NuWa Industries Inc., Chanute, Kan., will stop production of its high-end fifth-wheels on Christmas Eve, but is keeping its sales staff and parts and service departments open after the first of the year.
“We want to take a look to see what kind of sales are going to come in 2009,” NuWa President Neil Ford told RVBusiness. “We will never close our parts, warranty and service departments. Those will remain open.”
About 100 workers will be laid off as part of the move, he said. NuWa also canceled the space it had reserved at the 46th Annual National RV Trade Show, Dec. 2-4, in Louisville, Ky.
“The problem is the whole economy,” Ford said. “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.”
As recently as 2006, NuWa operated two factories in the Chanute area and employed about 500 people. After the production shutdown, about 40 employees will remain.
“We are not slamming the doors shut and saying ‘We’re, through,’ ” Ford said. “We’re definitely coming back if there’s business there.”