RV Maker to Expand in LaGrange CountyPosted: Updated:
A recreational vehicle manufacturer in Shipshewana is planning to add 125 jobs by 2017. KZRV LP, a subsidiary of Elkhart-based Thor Industries Inc. (NYSE: THO), plans to pump nearly $5 million into a new facility that could be operational next spring. Chief Operating Officer Aram Koltookian says the company considered other locations, including Ohio and Michigan, but the region's "fantastic" work force kept them in Indiana. He also thinks the "ramp up" time in northern Indiana could be quicker than outside the state. October 13, 2014
SHIPSHEWANA, Ind. - KZRV, LP, a maker of towable recreational vehicles (RV), announced plans today to expand its operations in Shipshewana, creating up to 125 new jobs by 2017.
The homegrown-Hoosier company, which is an operating company owned by a subsidiary of Thor Industries, Inc., will invest up to $4.83 million to construct and equip a new 80,750 square-foot dedicated lamination facility in Shipshewana. The facility, which will be fully operational by late spring 2015, will allow the company to increase its production capacity for lamination, aluminum frame welding and towable recreational vehicle assembly.
"The RV industry has deep roots and a proud tradition in Indiana," said Governor Mike Pence. "KZRV's decision to expand in the Hoosier State is a testament to the skill of our workforce, the strength of our infrastructure and our low-tax, pro-growth environment. Not only does Indiana have a great history with the RV industry, but with our ideal business climate, we also have a promising future."
KZRV, which currently employs more than 360 full-time Indiana associates, plans to begin hiring aluminum welders and general assembly workers in late spring 2015. Interested applicants may apply in person at the KZRV human resources office in Shipshewana.
"For more than four decades, KZ has grown its business in northern Indiana, the RV capital of the world, so it is only natural that we would continue to invest in Shipshewana as we continue to grow our business," said Aram Koltookian, chief operating officer at KZ. "The new lamination facility is designed to produce high-quality laminated components and custom aluminum parts that will feed our other towable assembly plants, improving overall efficiency while maintaining the level of quality that KZ is known for in our industry."
KZRV produces a full line of towable RVs, from high-end models like the Durango and Stone Ridge to value lines including Sportsmen Classics. The KZRV complex, with the new addition, now consists of eight buildings covering 530,000 square feet. Since 2000, KZRV has won the RV Industry Association's Quality Circle Award 13 times for dealer satisfaction.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered KZRV, LP up to $1,250,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $21,600 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. LaGrange County will consider additional incentives at the request of the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation.
"We are thrilled that KZRV has chosen to continue to grow in LaGrange County," said Peter Cook, president of the LaGrange County Council. "As one of our largest employers, they have made a large long-term commitment to our community and we are happy to continue to support them."
Indiana leads the nation in RV production, manufacturing almost 80 percent of all RVs in the U.S., according to the RV Industry Association. In 2013, wholesale RV shipments in the U.S. reached their highest levels since 2007 and were up 12 percent from 2012.
KZRV, LP is a leading manufacturer and marketer of towable recreational vehicles that offers unmatched quality and value to consumers in North America. KZ markets a comprehensive product line - which includes travel trailers, fifth wheels and toy haulers - under several highly recognized brand names, including Sportsmen, Spree, Durango, StoneRidge and Inferno, as well as Venture RV brands SportTrek and Sonic. KZ sells it RVs to retail customers through a well-established network of more than 200 dealers across the United States and Canada. Backed by a 40+ year heritage of market leadership, KZ has a sterling consumer and trade brand reputation for integrity, quality, value and service. KZRV, LP's parent company, K.Z., Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Thor Industries, Inc. (NYSE: THO).
Created in 2005 to replace the former Department of Commerce, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation is governed by a 12-member board chaired by Governor Mike Pence. Victor Smith serves as the Indiana Secretary of Commerce and Eric Doden is the president of the IEDC.
The IEDC oversees programs enacted by the General Assembly including tax credits, workforce training grants and public infrastructure assistance. All tax credits are performance-based. Therefore, companies must first invest in Indiana through job creation or capital investment before incentives are paid. A company who does not meet its full projections only receives a percentage of the incentives proportional to its actual investment. For more information about IEDC, visit www.iedc.in.gov.
Source: The Indiana Economic Development Corp.