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Old 06-30-2008, 10:54 AM   #1
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From the internet;

Nappanee, Ind.-based Class A motorhome and fifth-wheel builder Newmar Corp. has instituted its second round of layoffs this year in response to a depressed retail market.

"We're laying off some people trying to right size our work force according to the available business," Dick Parks, CEO and chairman of the family-owned firm, told RVBusiness. "Right now we're in the process of making plans for the future based on what the market dictates."

In February, Newmar laid off around 13% of its 905 workers. Parks did not specify a number but confirmed that the latest cut would impact around 40% of the company's current employees.

The news correlates with the May shipment report from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).

It showed a 58.6% drop in May Class A deliveries from a year go while the sector was down 39.5% for the first five months. Fifth-wheel shipments fell 15.5% for the month and declined 10% year-to-date.
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Old 06-30-2008, 10:54 AM   #2
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From the internet;

Nappanee, Ind.-based Class A motorhome and fifth-wheel builder Newmar Corp. has instituted its second round of layoffs this year in response to a depressed retail market.

"We're laying off some people trying to right size our work force according to the available business," Dick Parks, CEO and chairman of the family-owned firm, told RVBusiness. "Right now we're in the process of making plans for the future based on what the market dictates."

In February, Newmar laid off around 13% of its 905 workers. Parks did not specify a number but confirmed that the latest cut would impact around 40% of the company's current employees.

The news correlates with the May shipment report from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).

It showed a 58.6% drop in May Class A deliveries from a year go while the sector was down 39.5% for the first five months. Fifth-wheel shipments fell 15.5% for the month and declined 10% year-to-date.
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Old 06-30-2008, 03:15 PM   #3
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Which begs the question: are we all terribly proud of Newmar, its Amish/Mennonite cash only policy coupled with honesty, fair mindedness, candor, resolve, and just getting it's shop in order: or, are we silently praying that the company we have trusted will remain what we have come to rely on.
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Old 06-30-2008, 03:23 PM   #4
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Since Newmar is privately held, we don't know it's true financial status.

However, I expect them to survive in some fashion.
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Old 06-30-2008, 03:32 PM   #5
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It shouldn't be a shock that a company is going to lay off 30-50% off its work force when shipments for the entire industry are down almost 60%.

Considering that is their biggest controllable expense it shouldn't be a surprise. Amish, religion aside you aren't going to keep paying people when you don't have work.

In the end I believe if they make it, which I think they will so long as they didn't go crazy with borrowing, and the company will be strong as a result.

I know if I was a worker for them I'd be sure to do the best work I could unless I wanted to be standing in the unemployment line with the next batch. I don't believe there are many other options in that area for these workers so their jobs are sacred.
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Old 06-30-2008, 04:58 PM   #6
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Hello All: Ya know...I don't know what I'm talking about, BUT, seems to me like this market slow-down could be used as an opportunity for some forward looking company to put together an exceptional, product refurbish, fix up, tune up service offer to be extended to any and all owners of their specific RV's which are currently on the road, old, new, in between. That company could perhaps use some of their crew slated for lay-off, to accomplish this service, AND not only would such a company retain part of their workforce, and provide an wonderful service for many many owners of their previously sold units, but it might likely use this opportunity to reduce or eliminate warranty liablilities for their rigs out here on the road which still are under warranty and for which owners would desire, or soon desire attention. In short, I'm suggesting NEWMAR pull off a marketing coups nationally. Use their data base to proactively contact owners of Newmar RVs. Find out what service each owner might want. Offer such owners an outstanding quote to do the work, and if the owner accepts the quote, then schedule them into either Nappanee...or perhaps one of the regional/area Newmar service centers who will perform that "refurbish, fix up, tune up service." I'm not suggesting "FREE" service, but VERY financially ATTRACTIVE spruce up service, using skilled Newmar personnel not only "out of work" in Nappanee, but those affected in service centers nationwide. Somebody smarter than I could likely put together one heck of a campaign that could go a long way toward endearing current Newmar owners and REALLY impressing future buyers. USING the resources Newmar has, rather than just setting them on the sidelines till the market improves seems like an opportunity to me........ Eh??? Steve
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Old 06-30-2008, 05:43 PM   #7
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Steve, Newmar does not have any other "regional" company owned service centers.
Not sure where you got the idea they had "national service centers" but that's not the case.
The factory in Nappanee has a service center owned by Newmar, everything else is dealer owned and operated.

