Winnebago Industries Inc. has invested $23.2 million in new plants and equipment, an amount that includes the company’s new $14.7 million Class C motorhome assembly plant in Charles City, Iowa, Chairman, President and CEO Bruce Hertzke reported.
The new Class C plant, which went into production at the end of May, was built primarily to allow for the creation of more Class A motorhome manufacturing space in Winnebago’s main complex in Forest City, Iowa, said Roger Martin, vice president of sales and marketing.
The Charles City Class C plant was producing 40 units per week as of late July and it will “continually ramp up as the market dictates,” Hertzke said.
The other $8.5 million that Winnebago invested in machinery and facility upgrades includes a new $3.9 million hardwood cabinet assembly plant in Charles City, the $300,000 expansion to its model shop R&D area and a $1.4 million expansion of the company’s on-line painting system “allowing for additional paint color selections as well as better overall process quality,” Hertzke said.
Additionally, Elkhart, Ind.-based Carrera Designs Inc., which opened a full-body paint plant in Forest City last year, is building a 21,000-square-foot addition “to continue to grow with Winnebago,” Hertzke said.
Winnebago also has invested “in over 10,000 hours of lean manufacturing training to our employees,” Hertzke added.
“There is strong RV industry growth expected for the next 30 years,” Hertzke said. “We continue to invest in facilities and technology, to increase product quality and productivity.
“We have a strong balance sheet with no debt, and our expansions are paid for,” he said.