Jayco Inc. rolled the first unit off the line at its new towable plant in Twin Falls, Idaho, Tuesday (March 15) as employees, local business people and state dignitaries gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony.
According to the Times-News, the event took place just seven months after Jayco announced plans to find a location to build a western manufacturing plant.
“It’s a very, very good day for Jayco,” Jim Jacobs, Jayco’s vice president of sales and marketing, told a crowd of about 100 people.
Jayco is producing its Jay Flight line of travel trailers and fifth-wheels in the 154,000-square-foot facility, which the Middlebury, Ind.-based builder is leasing from the Twin Falls Urban Renewal Agency.
During the ceremony, Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne lauded Jayco’s executives and management staff for choosing to locate the plant in Twin Falls, as well as state and local economic development officials for their work in recruiting the company.
Jayco’s president and CEO, Derald L. Bontrager, said the company can’t build product fast enough to keep up with customers’ orders. Jayco’s sales in 2004 were up 15% from the prior year, he said, and the company has more than 1,000 orders waiting to be filled.
“The RV industry is a dynamic, rapidly growing business,” Bontrager said. “Most experts predict market growth for the RV industry for the next 10 to 15 years.”
The West is the fastest-growing region of the country in terms of population growth, and it’s also the region that’s seeing the most growth in recreational vehicle sales, Jacobs said. That makes Twin Falls a perfect location for the company’s western expansion, he said.
“This will allow Jayco to grow,” Jacobs said. “We hope Jayco Idaho will allow us to move our operational capacity closer to the market we serve.”
The plant is producing two vehicles a day, with plans to add another assembly line and ramp up production to nine per day by fall, Bontrager said.