The last vestiges of MVP RV Inc. were sold Thursday (April 19) to a Los Angeles-based real estate investment firm for an undisclosed amount, according to a report by the Press-Enterprise, Riverside.
Hackman Capital – which buys land and buildings and then sells or leases them – was among a handful of bidders, none with RV manufacturing intentions, to attend the private Thursday morning auction organized by Credit Management Association (CMA) at the recreational vehicle maker’s former headquarters near Riverside at 5300 Via Ricardo.
Hackman bought everything including two buildings with 460,570 square feet of space combined on 37 acres, property that had been owned by Fleetwood Enterprises before MVP RV bought it. The rest of what Hackman bought – the equipment, vehicles, fixtures and furniture inside – will be auctioned again on April 26 by the same auctioneer, said Michael Joncich, manager of the Credit Management Association’s adjustment bureau.
MVP RV shut down in mid-December amid a legal dispute that pit one foreign investor – Chinese businessman Winston Chung — against a group of others dubbed Fadar International which owns a majority of the private company’s shares.
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CMA, a non-profit bankruptcy and asset liquidation company, announced this week that the assets of the former Riverside, Calif.-based recreational vehicle manufacturer MVP RV Inc. will be sold at public auction on April 19.
As reported by Examiner.com, the auction – which will be overseen by the Los Angeles-based Piatelli Co. – will be held at the former corporate offices of MVP RV at 5300 Via Ricardo in Riverside.
The assets to be sold include industrial buildings – with an estimated value of $20 million – situated on two parcels of land on Via Ricardo and Fleetwood Drive. The auction will also include factory equipment, inventory, offices, and intellectual property. If bulk offers are not accepted, the Piatelli Co. will hold a piecemeal auction on April 26.
MVP RV closed its doors and laid off its work force in January. A preview of the MVP RV auction items will be held on April 17-18, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. or by appointment.
MVP RV, the Riverside, Calif., recreational vehicle maker that credited its revival to Chinese investor Winston Chung who pledged to give the company $310 million to build RVs for China, has gone out of business, according to the firm now managing its assets.
The Press Enterprise, Riverside, reported that the company assigned all of its assets to a private, non-profit, liquidation firm on Dec. 12, according to Michael Joncich, manager of Credit Management Association’s adjustment bureau. MVP RV had sold off all its trailer and RV inventory to dealers and since December had not taken any new orders, Joncich said.
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Winston Chung came to Southern California two years ago like a standard-bearer for the new China, a wealthy Hong Kong entrepreneur with visions of creating an electric vehicle industry by reviving struggling manufacturing firms including Riverside-based MVP RV Inc.
Some dreams rolled out as planned, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. The battery scientist and clean-energy promoter bought control of four Southland specialty vehicle makers. UC Riverside renamed a building as Winston Chung Hall, saying that the $13 million he provided for green power research was the biggest donation in campus history.
But other ventures skidded off course, the biggest failure being a bid to step into the social spotlight by purchasing the Balboa Bay Club and Resort, a Rat Pack-era landmark where Republican power brokers mingled and John Wayne tossed back Conmemorativo tequila. A seven-figure deposit Chung made in June on a Newport Harbor mansion once owned by actor Nicolas Cage is also in jeopardy because he never came up with the money to complete the purchase.
The $174.5-million deal for the combination yacht club and hotel and its sister Newport Beach Country Club was called off Friday (Jan. 13). Chung never came up with the money as agreed, forfeiting what city documents show was a nonrefundable $4-million down payment.
“We were told he was having difficulty moving money out of China,” David Wooten, chief executive of the clubs, said Monday. The deal could be revived if Chung produces the cash, but for now, competing offers will be considered, he said.
The setbacks are bad news for Brad Williams, president and CEO of MVP RV, a builder of motorhomes and trailers.
A plan to increase manufacturing at the company, with the four-year goal of selling $5 billion in tour buses and campers to newly wealthy Chinese consumers, has been on hold for a year while awaiting approval from Chinese regulators.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Williams said that about $30 million from a Chinese investment group that included Chung rescued his idled company in 2010. Among other things, the backing enabled MVP to buy a 24-acre Riverside manufacturing complex from bankrupt RV giant Fleetwood Enterprises Inc.
But an additional $310 million in funding that Chung had pledged to jump-start production appears to be in jeopardy. At the very least, it won’t flow until Chinese authorities approve the design of the tour buses and campers that MVP hoped to sell in China.
Williams, who had talked of generating 1,200 jobs in the economically battered Inland Empire — a deal the White House praised as an emblem of U.S.-China cooperation — expressed frustrations in an interview last year.
