Production is in full swing at Heartland Recreation Vehicles LLC’s new plant in Nampa, Idaho, as the company marked a milestone last week with its first unit shipped to Blue Dog RV in nearby Post Falls.
“It was a testament to our Nampa team that we were able to roll out production right on schedule,” reported Coley Brady, vice president of sales for the Elkhart, Ind.-based Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary, in a press release. “We will continue to up production to fulfill our backlog of West Coast orders that currently runs into late August. It’s a significant step and confirms that the Idaho location truly represents a difference maker for Heartland.”
The 248,000-square-foot facility, situated on 25 acres in Nampa, provides Heartland with a gateway into the lucrative West Coast marketplace, eliminating costly freight charges and opening new relationship-building opportunities with key dealers in the region.
”Our overall partnership with Heartland has been strengthened with the addition of the new Idaho manufacturing facility,” noted John Asplund, co-owner of Blue Dog RV, which operates 10 locations in the Northwest states of Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Nevada.
Heartland announced plans for construction of the new facility last September, preluding the Elkhart County RV Open House which annually draws thousands of dealers to the industry’s manufacturing hub in northwest Indiana.
“It was opportune timing for Heartland as dealers head to Open House preparing for the coming year in terms of product selection and which manufacturers they want to do business,” said Chris Hermon, president of the Elkhart, Ind.-based Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary. “We were able to pick up several new dealers, and continue to add to that network, while also better servicing our existing dealers in the region.”
Initially, the Nampa facility will focus on the lightweight laminated Wilderness line, a “feature-rich trailer with an exceptional price point for the West Coast,” according to Brady, with plans to add a second production line for Cruiser RV and Sundance laminated travel trailer lines in early 2017.
“The Wilderness product line is well-suited for the customers in our markets and we anticipate it will be a high-volume brand for our dealerships,” said Asplund.
The Nampa site represents the latest in a series of expansion moves for Heartland, including the acquisition of Cruiser RV LLC and its sister company DRV LLC along with a major expansion focusing on service, parts and administrative operations at its expansive campus in Elkhart.
“The Nampa expansion is an extension of Heartland’s commitment to providing industry-leading response to the needs of our dealer partners, and our owners,” said Hermon. “It significantly expands our supply chain to the West Coast. The travel trailer business is booming and we want to be on the leading edge of that tremendous growth.”