Fleetwood might eliminate one of the three brands produced at its soon-to-be-closed assembly plant in Omaha, Neb., according to Carl Betcher, vice president-Towables Group.
The plan to close the factory in Omaha, where the Avion, Savanna and Westport brands are built, was announced Monday, during Fleetwood’s annual dealer meeting in Nashville, Tenn.
The Omaha plant’s production will be moved to a “mothballed” Fleetwood facility in Longview, Tex., Betcher said.
Production at the re-opened plant in Longview will begin during November, which means model year 2001 versions of the Avion, Savanna or Westport will not be introduced until around February, he said.
The 180 employees of the Omaha plant were informed about the planned closure on Monday. The Omaha plant will be closed “shortly … in a few weeks,” when the units now in production are completed, Betcher said.
Fleetwood decided to close the plant in Omaha because the low unemployment rate in the Nebraska city created a tight labor market which resulted in a high rate of employee turnover, Betcher said.
Additionally, the primary retail markets for the units built in the Omaha plant are along the East and West coasts and the Southern tier of states, which meant product built in Omaha had to be shipped too great of a distance, he added.
Fleetwood is thinking about eliminating either the Avion, Savanna or Westport brand to eliminate overlapping price points, Betcher said.