Coachmen Industries Inc. celebrated the grand opening of its new Class C motorhome assembly plant today (Nov. 6) with a ceremony in Middlebury, Ind., that was attended by Indiana Lt. Gov. Kathy Davis along with other state an local dignitaries.
“This new motorhome plant is symbolic of the achievements of our past as well as our promising future,” said Coachmen RV Co. President Mike Terlep.
The new, 127,000-square-foot factory went into production in August producing Coachmen’s new Concord, a touring coach without the overhead bunk that comes with conventional Class C’s.
Production of conventional Class C’s began on a separate assembly line in the new plant last month.
The two-assembly line arrangement is more efficient because it allows for the segregation of models based upon complexity, Terlep said.
“The investment ($4 million) in this new plant demonstrates Coachmen’s commitment to long-term growth of our company, our community and our industry,” said Claire Skinner, chairman, president and CEO of parent company Coachmen Industries.
The completion of the factory created more room for Coachmen Class A motorhome production. The company also opened a second towable RV assembly plant in Fitzgerald, Ga., in June.
“We are now fully prepared to meet that demand,” Terlep said, referring to the wholesale and retail demand.
Coachmen moved up to the No. 2 market-share position in August, the most current data available, Skinner said.
Coachmen had a 13.4% share of the Class C market in August, trailing only Winnebago Industries Inc., which had a 24.6% share that month, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm.
For the first eight months of this year, Coachmen ranked No. 3 in Class C’s with a 13.4% share, trailing Winnebago, which had a 23.9% share, and Thor Industries Inc.’s Four Winds subsidiary, which had a 15.5% share.