Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary Keystone RV Co. only recently completed a new assembly plant in Goshen, Ind., and the company is planning more growth in northern Indiana, according to President Ron Fenech.
The latest expansion plan may have hit a snag because the Elkhart County Board of Commissioners was unable to reach a decision on a rezoning request from Keystone to allow more expansion on a site near Goshen.
Because one member of the three-member board was absent Monday (Jan. 26), the commissioners deadlocked on whether to approve Keystone’s request.
The commissioners might reconsider Keystone’s request on Feb. 9.
One commissioner voted against the request after hearing worries expressed by the residents of a nearby subdivision about the possibility of noise, odors, traffic congestion and intense outdoor lighting from a manufacturing complex making their lives uncomfortable.
Concerning Keystone’s growth plants, Fenech said, “With our success in the marketplace, we’ll need more land for more facilities. We’d like for that to be in Goshen, but if that’s not possible, we’ll look somewhere else inside or outside of Elkhart County.”
Keystone recently completed a 73,000-square-foot assembly plant in Goshen for building its Sprinter and Springdale models. Production in the new facility will begin “in early February,” Fenech said.
The recently completed factory is the sixth plant built by Keystone in Goshen in the last 2 1/2 years.
Meanwhile, Keystone has not been impacted by the RV oven shortage “because we were among the first to switch to convection microwave ovens,” Fenech said.
Several RV builders are using three-burner cook tops with conventional microwave or convection microwave ovens underneath as a substitute for traditional natural gas ovens.
RV ovens have been in short supply since November because of difficulties experienced by the sole supplier of valves and thermostats to the three oven manufacturers.
Fenech said Keystone has been “pleasantly surprised by the positive response from our customers” to the convection microwave oven substitution.