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In an announcement that seems counter to national trends, motorhome manufacturer Damon Corp. will add 10% to its production work force and increase by 25% output of A-body gas and diesel pusher coaches at its Elkhart, Ind., plant.
“We are operating two different lines and we are going to stagger the increase between them,” said Damon President Bill Fenech. “That will happen at the end of July.”
Fenech said the Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary – employing a total of about 400 people – has seen an increase in orders since May. And following a recent dealer meeting in Elkhart in conjunction with four other Thor subsidiaries that featured a “very aggressive model year change,” Fenech saw the need to boost production.
“We are being very aggressive,” Fenech acknowledged. “But since mid-May there’s been a definite increase of activity at the dealer level in general, and we have seen a significant increase in retail sales.
“We cannot afford to let our dealers not get units they order in a timely manner.”
For April, the most recent month for which statistics are available, the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) reported that wholesale shipments of motorhomes were down 23.3% from April a year ago and 13.6% behind the first third of 2004, which produced the best sales in three decades.