Sunline Coach Co., a 40-year-old, award winning travel trailer and fifth-wheel manufacturer, plans to grow as a result of an influx of capital from an investor group that acquired the firm effective Tuesday (Feb. 17), according to Dale Zimmerman, who was president under the previous ownership.
Dale Zimmerman will remain with Sunline as a member of its senior management team. His responsibilities will be equivalent to those of the vice president responsible for manufacturing and purchasing.
The new money creates opportunities for Sunline, which employs 200 people, to grow, Dale Zimmerman said. Although specifics have not been worked out yet, he said the company’s labor force most likely will be expanded sometime within six months.
Sunline, based in Denver, Pa., was sold by Lewis M. Martin, the firm’s chairman and a principal of the firm since 1964, W. Larry Lawrence Jr., the company’s CEO and part owner since 1978, and John Zimmerman, chairman emeritus who had been involved with Sunline since 1975.
Martin, Lawrence and John Zimmerman, Dale Zimmerman’s father, no longer are involved with the firm.
The buyers and new members of Sunline’s senior management team include Paul Kozloff, Bruce Cobb, John Whitehall and Joe Bucara. Kozloff is the principal owner and will serve and consultant and in a position equivalent to chairman of the board.
Cobb’s responsibilities will be equivalent to those of president, Whitehall’s will be equivalent to those of vice president of sales and marketing and Bucara’s will be equivalent to those of CFO, director of information technology and customer service.
The sellers wanted to find a buyer who would serve the best interests of the company’s dealers and employees and they believe they found it with the new investor group, according to a Sunline statement.
The new ownership plans to build on the current successes of both the Sunline company and the Sunline product. Sunline has been a national Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) DSI (Dealer Satisfaction Index) Quality Circle award winner for three years running.
Emphasis will be placed by the new ownership on four areas: a high level of service; continued commitment to quality; value of the Sunline product and overall growth of the business.
In addition to Dale Zimmerman, Sunline’s current management remains in place.
The company’s 40th Anniversary will be celebrated this summer with the introduction of its 2005 product.
“We’re excited about the future growth of Sunline for everyone who is involved in and with our company,” said Dale Zimmerman.
Sunline ranked No. 15 among the travel trailer manufacturers in terms of retail market share during the first 11 months of 2003 with a 1% market share, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm. It was not among the Top 45 producers of fifth-wheels, in terms of retail market share, during the first 11 months of last year, Statistical Surveys also reported.