Elkhart, Ind.-based Forest River Inc. is acquiring most of the assets of
Coachmen Industries Inc.’s RV Group, including brands, product lines
and central manufacturing operations in Middlebury, Ind., along with a
dealership in Elkhart.
In a statement, publicly-traded Coachmen said Forest River, a
subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., will retain the majority of the
builder’s work force. Coachmen’s modular housing and specialty vehicle
operations will not be part of the transaction.
“Forest River has agreed to offer continued employment to
almost 85% of our RV Group employees in Indiana,” said CEO Rick Lavers.
“Some will be able to interview with Forest River to explore career
opportunities. Others will be transferred to the continuing operations
of Coachmen Industries Inc.”
Lavers added, “For 44 years, Coachmen has been a leading and
respected RV brand, employing thousands of dedicated and talented people
in the communities where we have operated. With this transaction, we
secure the future for this proud brand, and the employees of our RV
Group. This announcement will also end the speculation over whether
Coachmen itself will survive these extraordinarily difficult times, and
preserve the jobs of our employee base, in both our RV and housing
Lavers said that the ARBOC mobility bus, introduced this year,
will remain with Coachmen Industries and that the company’s headquarters
will stay in the Middlebury/Elkhart area.
“We will be financially sound with sufficient cash liquidity to
not just survive, but to build our profitable housing businesses and
continue our diversification into the bus and specialty vehicle
transportation industries,” Lavers said.