Wakarusa RV plants to move in August
WAKARUSA -- What looked so promising in 2012 with Monaco RV adding 400 jobs in Wakarusa is now moving in the opposite direction.
In August, the company will ramp down its operations at its Monaco RV and Holiday Rambler plants and move operations to Decatur, Ind.
That's what about 520 employees at the two plants learned Thursday. Allied Specialty Vehicles announced Thursday the purchase of Monaco RV, Holiday Rambler and R-Vision recreational vehicles, including the Beaver and Safari brands, from Navistar Inc. R-Vision is produced in Elkhart and will remain unaffected by the purchase, Jim Meyer, chief operating officer of Allied Specialty Vehicles, said Thursday.
But it's a far different scenario for employees in Wakarusa, 425 of whom work in manufacturing. "The initial part of the plan is to not take more production orders for Wakarusa," Meyer said. "We have production now that will run into August. "We will keep that production here, and then we will begin to ramp down the manufacturing part of the business in Wakarusa."
ASV's attempt to do so, though, means the brands will move to Decatur, near Fort Wayne, where the company's plants already produce RV brands Fleetwood and American Coach, Meyer said."
ASV plans to sell the facilities in Wakarusa, and Meyer's hope is that many of the workers there will find work at whatever business ends up buying the plant."
ASV met briefly with employees Thursday and gave them the rest of the day off with pay. Meyer said the company will begin meeting with workers individually today to explain the transition to their final day, including current and ongoing benefits. "We hope to absolutely minimize the impact to folks," he said. He expressed confidence that long before next May, workers might be working in the same facility, albeit for a different company."
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