Friday, April 04, 2008
DREW INDUSTRIES ACQUIRES ANOTHER RV FURNITURE COMPANY
Friday, April 4, 2008
Drew Industries Inc. reported Thursday (April 3) that its Goshen, Ind.-based subsidiary Lippert Components Inc. (LCI) has “agreed in principle” to acquire RV furniture supplier Seating Technology Inc. and its affiliated Seattech companies.
Seattech, also based in Goshen, manufactures a wide variety of products primarily for towable RVs, including folding sofas for toy haulers, a full line of upholstered furniture, mattresses, decorative pillows, wood-backed valences and quilted soft good products.
Drew said that the acquisition adds an entirely new product line for LCI, a chassis and component supplier to the RV and manufactured housing industries.
According to Drew, Seattech’s sales for 2007 were approximately $40 million, which represents significant growth from its $11 million in sales in 2003.
“We look to continue this pace of growth in 2008 as Seattech builds market share, despite the anticipated RV industrywide sales decline in 2008 due to current poor economic conditions,” said Leigh J. Abrams, president and CEO of White Plains, N.Y.-based Drew.
Drew said it is expected that the acquisition will be funded from available cash.
Rick Finnigan, majority owner of the Seattech companies, has agreed to enter into a three-year consulting contract, while Joel DeVries, vice president, will enter into a three-year employment contract and will be responsible for Seattech’s day-to-day operations. He will report to Jason Lippert, LCI’s president and CEO.
“Seattech’s exceptional growth and operating success is the result of our unique approach to meeting customer needs,” said Rick Finnigan. “Through our personalized partnerships with our customers, we are able to produce customized, innovative seating products. Our cutting-edge designs and patterns break the cookie-cutter concepts of off-the-shelf designs and provide niche solutions for customers.”
Seattech currently operates from five factories, which LCI will lease, and is solely a Midwest supplier to the towable RV industry.
“LCI will determine the viability of using its nationwide factory network to expand the territorial reach of Seattech’s manufacturing and marketing capabilities,” said Lippert. “In addition, we also plan to explore other markets, such as RV motorhomes and the manufactured housing and marine industries, in which Seattech’s products may have a potential market.”
MORE LAYOFFS AT FLEETWOOD IN RIVERSIDE, CA
Friday, April 4, 2008
Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. reported Thursday (April 3) it had cut 48 local jobs and demoted dozens of other workers in an attempt to cut costs, according to the Press-Enterprise, Riverside, Calif.
The cuts come a month after the Riverside-based RV and manufactured housing maker reported that it lost $16.4 million in its most recent fiscal quarter while its revenue fell 20%.
Kathy A. Munson, director of investor relations, said in an e-mail Fleetwood is undergoing an analysis of all its RV plants to bring costs down in a slowing industry.
"We have had a situation at some plants where we have downsized the work force, but have not reduced the number of supervisors," Munson said. "Fleetwood is giving ... current supervisors a choice between stepping down a level or looking elsewhere for work."
The supervisors were offered jobs as assembly workers, with pay cuts of as much as 23%.
Thursday's job cuts came at the company's Riverside motorhome plant, which employed about 700 workers. Munson said cuts were effective immediately and the workers were given no warning by the company.
According to the Press-Enterprise, other area RV companies have fallen under hard times. Last month, Weekend Warrior Trailers Inc. cut 100 workers at its Perris facility, and in November National RV Holdings Inc. filed for bankruptcy and shuttered its operation.
Another RV maker, Thor California, recently shut down its Moreno Valley facility for three weeks to keep dealer inventories from inflating.
At the beginning of the year, the company scaled back production to four days a week.
JAYCO TO BUILD COACHES IN TRAVEL SUPREME FACILITIES
Friday, April 4, 2008
Middlebury, Ind.-based Jayco Corp. today (April 4) announced that it has established a new subsidiary to manufacture and market luxury fifth-wheels and diesel-powered Class A motorhomes.
The new company, Entegra Coach Inc., will assume operations in a 160,000-square-foot facility in Wakarusa, Ind., that formerly housed luxury fifth-wheel and motorhome builder Travel Supreme Corp. The company had been struggling in a down market and had closed its operations for a week in January to assess its options.
Jayco said that Glenn Troyer, former president of Travel Supreme, has been appointed president of Entegra Coach.
“Over the years, Jayco has established a reputation for building good products and for working closely with dealers to provide exemplary customer service,” said Wilbur Bontrager, president and CEO. “This new venture allows us to extend our business model to new segments of the RV market. We are energized by the opportunities for Entegra Coach and we look forward to the synergies associated with this new venture.”
Bontrager said Entegra Coach will build two lines of upscale fifth-wheels and three lines of diesel-pusher Class A motorhomes.
