In a letter to dealers, Chanute, Kan.-based NuWa Industries Inc. said it is ceasing production of its high-end fifth-wheels after completing product already in process and will be making “a graceful exit from the RV industry.”
CEO Mike Mitchell said that the company could not see enough “light at the end of the tunnel to feel confident that market conditions would improve sufficiently to justify continued losses that would be incurred waiting for the market to return.”
The builder anticipates closing down production in late January.
Dealers were told that NuWa is not going bankrupt and “will continue to meet its financial obligations to suppliers and finance companies.” The company said it has set aside the estimated funds to meet continued warranty obligations of product in the hands of consumers and on dealers lots.
In addition, the factory service center will remain open into at least 2010 to further meet the parts, warranty and service needs of retail customers and dealers.
A staff of approximately 20 NuWa employees will remain at the factory to oversee the warranty and service departments, to assist dealers and customers and to begin an orderly liquidation of equipment, excess raw materials and real estate not needed by the service department.
NuWa said the main facility will continue to be equipped for “turnkey” production in case a buyer surfaces.
In November, NuWa told RVBusiness that it was temporarily stopping production and would cancel its reservation at the National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky.
“We want to take a look to see what kind of sales are going to come in 2009,” said NuWa President Neil Ford, noting that the parts, warranty and service departments would remain open.
Ford added, “The problem is the whole economy. Most of our customers are retired, and the price range of our units is not inexpensive. People can’t get financed or they fear what the economy is going to do.”
NuWa was formed in 1969 and earned a reputation as an innovative and quality builder. The company produces all-season fifth-wheels under the Hitchhiker LS, Hitchhiker Discover and Hitchhiker Champagne brand names.