Thor Industries Inc. reports that its RV sales revenue increased 177% during the first quarter of its fiscal year 2003, which ended Thursday (Oct. 31).
Thor’s RV sales totaled $351.7 million during the August-through-October period, compared with $126.8 million a year earlier.
The acquisition of Keystone RV Co., which Thor completed in November 2001, was the major reason for the sharp increase in sales revenue in the recently completed quarter, officials said. However, excluding Keystone, Thor’s RV sales still were up 33% during the three months ended Oct. 31.
The increase in Thor’s RV sales revenue more than offset the 34% decline in its midsize bus sales revenue. Thor’s bus sales in the August-through-October period totaled $54.1 million, compared with $81.7 million a year earlier.
Combining its RV and bus sales, Thor, a New York Stock Exchange-listed company, had a record $405.8 million in revenue during the three months ended Oct. 31. The $405.8 million amount represents a 95% increase over the company’s $208.5 million in total revenue a year earlier.
Thor’s dealer order backlog as of last Thursday totaled $260 million, a 47% increase over the company’s backlog on Oct. 31, 2001. Excluding Keystone, Thor’s RV order backlog was up 81% over a year-ago.
To satisfy demand for its towable RV products, two Thor subsidiaries, Thor California Inc. and Keystone, will begin production next week in a new facilities.
Thor California will open a new, 67,000-square-foot factory in Moreno Valley, Calif., while Keystone will begin production on two new 85,000-square-foot plants in Goshen Ind.
Thor California will more than double the output of its Jazz and Mirage fifth-wheels as a result of the opening of the new factory. The Thor subsidiary’s goal is to produce 18 Jazz and Mirage units a day, for which it plans to hire 250 more workers by spring.
Meanwhile, Keystone will built its Hornet and Sprinter travel-trailer and fifth-wheel series in its new factories in Northern Indiana.
Additionally, Keystone plans to open two more 85,000-square-foot plants, and Thor’s Dutchmen Manufacturing Co. subsidiary intends to open one more 85,000-square-foot plant, all in Goshen, in spring.
Keystone will create about 400 new jobs at its four new plants in Goshen while Dutchmen will create about 150 new jobs at its new factory in Goshen, and Dutchmen will create about 100 new positions at its recently expanded facilities in nearby Syracuse, Ind.
Thor will report its first fiscal quarter earnings in about four weeks.