“I’m dying to start hiring and I can’t,” he said.
Chung, 53, whose companies in the south China boom town of Shenzhen make products such as electric vehicle power trains and storage batteries for power plants, insisted early this month that the setbacks in Southern California would be temporary.
He blamed the delays on Chinese government reviews. Cash for the Balboa Bay Club and the waterfront estate was being held up by China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange, Chung said. His plan to sell U.S. motorhomes in China was waiting approval from the country’s Ministry of Commerce.
In telephone interviews, he said Chinese authorities had assured him that approvals would be forthcoming in time for him to buy the properties and to start manufacturing motorhomes in March.
“One-hundred percent certain they’re going to go through,” Chung said of his pending deals. A spokeswoman declined to comment further Monday.
Aaron Brickman, a U.S. Commerce Department official overseeing a program to stimulate foreign investment, said difficulties in getting funds out of China are not surprising. Unlike major Western countries, China controls the outward flow of cash as well as money coming into the country.
“China is still becoming comfortable with its own evolution regarding capital flow and investments,” Brickman said.
Veteran recreation vehicle sales expert Mark Inkrote has joined MVP RV Inc. as regional sales manager for the company’s line of motorhomes, which MVP said will soon be including Class A offerings.
“We are very lucky to have someone with Mark’s experience, reputation and dealer relationships join our team,” said Niles Whitehouse, MVP’s motorhome national sales manager. “He has tremendous product knowledge across all tiers of the motorhome business. With his industry experience, Mark will play an integral role as we continue to expand our Class C lineup and move into Class A’s in the near future. We are expecting great things from him.”
Inkrote’s 28-year career in the recreation vehicle industry includes serving in senior sales roles with Fleetwood RV Inc. and Support Product Services.
“I couldn’t be more excited to join MVP RV’s sales team and assist them in their rapid growth,” said Inkrote. “Having the ability to bring my experience to the table and influence not only the Tahoe Class C line, but to be intimately involved in the launch of other motorhome lines was a big factor in my decision to join the team. Being located in the West, which is home for me, is also a big plus. I’m looking forward to getting started and proud to be a part of the MVP family.”
In addition to the Tahoe Class C, Riverside, Calif.-based MVP RV builds travel trailers under the brand names Coast and Summit, Jazz and Destiny fifth-wheels, and toy haulers under the brand names Impact, Vortex and Envy.
For more information about MVP RV’s products, visit to www.mvprv.com. For more information regarding MVP RV’s motorhomes, contact Niles Whitehouse at 951-870-6653 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Mark Inkrote at 951-318-2054 or email@example.com.
In recognition of its recently announced initiative to export approximately 30,000 recreation vehicles to China in the next three to four years, Riverside, Calif.-based MVP RV Inc., was a recent recipient of an Excellence in Exports Award from Riverside County’s Economic Development Agency.
“We are delighted to receive this award, not only for us, but for the Inland Empire because our export and domestic business is creating much-needed jobs,” said MVP RV Inc. President and CEO Brad Williams in a news release. “Our homegrown company has weathered the economic storm and will be hiring hundreds of employees to meet our growing needs.”
Earlier this year, MVP RV signed a deal to manufacture and export recreational vehicles worth in excess of $5 billion to China. The agreement was cited by The White House in conjunction with Chinese President Hu Jintao’s state visit and has been heralded as a significant step in the continued development of the recreational vehicle industry in China.
In April, Williams met with U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke in Los Angeles, Calif., during the second stop of Locke’s “New Markets, New Jobs” small business outreach tour.
Williams said that MVP RV— which manufactures Class C motorhomes, fifth-wheels, toy haulers and travel trailers at its 23-acre Riverside campus — is reviewing export opportunities to other countries in addition to China, and is also ready and able to provide motorhomes and travel trailers to locations around the world when emergency housing is needed for disaster relief.
For more information, visit www.mvprv.com.
An alliance with Chinese businessman Winston Chung has fueled sales at Riverside Calif.-based MVP RV and has triggered hiring and expansion plans. The turnaround has been dramatic as MVP was on the brink of closure just last year. Click here to watch a video from CNBC.
Riverside, Calif.-based MVP RV Inc. is “ready and able” to provide motorhomes and travel trailers to locations around the world when emergency housing is needed for disaster victims, according to a press release.
MVP RV President and CEO Brad Williams delivered the news in a recent meeting with Congressman Ken Calvert, who represents California’s 44th Congressional District that includes Riverside County.
“Unlike other companies that may not be able to respond as quickly, MVP RV is in a position to quickly design and build vehicles to meet the needs of organizations tasked with providing temporary housing,” said Williams. He said that the motorhomes and travel trailers would be affordably priced for the emergency organizations involved.
