Jayco Inc. is hiring more workers and is ramping up new assembly lines to satisfy the growing retail demand for towable RVs, which the Middlebury, Ind.-based company believes will continue this year.
Jayco opened a high-volume production line for its Eagle and Qwest brands of towables in Middlebury in October and reopened facilities in nearby Lagrange, Ind., in November to build the Talon ZX sport utility trailer and Eagle Cove park model, the company reported on its website, www.jayco.com.
The reopening of the Lagrange plant allows Jayco to focus on Eagle and Qwest production in Middlebury, President Derald Bontrager said.
Another production line also was added in Lagrange to build Jay Flight units and Jayco is considering opening an additional production line in Middlebury to build more Kiwi and Designer brand units.
Combined, the expansion efforts will nearly double Jayco’s output capacity, Bontrager said.
“We will not only increase volume but our productivity and order turnaround time will improve as well,” Bontrager added.
Jayco experienced a 60% increase in order volume at its annual dealer meeting in July and orders picked up again after Jan. 1, the company reported.
Jayco ranked No. 4 in the combined travel-trailer/fifth-wheel market with a 6.2% retail market share in the first 11 months of 2002, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm. However, Jayco trailed No. 3 Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. by a wide margin. Fleetwood’s market share was 13.4% in the first 11 months of last year.
In folding campers, Jayco ranked No. 3 with an 11.2% retail market share in the first 11 months of last year, Statistical Surveys reported.
Fleetwood is the dominant folding camper producer with a 42.6% retail market share and Forest River Inc. is No. 2 with a 14.4% market share, according to Statistical Surveys.