The two new manufacturing plants that the Keystone RV Co. Elkhart Division will build this year in Goshen, Ind., will give the company the potential to build as many as 10,000 more travel trailers and fifth-wheels per year, according to Bill Fenech, president of Keystone/Elkhart.
A ground breaking for the two new factories was conducted Thursday (May 16), although the ceremony had to moved indoors due to steady rain.
The new factories will be finished next fall, said Fenech, who added that he could not be more specific.
Earlier this year, the Keystone Goshen Division opened a new plant in Goshen which expanded its Montana-brand travel trailer and fifth-wheel output capacity by about 1,500 units a year, said Ron Fenech, president of Keystone/Goshen.
Meanwhile, the Elkhart Division will use the new factories in Goshen for building more Challenger and Hornet-brand travel trailers and fifth-wheels and more Laredo and Everest fifth-wheels, said Bill Fenech, brother of Ron. New brands could be added if the additional capacity eventually allows for the dealer demand for the four brands to be satisfied, he said.
There are no plans for Keystone to enter the motorhome sector, Bill Fenech added.
The Elkhart Division’s plants in nearby Elkhart, Ind., will continue operating, he said.
To put an increase of 10,000 units a year into perspective, dealers representing all of Keystone’s divisions retailed a total of 17,872 units during the first 10 months of last year, according to Statistical Surveys, an independent market research firm. Thor Industries Inc. acquired Keystone on Nov. 9 and Keystone’s retail sales figures have been blended with Thor’s since then.
During the full year 2001, a total of 4,225 Montana travel trailers and fifth-wheels, 3,007 Hornet travel trailers and fifth-wheels, 738 Laredo fifth-wheels and 540 Challenger fifth-wheels were retailed, according to Statistical Surveys, an independent market research firm.
Everest fifth-wheels did not make the list of the Top 45 selling brands on the retail market during 2001.