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Vehicle conversion firm Starcraft Corp. estimates it lost $5.3 million during the July-through-September period, the company revealed today (Oct. 17).

Starcraft Corp. is not connected with towable RV manufacturer Starcraft RV Inc.

Starcraft Corp. believes it lost $5.3 million during the fourth quarter of its fiscal year 2000, which ended Oct. 1, because of the softening van conversion market and the need to take a charge against earnings due to accounting technicalities, said Mike Schoeffler, president.

The big fourth quarter loss will result in Starcraft Corp. reporting a lost of about $4.3 million for its entire fiscal year 2000.

“Our focus is to accelerate the diversification strategy to further diminish exposure to the declining conversion van industry,” Schoeffler said. “We are reassessing our long-term strategy for the van conversion business due to the continual decline and we will report the results of this initiative.”

In recent years, Starcraft has reduced its reliance upon the vehicle conversion industry by becoming a supplier to the auto industry and as a builder of shuttle buses and special vehicles for the handicapped.