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Newmar Corp. was profitable during the RV industry’s most recent downturn and its president, Dick Parks, sees gradual growth ahead for the Nappanee, Ind.-based firm.
Newmar, a 34-year old manufacturer of mid to highline towables and motorhomes, is owned by co-founder Mahlon Miller, who hired Parks, a former Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. executive, last November to be the company’s president.
Parks replaced Virgil Miller, no relation to Mahlon Miller. Virgil Miller, now Newmar’s chairman, has reduced his day-to-day involvement in the company for health reasons.
Newmar, a 700-employee firm with around $300 million in annual sales, was able to be profitable during the industry downturn of 2000 and 2001 because, “We have always operated our company very conservatively, and always will,” Parks said.
During a portion of 1999, Mahlon Miller considered selling the company, but Parks, during a recent interview, said, “Mahlon and his family have decided they now want to keep the company.”
On the subject of growth at Newmar, Parks, who once headed Fleetwood’s RV Group, said, “We intend to grow, but we will grow gradually. There’s no reason why we can’t grow … we have the brands, the reputation and the workforce. All the elements are in place.
“We don’t feel any big pressure from the larger manufacturers,” Parks continued. “We do our thing and we’ll do it as well as we can for the customer.”
Newmar might need to hire more workers to allow for growth, but it has no current plans to build more manufacturing space, Parks added.