked for Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. and Thor California before co-founding MVP RV in 2008. He has also served on RVIA’s Industry Education Committee.
The MVP RV manufacturing facility, which encompasses almost 500,000 square feet of manufacturing space on 23 acres, produces travel trailers under the brand names Coast and Summit, fifth-wheels under the brand names Jazz and Destiny, and toy haulers under the brand names Impact, Vortex and Envy. The company employs more than 250 people and continues to grow its dealer network in the United States and Canada. For more information about MVP RV’s products, visit to www.mvprv.com.
Brad Williams, president and CEO of MVP RV Inc., has been appointed to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) board to fill the open Manufacturer seat vacated by John Rhymer of Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC.
Williams is a 25-year veteran of the RV industry who worked for Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. and Thor California before joining MVP RV in 2005. He has also served on RVIA’s Industry Education Committee.
His term will run until Sept. 30, 2013. RVIA recently revised the association’s bylaws to have interim appointments to the RVIA board serve the balance of the vacating incumbent’s term so that the election cycle is not disturbed. By maintaining this balance, elections each year will always be for seven seats and each seat will always be for a three-year term.
Riverside, Calif.-based MVP RV Inc. announced today (June 30) the introduction of the all-new 2012 Sonoma travel trailer line.
“Sonoma was developed with a clear direction and vision – affordability,” said Mark McFadden, Sonoma national sales and product manager. “We wanted to create a travel trailer line that the average working family could afford, without giving up the features these experienced campers demand.
“Southern California is among the strongest markets for affordably-priced travel trailers, and it is a very competitive market as well. Having the ability to build this low-cost trailer locally for our dealers is a tremendous advantage for us, and for them.”
McFadden said that Sonoma is a completely new line designed from the ground up featuring 12 floorplans, including eight SE models.
“There are many specific features and construction requirements needed to build a first-class, affordably-priced travel trailer,” he said. “Plus, shipping costs from areas outside the Southwest make it prohibitive to be truly price-competitive in this segment.”
Sonoma comes standard with such features as full-length drawer guides, 13,500 BTU A/C, ABS tub surround, brushed-nickel, high-rise kitchen faucet, raised-pane overhead cabinets, residential full-size 60”x80” mattress, silverware drawer, diamond plate gravel guard, exterior speakers and tinted safety glass windows.
McFadden said that Southern California’s Giant RV is the first dealer to sign up with Sonoma.
“We could not be happier with this product”, said Frankie Barouti, Giant RV president. “This is a very important segment of the market, and we truly believe that MVP RV has hit the mark with the Sonoma. We are pumped to be selling the newest, most affordable trailer in the market. We retailed our first one within two hours of it landing here.”
MVP RV builds travel trailers under the brand names Coast, Summit and Sonoma, and fifth-wheels under the brand names Jazz and Destiny. The company also manufactures the Class C Tahoe, and toy haulers under the brand names Impact, Vortex and Envy. For more information about MVP RV’s products, please go to www.mvprv.com.
Rapidly expanding MVP RV Inc. recently announced the hiring of Joe Hullings as regional sales manager for its toy hauler division that includes the Impact, Vortex and Envy brands.
According to a press release, Hullings brings over 12 years experience in the RV industry, holding positions with now-defunct Weekend Warrior Trailers Inc. and most recently Forest River Inc.
“We feel very fortunate to have Joe join our team”, said Scott Richgruber, national sales and product manager for the Riverside, Calif.-based builder’s toy hauler division. “Joe has the product background, dealer relationships, market knowledge and sales experience needed to help drive our toy hauler sales. In addition, Joe will assist in the development of new products as well as expanding our existing toy hauler lines. He will make an immediate impact for us.”
“I could not be more excited about this opportunity,” said Hullings. “MVP has a great team and a clear vision of what they want to accomplish as well as the direction they want to take this company. I look forward to contributing to their growth and success.”
