Thanks to a recently completed expansion to its production facility, company officials said Coach House Inc., a Nokomis, Fla.-based manufacturer of a niche line of high-end Class B motorhomes, is poised for what could be another record-setting year.
Vice President Steve Gerzeny, who runs the business along with his brother, David, said the 16,000-square-foot addition passed its final inspection and should be operational by the end of March. The expansion will house fiberglass and painting production areas as well as an extension to the assembly line.
“What sets our products apart from anybody else is we build the entire body of our motorhome in one-piece, hand-laid fiberglass, all reinforced with carbon fiber that’s mounted on a Ford E-450 or Mercedes Sprinter chassis,” Gerzeny told RVBUSINESS.com, noting that the contractor who built the original 30,000-square-foot Coach House facility also oversaw the $1.4 million expansion project.
“It’s a state-of-the-art facility,” he continued. “We went so far as to make everything going into the building explosion-proof. In fact, there are all kinds of classes and divisions with being explosion-proof, and we demanded Class 1-Division 1. We have lights in our building that are $3,500 apiece.”
Gerzeny said the addition, with its “proper air flow and ventilation,” would be appreciated by Coach House employees, who have been with the company for an average of 15 years — uncommonly long for Florida, he added.
“The conditions that our fiberglass department had been working in weren’t good as far as my brother Dave and I were concerned. We wanted to do something different, so we stepped up to the plate like we always said we would, and we built them a beautiful fiberglass paint department,” Gerzeny explained. “It’s for our employees, but it’s also for our customers. I think we’ll get better product return, a nicer product and it gives us the ability to expand.”
The expansion will increase production rates as well as improve the quality of the Platinum, Platinum II and Arriva coaches that retail for between $130,000 and $190,000, he added. With 2016 being a record year and 2017 starting out with about a 20% increase, the company is primed for additional sales.
“With our new addition to the facility I think the sky can almost be the limit,” Gerzeny said. “We’re looking at maybe getting up to a 50% increase in sales this year. It’s a big increase, but I say that because it gives us greater ability with fiberglass. Because of how complex these bodies are, our limitation has always been producing the body. In the bigger area now that we have we’re going to be able to more than triple what are current production is.”