Thursday, March 13, 2008



RV Business
Thursday, March 13, 2008

Junction City, Ore.-based Country Coach Inc. handed pink slips to 8% of its work force because of deteriorating market conditions.

The Register-Guard, Eugene, reported that the manufacturer of high-end motorhomes declined to say the exact number of workers losing their jobs. But based on the most recent company statements about the size of its work force, the layoff affects about 100 people.

Company spokesman Matt Howard told the Register Guard that Country Coach needs to ensure it has the right number of employees for the market.

"We look at the industry hopefully being at the bottom of the curve and being ready for a resurgence," he said.

The RV industry as a whole saw motorized sales fall 17% in January, according to market watcher Statistical Surveys. Gasoline prices have hit record highs recently, likely hurting business. The home mortgage crisis also affects RV makers because many buyers rely on home equity to finance the purchase of a motorhome.

After years of job gains, Lane County's RV industry has retrenched in recent years. The transportation equipment sector – comprised mostly of RV makers – lost 400 jobs in 2006 and 300 jobs in 2007, dropping to about 4,100 total jobs, according to the state Employment Security Department.

Besides Country Coach, Lane County is home to Marathon Coach and Monaco Coach Corp.

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