Units built by Thor Industries Inc. subsidiaries accounted for 29% of all travel trailers and fifth-wheels retailed during the first half of this year, and three of its towable RV-building divisions will add more production capacity relatively soon.
One of Thor’s largest towable RV divisions, Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc., announced Tuesday (Aug. 27) that it will build a new factory in Goshen, Ind.
Dutchmen, which is based in Goshen, will build its new factory on property adjacent to its existing factory along County Road 38, said Rich Florea, president.
Currently, Dutchmen is in the design phase of the project, so the dimensions of the new factory have not been established, although Florea estimates the factory portion of the building will range from 65,000 and 95,000 square feet, plus 15,000 to 20,000 square feet of office space.
Dutchmen plans to solicit construction contractors’ bids during October and its goal is to begin production in the new facility sometime next spring.
The new plant will be built so Dutchmen could satisfy the anticipated increase in order volume from its dealers, particularly as a result of the recent introduction of its new Colorado brand product, Florea said.
Dutchmen’s dealer meeting in Elkhart, Ind., concluded Friday (Aug. 23) and its order backlog now is 79% bigger that it was a year-ago, said Steve Paul, vice president of sales.
Dutchmen’s total order count is 276% above what it was a year ago, Paul added.
Two other Thor towable RV-manufacturing subsidiaries, Keystone and Thor California, will add more production capacity in the coming weeks.
Keystone’s Elkhart Group believes it will complete two 77,000-square-foot factories in Goshen this autumn and Thor California intends to begin production around Oct. 1 in a factory building it purchased recently in Moreno Valley, Calif.
Keystone’s Goshen Group also began production in a new factory in Goshen last spring.
Thor’s various towable RV-building subsidiaries made the parent company the retail market share leader in the combined travel trailer/fifth-wheel segment by a wide margin during the first half of this year, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm. Thor’s 29% retail market share compares with Forest River Inc.’s 14.3% and Fleetwood Enterprises Inc.’s, 13.3% during the first half of this year.