Recognizing that demand was quickly outstripping production capacity, Keystone RV Co. has several key expansion projects planned for 2015 at its sprawling campus in Goshen, Ind.
Matt Zimmerman, president of the Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary, reported that construction of a 120,000-square-foot facility initiated last September is on schedule for completion late this summer. The plant will house production of its entry-level Springdale and Hideout towable lines, “allowing us to expand and evolve both brands,” said Zimmerman, adding, “We will still be running lines for those brands in our existing facility, adjacent to the new plant.”
The project represents the first step in a series of expansion moves by Keystone to keep up with burgeoning retail sales across all markets.
“Our focus is to put ourselves in a position to meet dealer demand in all product segments,” Zimmerman said, noting that Keystone has purchased roughly 60 acres at its Goshen complex to support future growth. “We have a lot of projects in the works, several that we will announce this spring.
“We view 2015 as another strong growth year, and want to be in a position to capitalize on the industry’s resurgence. Judging by early shows, consumer optimism about the industry is still at a high level.”
Zimmerman said that the need to raise production levels was a “simple function of supply and demand.”
“We had trouble keeping up from a production standpoint last year, particularly in the ultralight segment, which is really gaining steam, along with the stick-and-tin lightweight trailers,” he said. “They are outpacing the more conventionally-built laminated trailers, although all towable segments are seeing growth.”
While the entry-level sector continues to be a focus, Zimmerman said that a key marketing strategy moving forward was to identify and target pockets in existing segments that were trending on retail lots.
“I don’t necessarily see any true emerging markets on the towable side,” he said. “What I do see is that companies are zeroing in on new price points within each segment. To be competitive you have to be very strategic in how you position products. That’s where our focus will be moving into 2015.”
With completion of the new towable plant, Keystone will occupy more than 1.4 million square feet of under-roof production space in Goshen while total facilities will exceed 2.3 million square feet, according to Zimmerman.
“We’re really proud of our campus,” Zimmerman said. “We have done a lot for the area and truly changed the landscape in south Goshen. Essentially almost all of our facilities are relatively new – built within the last 15 years. Our plan is to continue building or expanding existing sites as demand warrants.
“Keystone is growing in a big way. It’s imperative that we continue to invest in our infrastructure to support that growth. Supplying product in a timely manner is critical for our dealers.”