In addition, he indicated that the new division could ultimately build products for two other Jayco Corp. subsidiaries, Jayco Inc. and Starcraft RV.
JAYCO BUYS THE ASSETS OF TRAVEL SUPREME
Friday, April 4, 2008
Middlebury, Ind.-based Jayco Corp., the holding company for Jayco Inc., Starcraft RV and other subsidiaries, announced late Thursday (April 3) that it had acquired certain assets of the former Travel Supreme Corp., including raw materials, equipment and the 160,000-square-foot production facility in Wakarusa, Ind. The agreement was signed earlier that day. Other purchase details were not disclosed.
Jayco Corp. reported that it has established a new subsidiary, Entegra Coach Inc., that will begin immediately to hire workers and hopes to start production of two luxury fifth-wheel lines and three diesel-powered Class A motorhome lines by the end of this month.
Glenn Troyer, former president of Travel Supreme, has been appointed president of Entegra Coach, and a new management team is being organized. Other former white collar and blue collar employees of Travel Supreme will be hired in the coming weeks, and the new company hopes to reach employment of up to 125 workers within the first year, said Sid Johnson, director of marketing for Jayco Inc.
With the asset purchase, Jayco re-enters the Class A motorhome market, which it left in 2002 after disappointing results. The fifth-wheel products also represent a price-point sector in which Jayco has never participated, Johnson said.
“The best time to get involved in a situation like this is when the market is down,” said Johnson. “We feel we will be able to do well in both segments.”
In reference to Jayco’s previous venture into the Class A business, Johnson noted: “The difference in this case, we’re not starting from scratch. We can pretty much hit the ground running. We have the advantage of knowledgeable personnel working on these projects. The intellectual properties we acquired give us a relative leg up on production and materials. We think we have an advantage going in, especially with the expertise of the people involved.”
Johnson said the sales team for Entegra Coach “will be charged with the responsibility of building an entire different dealer body from Jayco and Starcraft.”
Johnson explained the origin of the word “Entegra,” which Jayco created for its new product. “We believe it speaks to two things: Jayco’s commitment to operating in the RV business with integrity, even though we used an ‘E’ instead of an ‘I.’ And secondly, we think it is a good name to represent an RV company that operates in the luxury or upscale side of the business.”
Jayco Corp. held a solid third-place ranking in travel trailer and combined travel trailer and fifth-wheel retail sales in January, according to the latest report from Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI) of Grand Rapids, Mich. In January, Jayco held 8.7% of the combined market, 10% of the travel trailer market and 6.4% of the fifth-wheel market.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
RECALL: 2006-2008 WINNEBAGO/ITASCA (WHEEL CHAIR LIFT)
ITASCA / CAMBRIA 2007
ITASCA / HORIZON 2007-2008
WINNEBAGO / ACCESS 2007
WINNEBAGO / ADVENTURER 2006
WINNEBAGO / JOURNEY 2006-2008
WINNEBAGO / MINNIE WINNIE 2006
WINNEBAGO / SIGHTSEER 2006-2007
WINNEBAGO / TOUR 2007
WINNEBAGO / VECTRA 2007
WINNEBAGO / VOYAGE 2006-2008
Manufacturer : WINNEBAGO INDUSTRIES, INC. Mfr's Report Date : MAR 12, 2008
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 08V149000 NHTSA Action Number: N/A
Component: EQUIPMENT ADAPTIVE
Potential Number Of Units Affected : 31
WINNEBAGO IS RECALLING 31 MY 2006-2008 JOURNEY, VOYAGE, MY 2006-2007 SIGHTSEER, MY 2006 ADVENTURER, MINNIE WINNIE, MY 2007 ACCESS, TOUR, VECTRA, ITASCA CAMBRIA, AND MY 2007-2008 ITASCA HORIZON MOTOR HOMES EQUIPPED WITH RICON PLATFORM STYLE WHEELCHAIR LIFTS. THESE MOTOR HOMES FAIL TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 404, "PLATFORM LIFT INSTALLATIONS IN MOTOR VEHICLES." THE THRESHOLD WARNING SYSTEM MAY NOT DETECT THE PRESENCE OF A WHEELCHAIR OR MOBILITY AID USER IN A CERTAIN SPOT WITHIN THE DEFINED THRESHOLD AREA.
THE USER OF THE LIFT COULD BE INJURED SHOULD THE LIFT MOVE UNINTENTIONALLY.
WINNEBAGO IS WORKING WITH RICON TO CORRECT THE WHEELCHAIR LIFTS FREE OF CHARGE (PLEASE SEE 07E095). THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN ON OR ABOUT MAY 5, 2008. OWNERS MAY CONTACT RICON AT 1-818-267-3000.
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.