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Oregon-based Northwood Manufacturing Inc., builder of Nash and Arctic Fox towables and Arctic Fox truck campers has opened a plant in Virginia to build RVs that will be sold in the eastern part of the United States.

Northwood in late July opened a 117,000-square-foot plant in Winchester, Va., that was closed earlier this year by Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. The expansion is Northwood’s first outside of La Grande, Ore., where the company has been manufacturing RVs since 1993.

The new plant represents a major growth move for Northwood, a significant player in terms of market share on the West Coast.

“The new plant opens a lot of avenues for additional volume,” said Northwood President Ron Nash, a former Fleetwood and General Motors Corp. executive. “Everything east of St. Louis is within shipping distance of Winchester and everything to the west is within shipping distance of Oregon.”

Initially, Northwood intended to build a plant in Kentucky, but abandoned those plans when the Fleetwood plant became available.

“Buying the Fleetwood plant allows us to draw on experienced employees who worked for Fleetwood for anywhere between 15 and 25 years,” Nash said.