Keystone RV Company wants to drive home a point: go RVing. The company, a subsidiary of RV and bus maker Thor Industries, is a manufacturer of towable travel trailers and fifth wheels. Keystone's brands include Everest, Fuzion, Laredo, Montana, Outback, and Sprinter, to name a few. The company also offers larger destination travel trailers and smaller travel trailers classified as "lite weight," as well as a line of "toy haulers" that feature living spaces and portable garages for housing and transporting motorcycles, ATVs, and other Big Boy Toys. Keystone has a network of more than 800 dealers and several manufacturing facilities located in Indiana and Oregon.
The economic crisis and credit crunch hammered big-tag consumer products such as automobiles and recreational vehicles in 2008 and for much of 2009. Keystone responded by cutting 600 jobs, representing almost 25% of its workforce. Additionally, it announced plans to close three plants in Indiana, two in Goshen and one in Howe.
On the heels of bad news, comes good news. As the credit market frees up, demand for RVs is rising. In the latter part of 2009, the company reported that it holds an industry market share in excess of 22%. Keystone credits the increase to its product development initiative, which included the creation of 150 new models and innovative features. Consumer interest in fuel efficiency spurred the company to bump up the marketing of its lightweight models. Earlier in the year Keystone announced plans to hire staff for a manufacturing facility it is acquiring from another subsidiary of Thor Industries, Dutchmen Manufacturing. – less