The importance of full-body paint to motorhome manufacturers is reflected in the decision by Class A motorhome builder Tiffin Motor Homes Inc. of Red Bay, Ala., to open a new painting facility early next year.
Tiffin recently acquired a 162,000-square-foot former manufactured housing production plant in nearby Belmont, Miss., which will be converted into a motorhome painting facility. “We can’t increase production without more paint capacity,” said Bob Tiffin, president.
The paint plant, located five miles from the company’s assembly complex in Red Bay, should be ready for production by April, and it will increase the company’s total production capacity from the current nine Class A’s per day to 16 units a day, he said.
Once the paint plant opens in April, Tiffin will raise its output rate to 10 Class A’s per day, he said. Further increases will depend upon market demand.
Adding the new paint plant will allow the company to build more Phaeton and Allegro Bus diesels and to offer the full-body paint option on more Allegro and Allegro Bay gas engine units, Tiffin said.
The company also plans to reintroduce its highline Zephyr diesel-pusher brand next spring, which will include full-body paint.
The need for Tiffin to add more capacity is indicated by the fact that its retail sales increased 14.1% during the first nine months of this year, while the Class A market, as a whole, grew by 8.2% in the same period, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm.
Tiffin ranked No. 8 in retail market share among Class A motorhome builders in the first three quarters of this year with a 4.7% market share.