Winnebago Industries Inc.’s new assembly plant in Charles City, Iowa, is in operation now, having completed its first Class C motorhome last week, Winnebago Chairman Bruce Hertzke said today (March 18).
“Although there were start-up expenses for this highly automated new plant, we believe it will help Winnebago Industries to continue to lead the industry in cost-effectiveness, product quality, customer satisfaction and corporate profitability in the years ahead,” said Hertzke, who also is Winnebago’s president and CEO.
Building Class C’s in Charles City, located 65 miles east of Winnebago’s main manufacturing complex in Forest City, Iowa, frees up space that allows the company to produce more Class A motorhomes in Forest City, Hertzke said.
As is the case with many RV manufacturers, Winnebago now is operating all of its factories on four-day work weeks to avoid the accumulation of excess inventories.
As of early March 2002, Winnebago’s dealer order backlog amounted to 3,206 Class A and Class C motorhomes, but as of March 1 this year, the company’s backlog was down to a compbined total 1,890 Class A’s and Class C’s, Hertzke said.
Winnebago’s Class C shipments were down 25% during the three months ended March 1 to 736 units, Hertzke also reported today.
Meanwhile, the company’s diesel-engine Class A motorhome shipments declined 9% during the December-through-February period to 366 units, although its gas-engine Class A shipments increased 9% during the three months ended March 1 to 1,157 units.