Furthermore, what you suggest would be a great idea in a market where money was not tight and companies weren't doing everything humanly possible to CUT expenses, instead of seemingly creating another expense.

Great idea in theory, but not in practicality....
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Old 06-30-2008, 06:04 PM   #8
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Hi! I love the service idea. The only problem is they don't have available bays in Nappanee. They are currently busy with warranty. I am sure if that slows up, they will start to offer service at times other then the winter. We received the news also today about the layoffs. Our coached just got pushed back another week in build time. Newmar is still receiving orders and are being smart as to how they spread out the build time. Anyone thinking about ordering a coach needs to know that the current delivery time now, is the end of October. That would be for a dealer delivery. I have no idea how much later then that, for a factory delivery. Paul
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Old 06-30-2008, 06:06 PM   #9
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Nappanee in October or later...... NOT!!
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Old 06-30-2008, 06:43 PM   #10
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Oh come on, it was GREAT in March!!! Yeah right, I froze my butt off in Nappanee!

I think you'll see warranty work slacking off dramatically, you can't lose 40+% of your sales and not lose 40+% of your warranty work.
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Old 06-30-2008, 07:07 PM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">you can't lose 40+% of your sales and not lose 40+% of your warranty work. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Hi! You are correct. We probably won't see that effect until next year. It will not have an imediate hit on service. Paul
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Old 06-30-2008, 09:23 PM   #12
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A 40% reduction in workforce is truly staggering. Other manufacturers have announced 10-13% layoffs,but Newmar has reduced 40% on top of 10% earlier this year.

Newmar depends primarily upon motorized products, which puts them at a disadvantage compared to builders who have a strong towable product line, although that will change unless light weight products are introduced by all towable manufacturers due to large truck sales
being in the skids.

I truly hope that Newmar will be able to sustain
business at this low level because I don't think
the prospect of large fuel price reductions are
plausible. It is clear that we will continue to
see more manufacturers and dealers going out of
business for the foreseeable future.
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Old 07-01-2008, 03:19 AM   #13
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Say, Rebelsbeach et.al.: Yup, I know Newmar doesn't have national service centers but I meant using their network of "authorized service centers". Also, re: "tight money", cutting expenses is the response to lack of income due to drop in business. The source of "business income" is NOT only from product sales (ie., selling rigs). Ya can also generate income from customer service and support at least until sales again improve. There would be relatively little expense using existing data bases to a.) I.D. customer interest in potential service/warranty work, then, b.) project income to be generated from such service. This could even be done without commiting to such a program. When an economy tightens due to all the reasons given, folks generally tend to "make do" with currently owned equipment from lawn mowers to, yes, even RV's. They put off buying new. I'm just suggesting that the companies that can shift product "production" resources into an albeit temporary service/repair/refurbish mode would help previous customers "make do" with currently owned company product, promote great customer good will, and, survive to embrace a new market down the road. Given the slow down in sales Newmar has the opportunity to NOW demonstrate and effect a great "Customer Support" program, and, generate income at the same time. They have the resources, the know how, and there are alot of Newmar rigs out here on the road. Also, it beats just "quitting"!! Ya think? Steve
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Old 07-01-2008, 04:47 AM   #14
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I think your idea is a good one, but I don't know the folks at Newmar well enough to say they are that forwaqrd looking/thinking. It seems to me they are more conservative with theri thinking and their money. An idea such as this might have a better chance of fruition if taken on by an individual with deep pockets, leasing one of the recently closed facilities, and recruiting from the field of those recently unemployed.
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