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Winnebago Suspends Production of RVs, Boats

Winnebago Industries will shut down its factories in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The shutdown will affect at least three factories in Indiana, one in Iowa, and a Chris-Craft factory in Sarasota, Florida.

Winnebago Industries is one of the largest manufacturers of recreational vehicles in the United States. It owns and produces Winnebago, Grand Design, and Newmar RVs, motorhomes, and trailers. It also owns Chris-Craft, a renowned powerboat manufacturer.

Today, the brand announced it will halt production at all its facilities due to COVID-19. “As this global situation continues to rapidly evolve, our top priority is the health and well-being of our employees, business partners, customers, and communities,” said Michael Happe, Winnebago Industries president and CEO.

“We are also seeing demand for our products shift dramatically as the nation takes appropriate action to curb the spread of the coronavirus.”

Winnebago 3-Week Closure

The closure will affect all its factories, which are based in Forest City, Iowa; Nappanee, Indiana; Middlebury, Indiana; and Sarasota, Florida. The temporary suspension of “most production activities at the company’s Winnebago, Grand Design RV, Newmar, and Chris-Craft facilities” will last through April 12.

The company also has facilities in Oregon and Minnesota. It’s unclear how the closure will affect non-production facilities at this time.

“These steps are designed to lower the probability of coronavirus exposure to employees and adjust future production output relative to a fast-changing demand landscape for the company’s products,” Winnebago Industries said in a press release.

The company will provide base pay and benefits for employees and their families for the first 2 weeks.

“As we take precautionary measures in the best interest of both our employees’ health and our long-term business prospects, we remain confident in the strength of our balance sheet and in our cash position to allow us to provide the appropriate pay and benefits to our employees and weather a period of business interruption from this health crisis,” Happe said.

Sean McCoy
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Editor-in-Chief Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in GearJunkie's Denver office, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.

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