Reminding Calvert that disasters like the one in Japan, and most recently in the American South, will happen again, Williams pointed out the importance of having RVs ready to be sent where they are needed as a critical emergency aid strategy. He also emphasized that changes need to be made in policies that affect the manufacture of these temporary living units.
“The recreation vehicle industry has suffered greatly because of the downturn and many of our former competitors are out of business or at least unable to move as quickly as we can,” said Williams. “Fortunately, our homegrown company has weathered the economic storm and is now on the path to increase our domestic and export business. We will be hiring hundreds of employees to meet our growing needs. That’s good news for the Inland Empire, where unemployment remains high.”
Calvert is a lifelong resident of Riverside County and a 17-year small business owner in the restaurant and real estate industries.
In April, Williams met with U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke in Los Angeles during the second stop of Locke’s New Markets, New Jobs small business outreach tour.
MVP RV manufacturing facility covers almost 500,000 square feet of manufacturing space on 23 acres, is located in Riverside. The facility currently produces a variety of RVs, including class C motor homes, as well as travel trailers, fifth wheels and toy haulers. Visit the company at www.mvprv.com.
Editor’s Note: Here are two looks at how China Central Television (CCTV) covered the announcement earlier this year that Chinese investor Winston Chung had made a major investment in California-based MVP RV to produce 30,000 motorhomes for a growing RV market in China.
Click here to see film clips from the China TV network’s coverage. A shot list, explaining what’s on the video, is availabel on the link. A slightly edited CCTV news story story follows.
In efforts to step up overseas investments, Chinese private companies put about 5 billion U.S. dollars into American companies in 2010, double the figure in 2009.
In 2010, the Shenzhen-based Winston Battery Company invested more than US $310 million into MVP RV and brought the van manufacturer back from the verge of bankruptcy.
As was reported by the Wall Street Journal, when sales were slow last year, Mr. Williams led a team of MVP RV executives to Shenzhen, China. There he was introduced to Winston Chung, whose company, Winston Global Energy, makes batteries for electric vehicles. Over the course of several months, Mr. Chung became the majority shareholder in MVP RV in exchange for his US$310 million investment.
Messrs. Williams and Chung hope to develop a battery-powered motor home for the U.S. market and promote it in China’s rapidly expanding automotive market as well.
Balqon Corp., the world’s first company to specialize in the lorries motored by non-polluting lithium battery, also received investment from the Winston Battery.
“The partnership is very beneficial for us because we not only receive the investment but we also have our customer or entry into the Chinese market. Similarly we’re also now the exclusive distributor of Winston battery in North American market… For us, it’s a win-win solution,” said Jaime Jimenez, CEO of Balqon Corporation.
Krystal Enterprises, a luxury concierge car manufacturor, is the third company benefiting from Winston’s investment.
Winston’s large inputs into the U.S. automobile industry also eased the local employment pressure to a considerable extent. The MVP RV company is starting to recruit new workers and the formerly laid-off have retured to their work, after the US$310 million investment was in place.
Luis Alfaro, a worker at MVP RV, said: “I got an unemployment for 6 months, there’s a new company by the plan…I appreciate they give us opportunities.”
During Chinese president Hu Jintao’s visit to the U.S., many Sino-U.S. co-orporative investment projects were signed. The investment to the MVP RV is one of them. It demonstrates that China’s overseas investment has developed to a higher level of mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and so on. Analysts say that opportunities for private Chinese companies’ investments in the US are increasing. And the clean-energy, auto, IT and medical care industries are the ones to look out for.
Rapidly growing MVP RV has announced the hiring of Mark McFadden as product manager for its travel trailer division, overseeing the Summit and Coast product lines.
McFadden was most recently the regional sales manager for Forest River Inc.’s California division, according to a news release.
“We are fortunate to have someone with Mark’s experience join our team,” said Scott Degnan, MVP vice president of sales and marketing. “Mark has the product background, dealer relationships, market knowledge and proven sales experience needed to drive our existing trailer brands. In addition, Mark will be in charge of developing new brands as well as expanding our travel trailers into new segments of the market.”
“I could not be more excited about this opportunity, ” said McFadden. “MVP has a great team and a clear vision of what they want to accomplish and the direction they want to take this company. I look forward to contributing to their success.”
McFadden currently lives in the Sacramento area, but will be relocating to southern California where he will be working out of MVP’s new 36-acre complex in Riverside.
For more information regarding the all new 2011 Summit or Coast travel trailers, contact McFadden at (95) 2085-7559 or firstname.lastname@example.org.