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Jayco Inc. announced today (Feb. 2) that it would be reducing its work force at the company’s headquarters in Middlebury, Ind., by around 20%, impacting over 250 workers.
The cutback follows consolidation moves by Jayco late last year that transferred operations from its Entegra Coach and Starcraft RV Inc. subsidiaries to the Middlebury campus.
“Previously, we were able to avoid making significant changes to our Middlebury work force,” Marketing Director Sid Johnson told RVBusiness. “We were hoping things would stabilize. But it has become apparent that the industry slowdown and the economic recession will be deeper and longer that anticipated. I guess this a reflection of market reality.”
Johnson reported that the cuts would be implemented over the next two weeks, leaving the family-owned company’s work force at around 1,200. Over 200 of the lost jobs will be in production.
“Long term, we have faith this market will return and hopefully we can bring some of these people back,” Johnson said. “But we do not see any increase in production in the near future. This has been an extremely painful process and certainly one that we tried to avoid.”
Johnson said that despite reports from promoters and retailers that the early show circuit was helping move product, credit conditions continued to stifle dealers’ buying.
“The credit market is so seized up,” Johnson said. “Dealers are unable to get inventory financing, and then when they do sell at retail they have to be creative to get it approved.
“Right now our dealers’ inventories are around 14% lower than last year, but because of the credit situation they can’t replace inventory.”