Thursday, January 08, 2009



RV Business
Thursday, January 8, 2009

Officials of Monaco Coach Corp. have notified employees that a four-week production shutdown at the Coburg, Ore., factory has been extended another three weeks.

The Register-Guard, Eugene, reported that the plant was shut down for a holiday furlough Dec. 15, with production scheduled to resume Monday (Jan. 5). But employees who called in this week to a company hot line heard a recording that said “due to the continuing challenge in market conditions,” the layoff in Coburg would be extended to Feb. 2.

Monaco is constantly managing production to match up with retail and wholesale demand for its coaches, and demand is down, spokesman Craig Wanichek said. Retail sales were down 40% and wholesale sales were down 50% in 2008, he said.

Employees at the warranty and service center in Harrisburg meanwhile, won’t be called back until March 2. Winter is typically a slow time at the service center, Wanichek said.

Monaco employs about 2,200 people in Oregon, mostly in Coburg and Harrisburg.

Like other RV manufacturers, Monaco has been struggling through a down market. With the U.S. economy in recession, the industry has been hurt by poor consumer confidence and tight credit.

Last year, Monaco closed three Indiana factories, suspended its dividend, cut its production in half and laid off about 2,100 employees in a series of job cuts.

RV maker Country Coach Inc. in Junction City, Ore., has been shut down since early December. Workers there were supposed to return Jan. 5, but were told at the end of December that the plant would be shut down permanently Feb. 28 unless the company could obtain new financing.

Country Coach has about 500 workers.

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