Drew Industries Inc. announced today (Sept. 26) it has experienced a significant increase in business from both its recreational vehicle and manufactured housing customers related to the unprecedented damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.
The White Plains, N.Y.-based company, parent to component suppliers Kinro Inc. and Lippert Components Inc., said it is too early to determine if additional orders will result from damage caused by Hurricane Rita this past weekend.
Although Drew does not receive any orders directly from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), its customers have reported substantial orders as a resulting from the hurricane damage.
Drew’s customers received orders for at least 15,000 towable RVs and in excess of 10,000 manufactured homes according to public statements. In addition, there have been reports that FEMA has purchased large numbers of towable RVs and manufactured homes from the inventories of dealers.
Drew expects shipments related to these orders by FEMA to stretch well into the fourth quarter of 2005.
In response Drew’s subsidiaries have instituted second, and in some instances, third shifts at certain factories, and will also be operating certain factories six and seven days a week.
Drew said the extended work schedules will result in substantial overtime pay, higher production and delivery costs and higher material costs. Drew expects these circumstances to continue in the short term until the initial rush of FEMA orders has been completed and shipped.
Leigh J. Abrams, president and CEO, noted, “The events surrounding Hurricane Katrina, while tragic, created an unprecedented need for housing for the displaced residents of Louisiana and Mississippi. Prior to Hurricane Katrina, the RV industry was being impacted by high gas prices and high dealer inventory levels, but it is too early to determine the combined results of all these events.”