Middlebury, Ind.-based Jayco Inc. announced today (Oct. 27) the company has finalized plans to expand its towable manufacturing operations into the Western United States with the lease of an existing 154,000-square-foot facility in Twins Falls, Idaho.
According to a press release, the plant initially will house operations for Jayco’s Jay Flight travel trailers and fifth-wheels. Company officials said production was scheduled to begin in early 2005 and that as many as 80 jobs would be created by the end of the first year of operation.
Jayco’s Board of Directors approved plans for the expansion program in August, with several locations in three western states under “active consideration.”
“We chose Twin Falls after extensive discussion with state and local officials,” said Derald L. Bontrager, president and chief operating officer. “We are most impressed with the people and Idaho’s business friendly environment.
“The labor climate, interstate transportation availability and access to appropriate suppliers were all attractive factors in our decision-making process.”
Also factoring into the decision is the success of the Jay Flight line.
“Our Jay Flight brand is the best-selling towable RV line in North America,” said Bontrager. “Jayco’s market share growth, along with a record order backlog, has placed pressure on our ability to provide RVs to customers in a timely manner.
“Our facilities in Indiana are operating at near capacity and new order intake is outpacing our manufacturing capacity. The new Twin Falls operating facility will allow us to increase production to meet market demand. In addition, freight costs will be significantly lowered; this will provide us the opportunity to improve our already growing market share in the western United States and Canada.”
Bontrager noted that the western market for RVs is growing faster than the rest of North America.
“California, Oregon and Washington are all ranked in the industry’s top 12 states,” said Bontrager. “Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba represent a large percentage of Jayco’s Canadian sales. As a result, we are approaching this expansion program as part of a long-term overall strategy of moving manufacturing facilities closer to the marketplace.”