The Register-Guard reported that revenue at Coburg-based Marathon Coach almost doubled in 2014, rising from $25 million in 2013 to nearly $45 million, said Steve Schoellhorn, the company owner and president.
Now Schoellhorn wants to hire 50 mechanics, electricians, cabinetmakers and other workers by April to assemble Marathon’s luxury RVs.
“I’d say 2013 was kind of a turning-the-corner year for us,” Schoellhorn said.
Five years ago, the company was fighting to survive.
The region’s biggest recreational vehicle makers — once championed as Lane County’s new manufacturing anchor — were collapsing as the economic crash wiped out demand for luxury RVs.
But while such big players as Monaco RV and Country Coach were forced into bankruptcy, Marathon is climbing back toward prerecession sales and jobs levels.
The 50 new hires would raise Marathon’s employee count to about 230. Employment there peaked at about 350 before the recession, then bottomed out at fewer than 70 in 2010.
The company’s reversal of fortune comes after years of depressed sales led to pent-up demand for the RVs, Schoellhorn said.
“The recession came so hard and so fast, and there was a great deal of fear in the RV industry,” he said. Many RV owners who might have bought new models instead chose to maintain their older vehicles.
“But with the stock market improving and people more comfortable with their finances, frankly a lot of (customers) have been waiting on the sidelines, and they’re getting back in the market now,” he said.
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