Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. laid off nearly 10% of its production work force, about 125 people, at a motorhome plant in Decatur, Ind.
According to a report by the Associated Press, company officials cited lower than expected demand. The announcement came on the heels of the Riverside, Calif.-based company’s closure of a nearly 36-year-old travel trailer production facility in Hancock, Md.
Fleetwood spokeswoman Kathy Munson said the work force cuts, which the company hopes are temporary, were needed to reduce bloated inventories.
“Demand has been volatile of late,” she said. “It was particularly slow in the September-October timeframe in part because of weather-related issues in the southeast United States and uncertainty about the election.”
Munson said Fleetwood had continued to build inventories until January thinking that demand would come back more strongly than it did.
She did not rule out further layoffs at the 125-acre operation, about 35 miles south of Fort Wayne, which produces around 4,000 diesel pusher motorhomes annually.
Fleetwood also has a fiberglass operation in Decatur that employs about 480 people and a roughly 180-employee facility in nearby Garrett that builds manufactured homes.
Fleetwood earilier announced that RV sales for the company’s third quarter, ended Jan. 23, decreased 16% to $343 million, as motorhome sales declined 15% to $231 million while towables dropped 19%.
The builder said RV sales were hurt by its decision to discontinue the practice of widespread quarter-end motorhome discounting and failure to adjust production prior to industry softening.