Jayco Inc. intends to begin building Class A motorhomes in a new factory in May of next year, according to Sid Johnson, director of marketing.

The dealer demand for Class A’s has softened considerably this year due to higher interest rates, but Jayco management believes the company needs to enter Class A’s to round-out its product offerings.

Jayco is a major manufacturer of towable RVs, ranking No. 4 in terms of retail market share during the first half of this year, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., a market research firm.

The company also builds Class C motorhomes, and it feels it needs to enter Class A’s to capture buyers who want to trade-up, Johnson said.

Jayco will produce Class A’s in a factory it will build immediately south of the Michigan-Indiana border, next to where the company currently assembles Class C’s. The facility for producing Class A’s will be about 100,000 square feet, as is its plant for building Class C’s. The site is about five miles north of Jayco’s main production complex in Middlebury, Ind.

The current plan is to build equal numbers of diesel and gas engine Class A’s, Johnson added.

The first day for Class A production is tentatively scheduled for May 7, he said.

Jayco believes entering the Class A market will increase the demand for its Class C’s, because the company would be in a better position to do business with dealers who want to inventory both Class A’s and C’s, Johnson said.

Jayco retailed 547 Class C’s during the first half of this year, according to Statistical Surveys.