Southern California-based MHC Group Inc., manufacturers of the Pinnacle, Residency, Summit and Desert Fox motorhomes and Traveleze fifth-wheels, has halted operations, according to Gordie Hakes of Painted Post, N.Y., owner of the company.

MHC, which at one time employed almost 100 people, was shut down because of the soft retail market, Hakes said.

Retail sales of Class A motorhomes declined 19.1% during the first half of this year and the fifth-wheel retail market was down 10.8% through the end of May, according to Statistical Surveys Inc.

Hakes said MHC might re-open its factory in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., once market conditions improve.

There has been no bankruptcy filing, Hakes added.

Hakes formed MHC during May 2000 after buying certain assets of MountainHigh Coachworks, which had been foreclosed by its lender.

MHC’s dealers retailed a total of 49 Pinnacle-, Residency- and Summit-brand Class A motorhomes during the first half of this year, reports Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm.

The company’s dealers also retailed three Traveleze fifth-wheels during the first five months of this year.