Supplier firm Drew Industries Inc. acquired two towable RV chassis manufacturers and reported a sixfold increase in earnings during 2001.

The company, parent of Lippert Components Manufacturing Inc. and Kinro Inc., acquired chassis assembler Wee Shape Frames of Elkhart, Ind., in October. It also acquired AFI of Denver, Ind., a year ago, according to Jason Lippert, executive vice president of Goshen, Ind.-based Lippert Components.

Drew, headquartered in White Plains, N.Y., earned $2.1 million during the three months ended Dec. 31, partially offsetting a loss of $4.6 million incurred during the final three months of 2000.

However, during the full year 2001, Drew earned $8.9 million, compared with $1.5 million earned in 2000.

The company’s fourth quarter sales increased 8% to $63.5 million, although its full year 2001 revenue declined 6% to $269.5 million.

During 2001, RV industry customers accounted for 40% of Drew’s total sales. Manufactured housing industry customers accounted for the remaining 60% of its $269.5 million in sales last year.

Drew’s RV industry-related sales revenue increased 6% last year to $108 million while its manufactured home industry-related sales declined 13% in 2001 to $162 million.

It acquired AFI and Wee Shape to add new customers and have Lippert Components chassis fabrication plants closer to towable RV manufacturers.

For example, the former AFI plant supplies Timberland RV Co., a towables manufacturer in nearby Peru, Ind., Lippert said.

The towable RV manufacturing operations of Fleetwood, Coachmen and Forest River, and the Keystone and Dutchmen subsidiaries of Thor Industries Inc. are among the major customers of Drew’s Lippert Components unit, Lippert added.

Drew now has 41 factories in the U.S. and Canada including “10 or 11 in the Elkhart/Goshen area,” said Leigh Abrams, president and CEO.