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Old 02-04-2019, 02:02 PM   #1
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Winnebago moves diesel production back to Iowa

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Winnebago Announces Manufacturing Transition - iRV2 Forums
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Old 02-04-2019, 05:02 PM   #2
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I just saw this. Wow, that’s huge. WBGO is going to miss out on nearly 2-years worth of mainstream diesel pusher production.

If they start making Journeys, Tours and Grand Tours again there will be a gap from 2017 to 2020. So much lost momentum!

Pour Junction City this has to be devastating to them. First Country Coach goes bust, then WBGO buys them and rehires 250 people only to just about close the place leaving only 30-employees working there.
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Old 02-04-2019, 08:17 PM   #3
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I agree! What a loss for Winnebago and for Junction City. I have relatives there that worked for Country Coach! I wonder if they will keep the service area there, since they mentioned 30 employees remaining?
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Old 02-05-2019, 02:09 PM   #4
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It didnít make sense when they moved production to
Oregon. Why would you take your most complicated and expensive product lines away from your most experienced work force.

Nothing they said in their press release was any different 3 years ago. All those reasons couldíve been used to justify keeping DP production in Iowa. Tho the press release did strings lots of pretty words together while saying nothing of the real reason why

This is not the old Winnebago. This the new Forest River and Thor.

Just my opinion.
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Old 02-05-2019, 05:19 PM   #5
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To me, that purchase only made sense if they were going to produce new Country Coach motorhomes.

There are LOTs of folks that would be happy to see them start up Country Coach production at that facility. They could build one or two floor plans and start taking orders and I bet they'd have a ton of orders booked in no time.

Now it seems like that entire purchase was for nothing. Millions of dollars down the drain. Stupid move. In fact, retreating is another stupid move. They should have doubled down and made that move work it would have to be cheaper than throwing millions of dollars away.

I will say this - building RVs anywhere outside of the middle of the country seems foolish.

Look at Northwood Manf. They build Arctic Fox Trailers and 5ers in La Grande, OR and shipping costs for a 25-ft travel trailer to most of the country is $4000 to $5000. Which is why you see so few outside of the Northwest. Elkhart Indiana is central enough to reach major populations centers for half of that cost.
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Old 02-05-2019, 05:24 PM   #6
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Country Coach tried selling factory direct in their last days. By that time, the CC name was tarnished as last couple of years production were not of the quality during their glory days.

Antidotal admittedly based on a couple of friends who earlier and some of last CC made

An early 2000s CC still turns my head.
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Old 02-05-2019, 05:29 PM   #7
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Yeah, but talk to any mid-2000 CC owner and they want to buy a new CC and almost nothing else is good enough.
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Old 02-10-2019, 06:26 PM   #8
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We have gone to the Junction City Oregon facility on two occasions. One was for a slide problem that we delt with for the first 4 years of our ownership of the motorhome. Our local rv place could not get it right and we were eventually stranded away from home with our slides out and a burned up motor. The folks at Oregon City knew exactly what was wrong with it upon inspection. Our motorhome spent almost all summer in the shop here at home with them trying to get it fixed. It stayed at Oregon City for 2 weeks while they waited for parts from Iowa and the day it took to put them in. We have so much praise for them and are so happy they are at least leaving the repair facility in place, for right now. It will be a very sad day for us on the west coast when and if they close it. A trip for us to Iowa would be long...…….
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:56 PM   #9
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I live near Junction City Oregon and remember when Winnebago announced they were moving large Diesel Pusher manufacturing to Oregon the reason given was:
1. They didn't have the necessary room for expansion in Iowa
2. Most if not all of the qualified RV workers were already working
They recognized Oregon still has a number of highly qualified RV technicians and assemblers.
I attended a luncheon at Guaranty RV in Junction City where the Winnebago reps spoke just as the move to Oregon was announced. Quite a few RV owners in the audience asked if WBGO would bring back the Country Coach line. The reps really danced around that question without answering it.

Winnebago has dealt a nasty blow to the Oregon RV workers by pulling out of Junction City after only a few years.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:59 AM   #10
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Journey and Tour

We went to RV show in Tampa Fl. The Winnebago dealer there told us they were no longer making the Journey or Tour motorhomes. They said that now they are only making the Horizon as higher end diesel. Is this true?
I would hope they would have more than just Forza and Horizon. I really liked the Journey.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:53 PM   #11
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When they moved DP production to OR they left the Forza in Iowa, and started with the Horizon in OR.

The “plan” was to produce other DPs there as well. One assumes that would have been the Journey, Tour and Grand Tour. But that never happened.

So yes,WBGO only makes the Forza and Horizon DP coaches for 2018-2019.

With Oregon closing who knows what will happen to the Horizon? The way things are going you could even see that model going away.

What a shame.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:32 PM   #12
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I did a little digging for info and found this quote:
Quote:
Lane County records show the company paid about $5 million for the property, but Winnebago spent a total of about $15 million to $20 million to buy the buildings and refurbish them....
That plus the lost revenue from two years of Class A DPs they didn’t build and sell means this whole thing cost Winnebago a ton of money.
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:37 AM   #13
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QC has been a big issue over the past several years across the industry in general. I hope this rethinking on Winnebago' part will bring with it better quality control. I am still fixing stuff that was not built correctly, like the bottom panel popping off the cabinets. What's that all about!
But, it is true. The folks in Junction City have been dealt a bit blow. At least the economy is strong so those laid off might get jobs soon.
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:11 AM   #14
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Moving the big diesels out of FC left a huge hole in FC as far as I'm concerned and its good to see Winnebago coming home! The whole business model of having in house fabrication of plastics, framing, upholstery, and cabinetry fell apart in my mind when the actual assembly was somewhere else. The Horizon even rubs against that grain with it's interior reliant on foreign manufacture.

I also have to say that Lichtsinn is a bigger sales spokesman for Winnebago than Winnebago themselves, and he was standing there empty handed at the rally last year with nothing above the Forza but an unsold GT from the year before. His inventory was a bunch of Class Bs, but his audience was 60% DPs. This has to put him and Winnebago back on their game.

Hopefully Winnebago gets back on track with the Class A market before they lose it. Let Junction City be the mistake it is and move on - not the first stupid thing they ever tried, I mean after all:
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:18 AM   #15
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Per the previous posting, here's an old thread of mine: Winnebago Heli-Home
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