RV company planning Indiana factory expansions

Associated Press
July 16, 2012
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A recreational vehicle maker is planning factory expansions in northern Indiana that could add more than 400 jobs in a county that was badly battered by that industry's collapse during the recession.

Forest River Inc. is seeking local property tax breaks and state incentives toward expanding its operations in Goshen, Middlebury and Millersburg, all in Elkhart County.

Dave Ogle, director of business retention and expansion for the Economic Development Corp. of Elkhart County, told The Elkhart Truth that the county needs to take advantage of a contraction in the RV industry.

"What used to be 30 or 40 manufacturers is now three, four or five manufacturers," Ogle said. "I think we have a great opportunity to continue to protect that business cluster and the supplier chains that go along with that."

The county just east of South Bend was hit by thousands of layoffs from RV factories early in the recession, leading to it have one of the state's highest unemployment rates for couple years and peaking in March 2009 at 18.9 percent.

The RV industry's rebound has seen the Elkhart County jobless rate drop to 8.6 percent in May, which was the 26th highest among the state's 92 counties.

Forest River plans to add 120 employees to its Millersburg location, with 40 more jobs planned at its Middlebury plant. The Elkhart County Council has a public hearing scheduled next month on the company's property tax abatement requests on its expansion plans at those plants.

Company officials also will be meeting this week with the Goshen City Council on a similar proposal for tax abatements.

If all goes according to plan, the RV company's expansion could mean some 445 jobs, Ogle said.

Company spokesman Mike Stump said the tax breaks will allow Forest River to remain competitive in the RV industry. Stump said the company must gain local support to qualify for state assistance, which could add up to between $6 million and $10 million.


  • Wondering Why
    We were hoping to pick up a good, used RV at a good price, what with the economy being slack. No Go. People are hanging on to them. Hedging their bets due to all the drought and home devaluations, or just a lot of folks retiring? Bottom line - glad for the jobs!

Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