Plans by R-Vision Inc. of Warsaw, Ind., to add a manufacturing plant in Chico, Calif., have been “postponed indefinitely,” Chico city and Butte County, Calif., officials told the Chico Enterprise-Record.
R-Vision was considering leasing a factory that Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. used for building Class C motorhomes until the spring of 2001.
Fleetwood still owns the property in the northern California community but it is allowing city and county officials to find a tenant for the building, said Ed Caudill, Fleetwood’s president and CEO.
Caudill believes there is an opportunity for Fleetwood to gain retail market share in Class C’s but he said most of Fleetwood’s Class C sales are along the West Coast, so he believes the company needs to find a location “in the nation’s heartland” for building Class C’s.
After closing the plant in Chico, Fleetwood consolidated its Class C production in Riverside, Calif., east of Los Angeles.
During the first 10 months of this year, Fleetwood ranked No. 5 in retail market share in Class C’s with a 10.1% share, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm.
Winnebago Industries Inc., Forest City, Iowa, is the leading Class C producer with a 26.1% retail market share in the first 10 months of this year, according to Statistical Surveys.
R-Vision Chairman William L. Warrick wrote a letter to Chico and Butte County officials earlier this month saying his company has postponed indefinitely plans to add a manufacturing plant along the West Coast.
R-Vision builds travel trailers, fifth-wheels, Class A and Class C motorhomes in northeastern Indiana.
Butte County economic development officials traveled to the Elkhart/Warsaw, Ind., area on several occasions during the last few months to contact other RV manufacturers who might be interested in opening an operation in Chico. “We’re going to be following up with the folks that I contacted on my last visit – about nine companies,” Butte County business recruiter Don Smail told the Enterprise-Record.