Glenn Cushman, head of the investor group that bought Carriage Inc. in 1999, has decided to get more involved in day-to-day management of the Millersburg, Ind.-based towable RV manufacturer.

Cushman, a resident of Phoenix, Ariz., and chairman of Carriage, has added the titles of president and CEO. He replaces Dean Johnson, who was president and CEO until recently.

“We (investors) needed to put more money into the company,” Cushman told the Elkhart Truth newspaper of Elkhart, Ind. “The people I work with wanted me to take control.

“My wife and I are committed to providing the funds it (Carriage) needs to run,” Cushman continued. “There’s (been) a change in management because I’ve got to be sure that those funds are watched carefully and applied where they need to be applied.”

Carriage will introduce a new entry-level towable series called Carri-Sport at its dealer meeting in Indianapolis in July, Cushman told the newspaper. In order to build the Carri-Sport, Carriage is reconfiguring and expanding its 72-acre manufacturing complex in northern Indiana.

Carriage will increase its production capacity by 10% and the 330-employee firm will hire about 100 more workers, he said.

During 2000, Carriage ranked No. 14 in terms of retail market share in the fifth-wheel product category, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm. Carriage’s dealers sold 1,152 Carriage fifth-wheels last year.

Carriage also ranked No. 31 in terms of retail market share in the travel trailer category in 2000. Its dealers sold 261 Carriage travel trailers last year, Statistical Surveys reported.