Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. has pulled a mothballed Chico, Calif., motorhome manufacturing plant from the market, although the OEM doesn’t intent to restart the facility any time soon, Fleetwood Treasurer Lyle Larking told the Chico Enterprise Record.
“We have no specific plans to reopen the plant,” he said, adding that the Riverside, Calif.-based firm will hold on to the 153,000-square-foot site for “excess capacity.”
The plant was closed in 2001 as part of a consolidation and cost-containment effort to counter the motorhome sales declines the firm had been experiencing at the time.
Since then, Fleetwood’s RV sales have rebounded significantly, and the firm’s gas-powered motorhomes are vying for the No. 1 retail market share spot.
“The only rationale for taking it off the market is that we might want to use the capacity,” he explained. “If we were to use it, it probably would be used for manufacturing.”
Larkin said that Fleetwood would first “maximize” its existing facilities before opening a new one or opening an old one.
“There’s nothing that mandates the opening of an additional facility,” he told the newspaper.
Larkin would not discuss whether any offers had been made on the plant.
“If it had been legitimate, it would have been seriously considered,” Larkin said.
Opened in 1984, the Chico plant was used by Fleetwood solely for the manufacture of RVs.