A Bright Future
Posted on Feb 18, 2011
Shaking Off The Recession: Manufacturing Business
By Holly Menino at KEZI 9 News – Aired on February 15, 2011
LANE COUNTY, Ore. — From the RV industry to semiconductor plants, manufacturing companies crumbled under the weight of the so-called Great Recession.
As the American economy recovers, manufacturing companies are starting to rebuild. The recession hit the motor coach industry like a tidal wave and wiped out dealerships and manufacturers.
“It was devastating to the RV industry, but the RV industry is coming out of it,” said Ron Lee, President of Country Coach Corp.
Lee is the new owner of Country Coach.
“I was here in the beginning when we were called Country Camper, and I just have this, I guess it’s a passion for this company,” Lee said.
Lee retired from Country Coach in 1995.
In 2008, the company started to experience rough water that would soon turn into bankruptcy and eventually Country Coach would go out of business and an auction of its assets.
With a new purpose and a new plan, Lee came back in hopes to rescue the drowning company.
“I came back for the auction and purchased the intellectual property and the equipment that I needed,” Lee said.
With that equipment, Lee threw a life preserver to Country Coach. His employees are now building coaches on an order basis.
“We now can build any part of a Country Coach, including doing it totally, but we still have excess space,” Lee said.
As for that extra space and the 15 employees he needs to pay, he’s using something he calls “incubator companies” to build a life raft.
“We have two of those coming on right now,” Lee said.
Those incubator companies help Lee broaden his base and keep that life raft afloat, which is a method other manufacturers are employing as well.
Country Coach is building again with future plans to build sustainable coaches.
“If you have some sort of faith in mankind and especially this American spirit, you have to know that it’s going to come back and it’s going to come back stronger than ever, and I just want to be there when it happens,” Lee said.
Through innovation, creativity and a lot of determination, these manufacturers are shaking off the recession.