RV Supplier Fueling Rebound

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South Bend Deputy Mayor Mark Neal says an expansion planned by Lippert Components Inc. underscores the city's "continuing comeback." The Elkhart County-based recreational vehicle industry supplier is planning to lease an abandoned distribution facility in South Bend and add 180 workers by the end of the year. Neal says it is the "first step" in the company's growth within the city. The recreational vehicle industry supplier, which is a subsidiary of Drew Industries Inc. (NYSE: DW), says it could also create another 200 jobs over the next decade.

Deputy Mayor Neal is serving as the designated head of the city while Mayor Pete Buttigieg is serving a seven month tour in Afghanistan with the U.S. Navy.

March 13, 2014

News Release

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Lippert Components, Inc., a leading supplier to the recreational vehicle, manufactured housing, and bus industries, will lease the former A.J. Wright Distribution Center, 1902 W. Sample St., adding to South Bend's economic momentum. The company, which employs 5,500 people in 11 states, has committed to adding 180 jobs in South Bend in 2014 and another 200 jobs over the next decade.

"Lippert Components is an ideal company to expand in this prime manufacturing location," says Common Council Member Karen White (At-Large), president of the Urban Enterprise Association. "The jobs LCI creates will benefit all our residents, helping the local economy and the company grow together."

The City will ask the Redevelopment Commission to approve $250,000 from the Airport Economic Development Area TIF to purchase equipment which will be leased to LCI. The City also will seek tax abatements for occupying a vacant building, pending approval by the South Bend Common Council at its March 24 meeting.

"This a good day for the southwest side," says Common Council President Oliver Davis (6th District). "Bringing new life to this facility will provide opportunities for many people and have a multiplier effect on the surrounding area, creating even more jobs."

LCI will sublet half the center to another distribution company with plans to occupy the entire space within five or six years. "We're excited to have this thriving company add to South Bend's manufacturing base," says Scott Ford, Executive Director of Community Investment. "This will be a mutually beneficial relationship for years to come."

Founded in 1956, LCI is a subsidiary of Drew Industries, and leader in products including slide-out mechanisms, upholstered furniture, windows and doors, leveling and stabilization equipment, suspension enhancement products, electronics, and awnings.

"This is another sign of South Bend's comeback," Deputy Mayor Mark Neal says. "To have a

company like LCI choose to expand here speaks to the economic opportunity the city offers."

Source: The City of South Bend

Editor's Notes: A previous version of the news release from the City of South Bend stated "LCI has signed commitment letter with the State of Indiana to lease the space for a minimum of 12 years." A spokeswoman with the Indiana Economic Development Corp. says the organization is unaware of such an arrangement.

News Release

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (March 13, 2014) – Lippert Components, Inc., a subsidiary of Drew Industries Incorporated (NYSE: DW), announced plans today to expand its operations here, creating up to 200 new jobs by 2019.

The Elkhart County-based company, a tier-1 supplier of components for recreational vehicles, manufactured homes and other industries, plans to invest $6 million to lease and equip a 500,000 square-foot facility at 1902 W. Sample St. in South Bend, formerly the A.J. Wright Distribution Center. The facility, which is expected to be operational this year, will primarily centralize warehousing and distribution operations.

“The RV industry has found a strong home here in the Hoosier State,” said Governor Mike Pence. “Lippert Components' repeated selection of Indiana—including its parent company’s recent move to bring its headquarters here—shows why Indiana is a state that works. With our low taxes and affordable economic climate, Indiana businesses are able to keep costs down and employ Hoosiers who are prepared to get to work and keep our economy moving forward.”

Just last fall, Pence joined executives from Drew Industries, Lippert Components’ parent company, to celebrate the company’s opening of its new headquarters in Indiana. In April 2013, the RV components manufacturer announced plans to invest $12.75 million to relocate its headquarters from White Plains, N.Y. to Elkhart, Ind. and expand its manufacturing operations in Goshen and Elkhart, creating up to 800 new jobs by 2017.

“We are excited about the opportunities that South Bend, Ind. brings to Lippert Components,” said Scott Mereness, president of Lippert Components. “We feel that this new facility allows us to better serve our customers, both inside and outside Elkhart County. The space at this facility also provides us room for future growth. Further, expanding into South Bend allows us to tap into an entirely new pool of talented employees.”

With more than 5,200 full-time employees across the country, Lippert Components currently has approximately 4,000 employees in Indiana. The company will begin hiring for this facility in St. Joseph County over the coming months.

Founded in 1956, Lippert Components supplies components for recreational vehicles, manufactured homes, buses, trailers used to haul boats, livestock, equipment and other cargo, truck caps, modular housing and factory-built mobile office units. From 32 factories located throughout the United States, the company’s products include steel chassis; vinyl and aluminum windows and screens; slide-out mechanisms and solutions; axles and suspension solutions; furniture and mattresses; thermoformed bath, kitchen and other products; manual, electric and hydraulic stabilizer and lifting systems; chassis components; entry, baggage, patio and ramp doors; entry steps; awnings; electronics; aluminum extrusions and other accessories. The company also supplies certain products to the aftermarket.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Lippert Components Manufacturing, Inc. up to $850,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $70,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The city of South Bend will consider additional incentives.

“This is another sign of South Bend’s comeback,” said South Bend Deputy Mayor Mark Neal. “To have a company like LCI choose to expand here speaks to the economic opportunity the city offers.”

About Lippert Components

From 32 factories located throughout the United States, Lippert Components, Inc. (LCI®), a subsidiary of Drew Industries Incorporated (NYSE:DW), supplies a full line of components for the leading manufacturers of recreational vehicles and manufactured homes. In addition, Lippert Components manufactures components for adjacent industries including buses; trailers used to haul boats, livestock, equipment and other cargo; modular housing; and factory-built mobile office units. Lippert Components products include steel chassis; vinyl and aluminum windows and screens; slide-out mechanisms and solutions; axles and suspension solutions; furniture and mattresses; thermoformed bath, kitchen and other products; manual, electric and hydraulic stabilizer and lifting systems; chassis components; entry, baggage, patio and ramp doors; entry steps; awnings; electronics; aluminum extrusions; and other accessories. Additional information about Lippert Components and its products can be found at www.LippertComponents.com.

About IEDC

Created in 2005 to replace the former Department of Commerce, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation is governed by a 12-member board chaired by Gover