Thor Industries Inc., which reported its RV-related sales revenue grew 39% during the year that ended July 31, can continue expanding because its Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc. subsidiary dedicated a new factory in Goshen, Ind., today (Aug. 5).
The new 98,000-square-foot facility on the south side of Goshen will be used for building Dutchmen’s Colorado series of laminated travel trailers and fifth-wheels.
“This new plant will allow us to increase production of our Colorado brand (which was introduced about a year ago) and to free up space in existing plants for additional (output) capacity,” said Rich Florea, Dutchmen’s president.
“This facility is state-of-the-art,” Florea added. “The plant team members were heavily involved in the layout of the new plant. They decided how the production line was going to be designed. We look forward to many years of quality product being built here.”
Production in the new Colorado plant began last week and continues in the ramp-up phase,” said Joe Hosinski, Dutchmen’s marketing manager. “We have a significant (Colorado order) backlog to work through,” Hosinski added.
In addition to the Colorado, Dutchmen builds the Dutchmen, Four Winds, Aerolite, Adirondack, [email protected] and Skamper brands of towable RVs. In addition to the new plant, Dutchmen operates seven other factories in Goshen, Middlebury, Bristol and Syracuse, Ind.
Thor now is the dominant player in the travel-trailer/fifth-wheel retail market thanks largely to Dutchmen and its sister company, Keystone RV Co., which Thor acquired in November 2001.
During the first five months of this year, Thor’s various subsidiaries accounted for 29.7% of all retail sales of travel trailers and fifth-wheels, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm.
Thor’s closest competitor is Forest River Inc., which had a 15% share of the retail market for travel trailers and fifth-wheels during the first five months of this year.
In terms of brands, the Dutchmen brand ranked No. 4 in travel trailers and fifth-wheels with a 3.7% retail market share during the first five months of the year, according to Statistical Surveys. Keystone’s Montana ranked No. 5 with a 3.1% share.
The Colorado is the “step-up model” from the Dutchmen brand, Florea said.
The Coachmen brand, built by Coachmen Industries Inc., was the leading travel-trailer/fifth-wheel brand with a 4.4% retail market share during the first five months of this year. It’s followed by Fleetwood Enterprises Inc.’s Prowler at 4.1% and R-Vision Inc.’s Trail Lite at 3.8%, according to Statistical Surveys.