Jayco Inc. is shifting production of the company’s folding camping trailers to subsidiary Starcraft RV Inc. in Topeka, Ind., according to a report in the South Bend Tribune.
The move will allow Jayco to begin building the Jay Feather lightweight travel trailer line at its headquarters in Middlebury, Ind. Sid Johnson, marketing director, said the Jay Feather is replacing the company’s current Jay Feather LGT series.
Johnson emphasized that employment would not be affected by the transition. Jayco employs 1,500 workers in Middlebury while Starcraft’s work force totals 200.
“There will not be any significant changes,” Johnson said. “It’s a win-win for us. It will make that plant (in Topeka) more efficient, add volume to the facility and stabilize the work force.
“And in Middlebury, at the same time it will create additional production capacity for the new lightweight travel trailer.”
The Jay Feather LGT carried an MSRP of just under $24,000 and the new Jay Feather will probably be a little bit lower in price, Johnson said.
“We are redoing it so that they are more lightweight and energy efficient,” he said.
He said the final prototypes are not done yet.
The high cost of gasoline was a factor in development of the Jay Feather, Johnson said, but was not the sole reason to go with a new trailer.
“It’s in reaction to market forces,” he said. “It’s not necessarily gas-related but that certainly is an influence.
“Customers today tend to be younger and are looking for smaller tow vehicles – smaller and lighter weight but that offer the same type of features that they are accustomed to in bigger products.”