MVP RV builds travel trailers under the brand names Sonoma, Summit, and Coast, fifth-wheels under the brand names Jazz and Destiny, toy haulers under the brand names Impact, Vortex and Envy, and Class C motorhomes under the brand name Tahoe.
The importance of exports for the national economic recovery and American job creation, reducing high foreign tariffs, developing U.S. product-friendly standards in China, along with the variety of ways that RVs can be used in recovery efforts in post-disaster locations were among the critical topics that MVP RV Inc. President and CEO Brad Williams recently discussed with U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke.
The two met on the University of Southern California (USC) campus in Los Angeles during the second stop of Locke’s “New Markets, New Jobs” small business outreach tour, along with other hand-picked business leaders. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and USC Marshall School of Business Dean James G. Ellis also met with Locke, who will be the nation’s next ambassador to China.
“I was honored to represent our company and the RV industry in this important discussion,” Williams stated in a news release. “Our homegrown company has weathered the economic storm and is now on the path to increase our domestic and export business.”
During the meeting, Locke discussed the importance of exports to America’s economic recovery and job creation, and the resources that the government is providing to connect local small- and medium-sized businesses with foreign buyers, especially those from the Asia-Pacific markets, in order to help them sell more overseas and hire more at home.
MVP RV will export more than 30,000 recreational vehicles worth in excess of $5 billion to China over the next three to four years. The company was cited by the Obama administration in conjunction with Chinese President Hu Jintao’s state visit and is being heralded as a significant step in the continued development of the recreation vehicle industry in China. It will also boost employment at MVP RV, creating more than 1,200 American jobs.
Williams explained to the gathering that this export deal was a crucial factor in helping his company rebound and stressed that assistance from the federal government in lowering tariffs for U.S. exports and in urging China to adopt U.S. RV standards would help further open the market and boost RV industry exports.
Williams reminded the group that disasters like the one that hit Japan could unfortunately happen again. He underscored the importance of having RVs ready to be sent where they are needed as a critical emergency aid strategy. He said that RVs can be put to many uses during post-disaster operations, including holding medical/dental clinics, acting as emergency response vehicles, offering bathroom and shower facilities, and becoming temporary living units for disaster victims.
MVP RV has a facility in Riverside, Calif., which encompasses 500,000 square feet of manufacturing space on 23 acres. The facility currently produces a variety of RVs, including Class A and Class C motorhomes, as well as travel trailers, fifth-wheels and toy haulers.
Two years ago, Brad Williams halted production at his 250-employee recreation-vehicle company and eventually laid off more than 200 workers, unable to find cash to keep his factory humming when sales slowed.
“During the downturn, we went on the hunt for capital, but after 44 presentations we came up short,” Williams, 56, told the Wall Street Journal.
Today MVP RV Inc. is on the verge of hiring 1,200 workers and boosting production by some 30,000 motorhomes to 40,000 this year. The difference is a $310 million investment from a Chinese entrepreneur who sees Asia as an untapped market for American-made RVs.
“It’s almost something out of a fairy tale,” Williams says.
His Riverside, Calif., company is one of a growing number of small U.S. companies benefiting from a surge in foreign direct investment from China.
Once dominated by purchases of U.S. Treasury bonds, Chinese foreign investment is shifting to mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and taking stakes in new businesses.
Private-sector Chinese businesses and investors put nearly $5 billion into U.S. firms of all sizes last year, more than double the amount in 2009, according to the Rhodium Group, a New York research firm. That’s a small fraction of the more than $55 billion that has flowed from the U.S. to China, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.
But the flow of private-sector investment toward the U.S. from China is expected to grow substantially, says Rhodium research director Thilo Hanemann.
It isn’t clear how much of the Chinese investment funds go to small businesses. Many of the deals with small businesses are under $10 million and involve Chinese investors looking for early-stage U.S. partners as an entree into the U.S. market and for exporting goods and services back to China,, says Siva Yam, president of the U.S.-China Chamber of Commerce.
