The Country Coach Inc. subsidiary of National RV Holdings Inc. laid off 54 production workers in Junction City, Ore., on Thursday (Oct. 31), according to The Register-Guard newspaper of Eugene, Ore.
The workers were laid off from jobs at Country Coach’s Plant No. 2, where its Intrigue and Allure models are produced, according to Carol Taylor Clay, spokeswoman for the highline motorcoach manufacturer.
During a conference call with investment analysts late last month, Brad Albrechtsen, president and CEO of National RV Holdings, said there were “higher-than-expected costs associated with the introduction of updated County Coach products, primarily the 1st Avenue editions of the Intrigue and Allure.”
Those models are part of a National RV Holdings effort to have Country Coach offer more motorhomes in the “lower-priced diesel” range. Albrechtsen added, ”While the midmodel year updates to these products were mostly cosmetic and were long overdue, they proved to be more difficult than anticipated to get through manufacturing.”
Meanwhile, National RV Holdings needs to watch its expenses because its losses expanded during the third quarter and first nine months of this year. The company reported a net loss of $9.8 million for the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with a $6.1 million net loss in the third quarter of 2001.
For the first nine months of this year, National RV Holdings reported a net loss of $14.5 million, compared with a net loss of $7.9 million in the same portion of 2001.
Taylor Clay told the Register-Guard that Country Coach also decided to slow its rate of production during the typically slack fourth quarter so its dealers would not accumulate excess inventories. Dealers will want to sell off their inventories of early model year 2003 versions of the Intrigue and Allure before ordering the updated versions of the two brands, she said.
The updated versions include larger TVs and showers as standard features. They were options in the earlier versions, Taylor Clay said.
Despite the layoffs, Country Coach remains Junction City’s largest employer with a work force of around 880 people, the Register-Guard reported.