Winnebago Industries Inc. will build Class C motorhomes in its new factory that is under construction now in Charles City, Iowa, according to Bruce Hertzke, chairman, president and CEO.
Production at the new 200,000-square-foot, $12.5 million facility is scheduled to begin “right after the first of the year in 2003,” Hertzke said during his keynote address to Winnebago and Itasca dealers gathered earlier this week for the company’s annual Dealer Days in Las Vegas.
The new factory represents “the largest expansion to date in our company’s history,” Hertzke added.
When fully utilized, the plant in Charles City will add 30%, or 3,500 more units a year, to Winnebago’s output capacity, he said.
Building Class C’s in Charles City will allow Winnebago to increase Class A motorhome output at his headquarters complex in Forest City, Iowa, located about 65 miles to the west. “However, the (new) plant is being designed to accommodate both Class A’s and C’s for mixed-model manufacturing for future growth,” Hertzke explained.
Additionally, Winnebago invested $1.4 million last year in its paint system to provide “the highest quality base-coat, clear-coat paint on our coaches,” he said. “And, we are well on the way towards dramatically increasing our ability to provide you (dealers) with more models with full-body paint.”
Independent motorhome painting contractor Carrera Designs Inc. (CDI) of Elkhart, Ind., is building a 45,000-square-foot paint facility “across the street from our Forest City manufacturing complex,” Hertzke said. “Now, in its final stages of construction and permitting, CDI will soon be able to assist us in providing standard and optional paints on many of our coaches.”