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Monaco Coach Corp. is advertising for workers on TV stations in the South Bend/Elkhart, Ind., market because of its plans to increase output at its recently expanded towable RV assembly plant in Elkhart, according to Mike Duncan, corporate marketing manager for the Coburg, Ore. firm.
Monaco, the leading producer of diesel-pusher Class A motorhomes, plans to hire 15 to 20 employees “every other week through April,” for a total of around 160 new hires, Duncan said.
Most of the new employees would build Holiday Rambler and McKenzie-brand towables at the Elkhart plant, which was expanded earlier this year, he said.
“We may hire a few more for motorhome production, but we haven’t set those plans in stone as of yet,” Duncan said.
Monaco doubled the size of its Elkhart towables plant, adding 300,000 square feet of space in a project that was completed in July. The company now has capacity to build up to 26 towable units per day at the expanded facility.
Monaco is a small player in towables, accounting for only 1.3% of the retail market for travel trailers and fifth-wheels during the first nine months of this year, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm.
At the company’s national dealer meeting last summer, Chairman and CEO Kay Toolson said he wants to grow Monaco’s towable business, although he does not want the company to compete at all price points. Consequently, he does not believe Monaco will ever challenge Thor Industries Inc. for leadership in towables.
Thor’s various subsidiaries accounted for 29.6% of all retail sales of travel trailers and fifth-wheels during the first nine months of this year, Statistical Surveys reported.
Monaco perhaps was the RV manufacturer most impacted by the pause in RV sales that occurred during the first quarter of 2003 because of worries about the looming war in Iraq. Monaco laid off 850 people, or 14% of its total work force in Indiana and Oregon in April because its motorhome inventories had grown too large.
The motorhome market has improved nicely since then and Monaco has made great strides in selling off its excess motorhome inventory and gradually has been increasing its motorhome output since August, company officials reported have reported.