Mon Feb 4, 2019
Author: RV News Staff
Winnebago Industries Inc. plans to shift Winnebago-branded type A diesel motorhome manufacturing from its Junction City, Ore., plant to its manufacturing campus in Forest City, Iowa. The transition consolidates and centralizes product development, supply chain and assembly operations for the company's diesel motorhome business to a single location.
Winnebago says the move will enable Winnebago to improve its ability to efficiently and consistently supply dealers and end customers with a stronger line-up of high-quality, innovative diesel motor home products.
In the fall of 2015, Winnebago acquired the assets of a dormant diesel motorhome manufacturer, Country Coach. The purchase included the Country Coach brand, product drawings and various assembly and service facilities in Junction City. Excluding its Forza brand, Winnebago moved the rest of its diesel line-up from Forest City, Iowa to the Junction City campus, began production late in 2016 and continued to operate the factory service center as well.
"While the strategic purpose of the company's decision to move diesel manufacturing to Junction City years ago was well intended as a means to acquire additional motorhome assembly capacity and tap into an experienced RV workforce in the Northwest, says Brian Hazelton, vice president and general manager, Winnebago Motorhome Business. "We have not achieved our targeted operating efficiency and profitability goals.
"This difficult decision to relocate diesel manufacturing back to Forest City, Iowa and centralize our diesel business value chain geographically is necessary," he says. "It will enable more effective product development, enhance profitability through increased manufacturing efficiency and sourcing savings, and most importantly, result in being a more reliable supplier to our diesel dealers and end customers."
The company expects to begin the transition process immediately and complete the start-up of a new diesel assembly line in Forest City during the fourth quarter of its 2019 fiscal year. It projects to increase the Forest City workforce by 175 by the end of its 2020 fiscal year.
Following the transition, the Junction City service operation will continue to operate as one of Winnebago’s aftermarket and RV parts support facilities. The company will determine its plans for the vacant assembly space in the near future.