Class A motorhome builder Rexhall Industries Inc. laid off half of its work force at the end of September, but CEO Bill Rex hopes the company will be able to begin recalling employees and increase production rates around Nov. 1.
Rexhall, based in Lancaster, Calif., let 200 employees go because dealer orders for its motorhomes “dried up” following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Rex said.
However, incentives to encourage dealers to order more Rexhall product cleared out almost all of Rexhall’s unsold factory inventory, he said on Friday (Oct. 19).
There also were indications that Rexhall’s dealers had a successful California RV show in Pomona, which concluded on Sunday (Oct. 21), he said.
Rexhall was building between three and four units a day prior to the layoff and the company is building between one and two units a day this month. Rex hopes to return to three units a day production in November and his goal is six units a day, once the motorhome market completely revives, which he hopes will happen next spring or summer.
Rex said he felt “unpatriotic” about the layoffs because he believes one of the goals of the terrorists was to damage the U.S. economy.
However, he concluded the layoffs were “the prudent thing to do” at the time “for our (company’s) long-term health and our shareholders.”