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Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. is considering expanding its towable RV manufacturing plant in Rialto, Calif., and its motorhome plant in Riverside, Calif., according to the San Bernardino County Sun.
However, California’s strict environmental regulations “may constrain any proposed expansion” in that state, said Kathy Munson, spokeswoman for Riverside-based Fleetwood.
Fleetwood built around 4,800 towables in Rialto and around 4,800 Class A and Class C motorhomes at Riverside in 2002, the Sun reported. The two factories currently employ around 1,350 people, the newspaper added.
Fleetwood closed several RV and manufactured home production plants in 2000 and 2001 because of market-share declines and major financial losses, but Ed Caudill, Fleetwood’s new president and CEO, believes the company is on the road to recovery and will need to expand, in particular, its RV manufacturing capacity.
However, Caudill told RVBUSINESS.COM, in general, he believes Fleetwood’s RV manufacturing capacity is overly concentrated on the West Coast, so that more Fleetwood expansion in the nation’s “heartland” can be expected.
This explains why Fleetwood now is allowing Chico and Butte County, Calif., officials to find a tenant for the former Class C assembly plant property that Fleetwood still owns in that Northern California community.
Fleetwood closed its Chico Class C plant during the spring of 2001 and consolidated its West Coast Class C production in Riverside at that time.
Otherwise, Fleetwood continues to own the buildings and the land on which most of its now-closed factories are located. Consequently, the company will look first to reopening mothballed facilities before building new ones, Caudill said.