Friday, November 07, 2008



RV Business
Friday, November 7, 2008

Coburg, Ore.-based Monaco Coach Coro. announced today (Nov. 7) that the new credit facilities it had previously announced it was negotiating have now closed and been funded.

The first of these facilities is a three-year $80 million revolving working capital loan and security agreement with several financial institutions and Bank of America, N.A., as agent for the lenders. This facility was reduced from the previously announced level of $90 million to $80 million.

The second facility is a secured financing agreement with Ableco Finance LLC for a $39.3 million 3.5-year secured term loan. The term loan proceeds and an initial draw on the new revolving loan of $37.4 million were used to pay off the existing revolving line of credit and term loan, as well as for general corporate purposes.



RV Business
Friday, November 7, 2008

Two months after the fact, many Southeast Texans are still living in tents in their yards from the devastation of Hurricane Ike.

The Port Arthur News reported that R. David Paulison, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), held a press conference at the FEMA Area Field Office in Beaumont Thursday (Nov. 5) afternoon to discuss area housing needs.

Paulison announced he could not in good conscience place people into travel trailers knowing they may contain formaldehyde. Instead, the federal agency opted to go with a mobile home and/or an apartment program.

He said placing the mobile homes on some residents' lots is a problem and FEMA is trying to get them in place as quickly as possible.

"It's our number one priority," Paulison said. "We're giving our people all the tools we need. This is serious and we're going to make sure it happens. I understand some people don't want to leave home. There are apartments available, but some say they are too far away. We want to work with the people who want to stay at home."

Paulison admitted since there is a shortage of apartments available in the Golden Triangle, the closest available units are in the Houston area. He added the mobile home program is now "clicking" in spite of a slow start with 92 set up yesterday.

"We're going door to door to ask people if they need help. We're getting the mobile homes up as fast as possible and we'll continue at that pace until we're finished," Paulison said. "We now have 850 on the ground with a hundred more everyday in two months. We're going as fast as they are delivered here. Everybody wants it yesterday. It's difficult to make it happen."

Paulison said FEMA strike teams are on the ground, locating sites for the mobile homes in the area. Entergy representatives are assisting these teams to help with utility connections.

One reporter asked what could have been done differently. Paulison said FEMA depended strictly on the travel trailer program until it wasn't feasible and switched to the mobile homes and apartments.

Another reporter asked if a hurricane hit tomorrow, what would FEMA do differently. Paulison said they would probably ensure the travel trailers are formaldehyde free.

"There's no excuses; it should had happened faster. We'll have more meetings (media press conferences) in the future," he said.



Bob Ashley
RV Business
Friday, November 7, 2008

NuWa Industries Inc., Chanute, Kan., will stop production of its high-end fifth-wheels on Christmas Eve, but is keeping its sales staff and parts and service departments open after the first of the year.

"We want to take a look to see what kind of sales are going to come in 2009," NuWa President Neil Ford told RVBusiness. "We will never close our parts, warranty and service departments. Those will remain open."

About 100 workers will be laid off as part of the move, he said. NuWa also canceled the space it had reserved at the 46th Annual National RV Trade Show, Dec. 2-4, in Louisville, Ky.

"The problem is the whole economy," Ford said. "Most of our customers are retired, and the price range of our units is not inexpensive. People can't get financed or they fear what the economy is going to do."

As recently as 2006, NuWa operated two factories in the Chanute area and employed about 500 people. After the production shutdown, about 40 employees will remain.

"We are not slamming the doors shut and saying 'We're, through,' " Ford said. "We're definitely coming back if there's business there."

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