Tue May 14, 2019
Author: RV News Staff
After 45 years in business, Forest City Motorhomes in London, Ontario, will close its doors for good sometime during the next several weeks, adding another company to the list of casualties resulting from the February closing of Erwin Hymer North America, which produced Roadtrek motorhomes.
Forest City has sold Winnebago motorhomes for its entire existence and Roadtreks for the past 12 years. Gary Goertz and his brother, Richard, have owned the dealership since 2001, when they purchased it from their parents. With Roadtreks not currently being produced, the time has come to close, Gary Goertz (pictured left in photo) says.
“We are closing due to the business challenges after the Roadtrek snafu in Kitchener,” Goertz says. “We were the largest Roadtrek dealer in Canada and we did very well with them. We felt that without the Roadtrek business in place, maybe it was time to take life in a different direction. Being only an hour away from the factory, this caught me off guard a little bit for sure.”
Forest City, which sold more than 150 units last year, is now sold out of Roadtreks, and as of late Monday afternoon, was down to 10 Winnebago motorhomes. Five employees remain at Forest City as it sells its remaining inventory. Goertz says he and his brother considered adding another brand to replace Roadtrek, but ultimately decided nothing could adequately supplant the well-established Canadian brand. He says there’s no doubt that Forest City would have continued if Erwin Hymer North America had not gone into receivership.
Goertz wonders what kind of volume Rapido Group, Roadtrek’s new France-based owner, will be able to produce with the 130 manufacturing workers it plans to hire this summer. He says Rapido will face lots of hurdles.
“They will have some challenges, obviously,” Goertz says. “There’s been limited information coming from that group (Rapido). To me, it looks rather optimistic to assume that they can run the operation with 130 staff and produce any sort of volume to satisfy what the market was requiring and still service their existing product.”