The Country Coach Inc. subsidiary of National RV Holdings Inc. has hired former SMC Corp. and Destinations RV executive Jay Howard as its executive vice president, a position in which he is responsible for design, engineering, marketing and research and development.
Howard had been a consultant to Country Coach since September and was closely involved in the development of the company’s newest product, the Inspire diesel pusher, which will be released this spring.
The Inspire will be priced to retail in the low $200,000 range and will come on Country Coach’s DynoMax chassis with a Cummins 8.3 ISC 350-horsepower engine.
The hiring of Howard also is a part of Country Coach’s plan to enter the gas-engine Class A motorhome segment using Workhorse chassis this fall, said Bob Lee, founder and president.
“We plan to reposition ourselves in the marketplace in order to continue to provide our dealers and our customers with the world’s finest motorcoaches,” Lee said. “I believe Jay (Howard) possesses the personal qualities and professional skills to help us accomplish these goals.”
Howard left SMC, where he was vice president of manufacturing, in 1999 to join his brothers, Jim and John, at Destinations RV, a now-defunct Eugene, Ore.-area dealership.
SMC, a Eugene-area manufacturer of highline motorcoaches, was acquired by Monaco Coach Corp. in 2001.
Immediately before he began working for Country Coach as a consultant, Howard was president of Desert Shores, a luxury RV resort under development in Indio, Calif.
Earlier this month, Country Coach also named Jim Howard vice president of sales. Prior to his promotion, Jim Howard was Florida sales manager for Country Coach’s sister company, Perris, Calif.-based National RV.