Motorhome manufacturer Rexhall Industries Inc. laid-off a little more than half of its workforce late last week because “orders have simply dried up since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11,” according to Bill Rex, CEO.
Around 200 employees were laid-off by Lancaster, Calif.-based Rexhall and Rex has taken a 20% pay cut. Other Rexhall corporate officers are taking 10% pay reductions and the company is “evaluating its stock repurchase program.”
“We feel unpatriotic by laying off 200 employees at this time but with inventories already getting high, it is the prudent thing to do for our (company’s) long-term health and our shareholders,” Rex said. “We have released some very attractive programs to stimulate orders. Hopefully, this situation will improve so we can get back most of our employees.
“From my conversations with dealers, it appears that retail traffic remains relatively strong, but dealers are understandably reluctant to stock inventory until the political and economic conditions stabilize,” Rex continued. “The uncertainty of how long these conditions might continue forces us to take aggressive cost cutting actions so we can conserve enough cash to ride this out.”
August was Rexhall’s best month this year in terms of shipments of newly built units to dealers “and we were headed towards our best quarter (of 2001),” said Mike Bourne, COO.
The company was building three units per day in anticipation of the California RV Show in Pomona Oct. 12-21, Bourne added.
Rexhall was experiencing a typical order slowdown that began late in August, but the company did not lower its production rate until the recent decision to layoff the workers, Bourne added.