Winnebago Industries Inc. may begin manufacturing Country Coach-branded diesel pusher motorhomes within the next two years, members of the Country Coach Friends Inc. owners club were told at the club’s rally Aug. 22-27 at Mills Casino RV Park in Coos Bay, Ore. The high-end brand has been off the market since the demise of Country Coach Inc. in 2010.
”Country Coach owners love the product,” said club President John Malabicky. ”Our members are hoping that Winnebago, if they decide to build a coach, would use Country Coach specs and standards. Winnebago builds a nice motorhome, but it’s not a Country Coach. I hope Winnebago comes to understand how Country Coach owners feel, and when they start building it again, they’re going to meet Country Coach quality and craftsmanship.’’
Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago last December purchased a 270,000-square-foot manufacturing and service facility in Junction City, Ore., that formerly housed Country Coach operations, opening production of Winnebago Grand Tour Class A motorhomes in August. The plant can build up to 1,000 motorhomes a year, company officials have reported. They also said the company might begin producing Country Coach-branded units at an unspecified date.
”Of course, production levels will be dependent on market demand,” Oregon plant General Manager John Millis told RVBusiness in late August.
A spokesman for Winnebago said today (Sept. 15) that the company is ‘’still evaluating’’ if and when Country Coach-branded units will be built at its new Oregon factory. “We are not setting a timetable at this point,’’ spokesman Sam Jefson told RVBUSINESS.com.
The nonprofit Country Coach Friends, a chapter of the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) launched in 2011 after Country Coach Inc.’s demise, currently has about 300 members — up from around 50 when the club formed. The group’s membership is up over 10% from last year, Malabicky reported.
”We are picking up new members all the time,” he said, noting that two years ago the organization began accepting Class A motorhomes that were not Country Coach brands. In fact, other Class A brands account for about 10% of County Coach Friends’ membership of RVers from around the country. ”Our membership is moving further east,” Malabicky said.
Country Club Friends’ next rally will be April 2-7 at Pioneer RV Park in Port Aransas, Texas.