The National RV Division of National RV Holdings Inc. is in the process of reopening a mothballed factory in Perris, Calif., so it can increase towable RV and motorhome production.
National RV is building six sport-utility trailers (SUTs) per day, but its target for later this year is 15 per day, President and CEO Brad Albrechtsen said during a conference call with investment analysts last week.
The mothballed plant is across the street from the facility National RV is using now for gas and diesel-engine Class A motorhome production along with ramp-trailer production.
While the move is in progress, Albrechtsen said, toy-hauler production could fall below six units day in the second quarter. He said the company’s goal, however, is to be building eight to 10 SUTs per day by the beginning of the third quarter.
The reopening of the idle factory also will allow the National RV division to increase its motorhome production rate to 12 units a day, from the current 11.
Meanwhile, National RV Holdings’ Country Coach Division in Oregon built an average of 14 units per week during the first quarter and 16 units a week in April.
“We will maintain that” 16 units-a-week rate in Oregon, Albrechtsen said.
The National RV facilities in Southern California are operating at only 50% to 55% of capacity and the Country Coach highline diesel-pusher operation in Oregon is functioning at about 80%, Albrechtsen said.
Some sort of investment may be needed to increase the capacity of Country Coach because “in many respects, we’re busting at the seems up there,” Albrechtsen said. Company executives need to “analyze that highline market and decide how big we think it is and how large a percentage of it we should go after” before deciding whether to increase capacity in Oregon, he said.
Shifting some Country Coach production to Southern California is not being considered because “the work force at Perris is very different from the work force at Country Coach,” Albrechtsen said. “The highline product requires significantly higher levels of craftsmanship and workmanship than the higher-volume units at National,” Albrechtsen said. “We could not successfully bring those (Country Coach) units down (from Oregon) and put them on the same production line as our gas and lower-end diesel models that National builds.”