Two weeks ago, workers at SJC Industries learned the company had been sold to Allied Specialty Vehicles Inc. On Monday (May 20) they learned the company was moving to Florida and taking all of their jobs with it.
The South Bend Tribune reported that SJC Industries filed notice that it will close its Elkhart, Ind., facilities in July, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification or WARN notice filed with the state. According to the notice, about 165 workers will be terminated in July at the company’s facility at 25161 Leer Drive.
SJC Industries is an ambulance manufacturer that Thor Industries Inc. sold May 6 to Allied Specialty Vehicles, which also recently purchased Navistar Inc.’s RV assets. SJC produces the McCoy Miller and Marque ambulance brands.
Hans Heinsen, vice president of finance and chief financial officer of Allied Specialty Vehicles, said Tuesday the company is relocating the ambulance maker to Winter Park, Fla.
“Under the terms of the purchase agreement, we are required to relocate the business,” he wrote in an e-mail. “It is therefore our intent to transition production to our Winter Park, Fla., site during the next three to six months.”
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Thor Industries Inc. announced on Tuesday (March 2) its acquisition of SJC Industries, a privately held manufacturer of ambulances based in Elkhart, Ind., for approximately $20 million cash. Based upon SJC’s prior performance, the acquisition is expected to be accretive to earnings.
“We believe that SJC is currently the second largest manufacturer of ambulances in the United States,” according to a company press release. “Its brands include McCoy-Miller, Marque and Premiere, sold through a nationwide network of dealers. SJC has a strong, motivated management team and work force led by Chuck Drake, president, and Jim Evans, vice president of finance, who will continue in their management roles following the closing. Under Thor’s new ownership SJC will continue as an independent operation, in the same manner as Thor’s recreation vehicle and bus companies.”
Drake will report to Richard Riegel, Thor’s senior group president.
“The ambulance business is a natural fit with Thor’s bus and RV businesses. SJC is an innovator with a strong commitment to customer satisfaction. We believe their quality is the highest in the ambulance industry,” said Peter B. Orthwein, Thor chairman, CEO and president. “The relationship with Thor will bring many operational synergies to SJC including procurement and lean production processes, among others.”
Thor is the world’s largest manufacturer of recreation vehicles and a major builder of commercial buses.