Recent deals have involved clean-energy, automotive, aerospace, information-technology and health-care industries, he says.
The White House, meanwhile, is encouraging small-business owners to seek global partnerships. Of the nearly 30 million small and midsize companies, only 1% currently sell goods abroad, trade figures show.
George Haley, a marketing professor at the University of New Haven in Connecticut, says although China investors provide welcome capital to U.S. companies, he worries that the ultimate goal in small-business investments is part of an effort by Beijing to relocate the companies to China and reap gains in technology, resources and jobs.
Williams, however, describes MVP RV’s deal as a partnership, not a takeover. “We’re not exporting jobs, we’re exporting products. We’re a homegrown company that happens to have a partner from China,” he says.
His lifeline arose almost by accident. When sales were slow last year, Mr Williams traveled with a team of MVP RV executives to Shenzhen, China, as part of plan to remake the company as an electric-car manufacturer. Talks with the Chinese electric-car company he’d gone to meet collapsed, but Williams was introduced to Winston Chung, whose company, Winston Global Energy, makes batteries for electric vehicles.
Over the course of several months, Chung became the majority shareholder in MVP RV in exchange for his $310 million investment. Williams and Chung hope to develop a battery-powered motor home for sale in the U.S. and export to China’s rapidly expanding automotive market.
Williams says although Chung is a majority owner, the company was very clear throughout negotiations that the MVP RV team will be running the business. He would regret being perceived as having sold out the company and offshoring jobs. Williams adds, “That fear is unfounded. As American businesses, we should not be fearful of partnering with foreign investors. This is something we need to do.”
Last month Mike Thompson RV was awarded the latest new innovative toy hauler travel trailer, the Impact, by MVP RV Inc.
The Impact is a perfect fit for Mike Thompson RV, providing a product consumers are seeking that the dealer did not represent. The Impact provides a high value yet price sensitive toyhauler travel trailer, according to a news release.
Now Mike Thompson RV and MVP are doing it again with the addition of the Vortex toy hauler travel trailer to their toy hauler lineup.
“MVP has designed the Vortex for the consumer looking for high value and a few more added features than the Impact,” the release continued. “The Vortex, is being offered at a much more affordable price then the competition. The team at MVP and Mike Thompson RV staff is incredibly excited to have this new product line. With the addition of the Vortex, Mike Thompson RV will be able to offer the consumer a great selection. This continued growth brings huge benefits not only the consumer, but the RV industry overall. Today’s customer is looking to get more toyhauler for less money and that is what the Vortex and Impact offer.”
Learn more about Mike Thompson RV Superstores at www.mikethompson.com.
MVP RV Inc., Rivreside, Calif., has announced that it has reached an agreement with Little Dealer Little Prices, located in Phoenix, Ariz., to retail Tahoe Class C RVs.
“We are very excited to be representing this new line,” Debbie Brunoforte, president of Little Dealer Little Prices, said in a news release. “We took our time before making this decision. We had other Class C’s brands available to us, but in the end, Tahoe’s price/value relationship, attention to detail, and West Coast production facility made them the clear choice for us.”
“We are very proud to be adding Little Dealer Little Prices to our growing MVP RV family,” said Niles Whitehouse, Tahoe’s national sales and product manager. “Little Dealer is a family owned and operated RV dealership that has been in business for over 40 years. Their commitment to customer service, attention to detail, support of our industry and reputation for selling quality products made them the obvious choice for us. We could not be more excited.”
The all-new 2011 Tahoe comes standard with a 4.0 Onan generator, three-burner range with oven, deep-double bowl stainless steel galley sink, 83-inch interior height throughout, hardwood drawers with full-extension roller bearing guides, pass-through storage on all models, Ford V-10 engine and 32-inch LCD TV. MSRPs start at $61,544.00