Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Business

February 18, 2014

Thor to boost motor home production

ELKHART — Thor Industries Inc. will expand its motor home production after purchasing a former Monaco plant.

The company announced Tuesday it has purchased a 220,000-square-foot facility that was formerly used to produce Monaco towable recreational vehicles. According to the company, the factory will be used to meet demand for products produced by the company’s Thor Motor Coach subsidiary.

Production will being in the second half of Thor’s fiscal year.

Earlier this month Thor announced sales of motorized RVs increased by 43.8 percent to $339.3 million for the first six months ended January 31.

“We are pleased to once again have the opportunity to expand our motorized operations in Elkhart County,” said Bob Martin, Thor president and chief executive officer. “With the recovery of the motorized RV market gaining strength over the past year, we have pursued opportunistic expansion of our motorized production capacity, first with the acquisition of the Wakarusa complex and now with this plant on the south side of Elkhart. We view this expansion as an important step to meet both our immediate production needs and long-term strategic goals for our motorized business.”

The company did not immediately announce how many jobs will be created with the expansion.

Jeff Kime, president of Thor Motor Coach said, “This facility presents us with the ability to expand our capacity while maintaining the flexibility to meet emerging demands for our products in the market. In addition, the increased capacity will allow us to reduce overtime and the current stress on our existing plants and better align our production volumes with higher demand for our products. We have begun operations on two production lines at our Wakarusa plant purchased last year, but that additional capacity isn’t sufficient to meet the growth of our markets. As a result, when the opportunity to set up operations in this facility presented itself, we jumped at the chance to expand production for what is shaping up to be another strong year of growth.”

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Classes at Goshen Community Schools and St. John the Evangelist Catholic School will begin the 2014-15 school year on Thursday, Aug. 7. School corporations throughout the state have been trending toward earlier start dates the past few years. When do you think school should start?

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