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Old 02-04-2010, 10:36 PM   #1
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Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 83
Country Coach auction

Country Coach was auctioned off today. I talk a little about it in my blog tonight and will probably blog again in the next few days to answer any questions in the comments section. Here's a link: Lee Litchfield Blog

Lee Litchfield

Lee's RV City
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:32 PM   #2
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Lee Litchfield - What were you feelings on how the 10 completed units were auctioned off?

*MonacoMama with the 2 Pins & SacsTC Nearby*
*2007 Monaco Diplomat 40' SFT<>2006 Chevy VortecMax Toad<>2006 Buick Lucerne Leading the Way*
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Old 02-14-2010, 03:56 PM   #3
Country Coach Owners Club
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Posts: 31

The following is a rather lengthy letter drafted by two coach owners...one an
attorney and the other an engineer. I offer this as information only as to
thier extensive research in obtaining records of coaches built over the last 3
decades by Country Coach. The information in the subject files contains minimal
information and may not even be as complete as the manuals and information
forders provided with each coach. Other records that were stored in computers
are virtually non-retrievable due to obsolete programs and lack of specific
computer knowledge. I hope this investigation answers those owners who wished to
secure these production records.
Respectively, Ted Wright, CCI President L041

Country Coach filed bankruptcy in the Spring of 2009, seeking to reorganize and
continue (commonly referred to as a Chapter 11 Reorganization) . This can be
viewed as an effort by the owners, managers and creditors, under the direction
of the Court, to restructure the company in such a way that it can pay off its
debts in some fashion and operate profitable in time. Due, in large part to the
economy, a plan of reorganization could not be put together. The Country Coach
matter was then converted from a reorganization to a liquidation (commonly
referred to as a Chapter 7, or Straight bankruptcy) and, as the name implies,
all of the assets of the company are sold and the proceeds, after all expenses
and fees, are allocated among the creditors. The Country Coach auction is set
for February 4, 2010. Country Coach, as we have known it through the manufacture
of our coaches and annual homecomings and rallies, will be no more.

During the reorganization proceedings, we as Country Coach owners, could only
wait and hope that the company would restructure and continue in business.
However, when the proceeding was converted to a Chapter 7 and all of the assets
were going to be sold at auction, several coach owners began to express concern,
principally along the lines of servicing, maintaining and repairing our sizeable
investment. More specifically, it narrowed to the question of parts lists,
vendor sources, Build Sheets on each and every coach etc, etc. Unlike
automobiles, coach's do not all have the same parts, and are not built alike.
The question was raised as to how can one obtain this very important information
on ones coach for future service, maintenance and repair.

During the last few weeks, we began to look for answers. We turned to the Court
records (which are voluminous). We entered into discussions with the Bankruptcy
Court Trustee appointed to conduct the auction, Mr. Kenneth Eisler. We reviewed
the public information on the sale which listed the assets, one of which was
designated as Intellectual Property. Unlike the hard assets of Country Coach
such as molds, carpentry tools, (even several coaches in various stages of being
built), the Technical Manuals, Build Sheets, engineering drawings, parts lists,
vendor lists; everything you might want to know about your coach, all fell as an
asset of the company within the category of Intellectual Property.
Interestingly, that includes the name "Country Coach" and the various trademarks
any patents.

Focusing on this asset we endeavored to determine specifically what was included
in the Intellectual Property asset that would be of greatest value to coach
owners and in what format. Gary Obermeier, former Senior Vice President of
Operations, and a 30 year employee of Country Coach was most helpful and
accommodating in this regard. He identified 17 pallets containing boxes of paper
all sealed in shrink wrap. Although voluminous he described these records as raw
data, largely unorganized, certainly nothing that would provide anything of real
value to a coach owner. It was his judgment that the kinds of data that would be
both complete and organized were stored electronically. This data would include,
for each coach, the drawings, parts numbers, vendor of parts etc. The impossible
task was to secure the hardware and software and the knowledge of former CC
employees who could still pull from this data. The program no longer exists for
extracting the data except as is presently on site in the company's computer

It was only last week that we had a full understanding of the nature of
information which we thought would be helpful to coach owners and most
importantly, its format. Faced with this description of the Intellectual
Property, the 17 pallets were deemed to be of no value. Turning to the
electronic data base it should be noted that the Trustee, in his responsibility
to sell assets, did not maintain a staff that might download electronically
stored information. We would have had to hire several key former employees of
the company for this work.

A few Prevost owners took it upon themselves to send a person to Eugene for an
on-site look. Over the years Country Coach had manufactured maybe 300 buses
while manufacturing thousands of fiberglass coaches. Thus the paper on pallets
and the electronic data on Country Coach Prevost was minute compared to the
Intellectual Property pertaining to fiberglass coaches. They identified some
Technical Manuals and engaged a computer person to pull some of the electronic
data. The Trustee can accept a pre auction bid for assets. He agreed to selling
whatever data the Prevost owners wanted for $5,000 (subject to an upset bid at
the auction). The Trustee extended the same offer to fiberglass owners as well.
Gary Obermeier estimated that the Prevost data identified for purchase included
maybe 10,000 drawings. Since each coach may have roughly 4000 drawings,
multiplying this by 300 Prevost and you have some idea of how massive the data
base is and how little 10,000 drawings represent in the universe of the data
base. The same calculation, based on 30 years and several thousand fiberglass
coaches, gives you some idea of how difficult it would have been to try and
secure, organize and distribute the kinds of data each coach owner would like to
have on his coach.

The forgoing represented our best efforts to see if, as part of the liquidation
of Country Coach, we could acquire, for Country Coach owners, the kinds of data
they would like to have on each of their coaches in anticipation of service,
maintenance and repair in a future when, the Country Coach we had all relied
upon, no longer existed. The Trustee, the Prevost people, certainly Gary
Obermeier, all did everything they could to facilitate the evaluation and
purchase of this asset for coach owners. Given the shortness of time take action
and the inability to have any assurance that useful data could be obtained,
preserved and made available for individual coach units, it was our judgment to
let the asset go to auction.

It is our understanding that several potential bidders have expressed an
interest in the Intellectual Property asset. They may be interested in acquiring
the company name, the trademarks, any patents etc. Bidders may fully intend to
amass the data which owners want and go to the expense and effort to organize it
and make it available for purchase. We will know more after the February 4, 2010
sale on that score.
We would like to thank those noted herein plus those Country Coach Texans that
assisted us with their ideas and strategy, they are Ted Wright, Nick Caruso,
Sonny Broome, Jerry McMennamy, Ron Rang and Dave Miller – President of Texas
Custom Coach.
Stu Entz & Mike Carnes
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Old 02-14-2010, 05:47 PM   #4
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Posts: 83
Originally Posted by MonacoMama View Post
Lee Litchfield - What were your feelings on how the 10 completed units were auctioned off?
In what regard? I didn't pay that much attention, except that I was surprised that the finished Affinity went for $395K, plus the buyer's premium. We only planned on bidding on the unfinished units and the parts that were assigned to them.

We were also surprised that they auctioned the parts off first. Silly, in my opinion, as you didn't know if you would need them until the coaches were sold. For example, the furniture, headlights, taillights, generator, etc. that belonged to the Affinity, went before the unit was sold. We wanted the Affinity and the Magna, so we bought all the lots that contained the items needed to finish the coaches. Even after selling quite a bit of the stuff we didn't need, we still have 4 truckloads coming back this week.

Lee Litchfield
Lee's RV City
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