Thursday, March 13, 2008
MORE LAYOFFS: THIS TIME AT COUNTRY COACH
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.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
THOR PROFITS INCREASE
For the quarter ended Jan. 31, Thor earned $21.6 million, or 39 cents per share, up from $18.3 million, or 33 cents per share, for the same quarter the year before.
Sales rose 2.6 percent to $599.2 million from $584 million in the year-ago period.
Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected a profit of 40 cents per share on $601.1 million in revenue.
RV sales rose 3 percent to $505.3 million, while RV income before tax jumped 35 percent to $34.1 million. Bus sales increased 0.5 percent to $93.9 million, while bus income before tax rose 13 percent to $3.6 million, Thor said.
Thor said margins improved as a result of improved manufacturing efficiencies, lower warranty costs, higher interest income and a gain on sale of real estate.
Thor shares fell 13 cents to $28.73 in afternoon trading. The stock earlier traded as low as $28.47, below a 52-week low of $28.82 set Friday.
WESTERN RV HAS LAYOFFS
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Yakima, Wash.-based builder Western RV Inc. is laying off 47 hourly production workers, according to a report by TV station KNDO.
President Bob Wert, who joined the company in January, said that the cuts were in response to the country’s economic downturn. The layoffs represent a 17% decrease in the company’s work force from 278 employees to 231.
Wert said this reduction will allow them to better align with market demand, as well as improve overall efficiency.
He added that the layoffs haven't been as bad as with other manufacturers because the company recently introduced several new products into the marketplace.
Western RV, which builds high-line coaches, fifth-wheels and truck campers, was acquired by private equity firm Monomoy Capital Partners in December 2006. Previously, the 38-year-old company was run by founder William Doyle and later by his son, Ron, who retired last June.
RECALL: NEWELL (STEERING:HYDRAULIC POWER ASSIST PUMP)
NEWELL / MOTOR HOME 2003-2008
Manufacturer : NEWELL COACH CORP. Mfr's Report Date : MAR 10, 2008
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 08V107000 NHTSA Action Number: N/A
Component: STEERING:HYDRAULIC POWER ASSIST:PUMP
Potential Number Of Units Affected : 156
NEWELL IS RECALLING 156 MY 2003-2008 MOTOR HOMES EQUIPPED WITH CATERPILLAR C-15 ENGINES AND VICKER'S HYDRAULIC PUMPS. THE HYDRAULIC PUMP INPUT SHAFT MAY NOT FULLY ENGAGE THE ENGINE DRIVE SPROCKET CAUSING FAILURE OF THE INPUT DRIVE SHAFT.
LOSS OF POWER STEERING ASSIST COULD OCCUR INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH.
NEWELL WILL REPLACE THE PUMP WITH ONE EQUIPPED WITH A LONGER SHAFT. THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING MARCH 2008. OWNERS MAY CONTACT NEWELL AT 1-888-963-9355.
CUSTOMERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION¿S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
RECALL: EXCEL 5TH WHEEL TRAILER (ATWOOD RANGE)
PETERSON / EXCEL LIMITED EDITION 2007-2008
Manufacturer : PETERSON INDUSTRIES, INC. Mfr's Report Date : FEB 27, 2008
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 08V105000 NHTSA Action Number: N/A
Component: EQUIPMENT:RECREATIONAL VEHICLE
Potential Number Of Units Affected : 42
PETERSON IS RECALLING 42 MY 2007-2008 EXCEL LIMITED EDITION FIFTH WHEEL TRAILERS EQUIPPED WITH ATWOOD SEALED BURNER RANGES. THE RANGE AND SLIDE-IN BURNER TUBES LEADING FROM THE GAS MANIFOLD TO THE BURNER HEADS HAD A DEPRESSION OR "KINK" IN THE EXTERIOR BEND RESTRICTING PROPER AIRFLOW AND GAS MIXTURE.
THIS CONDITION COULD RESULT IN CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING.
PETERSON IS WORKING WITH ATWOOD TO HAVE THE TUBES REPLACED ON THESE RANGES (PLEASE SEE 07E030). OWNERS MAY CONTACT ATWOOD AT 1-800-348-7418 OR PETERSON AT 1-785-282-6825.
CUSTOMERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
RECALL: JAYCO (TIRE SAFETY LABEL)
JAYCO / DESIGNER 2008
Manufacturer : JAYCO, INC. Mfr's Report Date : MAR 03, 2008
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 08V100000 NHTSA Action Number: N/A
Potential Number Of Units Affected : 106
JAYCO IS RECALLING 106 MY 2008 DESIGNER FIFTH WHEEL TRAILERS FAILING TO CONFORM TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 120, "TIRE SELECTION AND RIMS FOR MOTOR VEHICLES OTHER THAN PASSENGER CARS." A TYPOGRAPHICAL ERROR WAS MADE STATING THE TIRE LOAD RANGE AND THE INFLATION PRESSURE ON THE FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION LABEL FOR THE REAR AXLE.
A MISPRINTED LABEL WOULD LEAD TO IMPROPER VEHICLE LOADING SPECIFICATIONS OR TIRE INFLATION WHICH COULD RESULT IN A TIRE FAILURE, INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH.
DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE FEDERAL ID LABEL WITH THE CORRECT TIRE LOAD RANGE AND INFLATION PRESSURE LISTED FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING MARCH 2008. OWNERS MAY CONTACT JAYCO AT 1-800-283-8267.
CUSTOMERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
Monday, March 10, 2008
NATIONAL RV LOSES LAWSUIT AND IS GOING TO AUCTION
Monday, March 10, 2008
A lawsuit filed by Perris, Calif.-based National RV Holdings Inc. against sidewall supplier Crane Composites Inc. was recently turned down in U.S. District Court.
Law firm Yukevich Calfo & Cavanaugh, which represented Channahon, Ill.-based Crane Composites, reported that after a six-week trial the jury took two-and-half days of deliberation to rule against National RV in the breach of contract and fraud lawsuit. National RV Holdings, which filed for bankruptcy last December and is currently divesting its assets in a March auction, claimed that Crane supplied defective sidewall material to its National RV Inc. subsidiary.
The jury held unanimously that Crane Composites, a subsidiary of Crane Co., was not liable for $28 million in compensatory damages sought by National RV for breach of contract, intentional misrepresentation and concealment. The jury further held that National RV was not entitled to recover punitive damages, rejecting its bid to recover a multiple of its $28 million demand.
The jury did find Crane Composites liable for its product warranties, and granted National RV the recovery of $3.1 million.
National RV ceased doing business in December after deregistering its common stock with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). News of National RV’s two-day auction was listed on the website biditup.com.
According to the website the company is selling all manufacturing and office equipment along with the intellectual property for the company’s motorhome lines. The auction, which will be conducted on-site and online, is slated for March 26-27 starting at 9 a.m. (PST) each day.