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RV maker to grow, add 200 jobs

Statement distributed Friday by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation:

LAGRANGE, Ind. (Sept. 8, 2011) – Cruiser RV, LLC, a lightweight travel trailer manufacturer, announced today that it will expand its operations here, creating up to 200 new jobs by 2014.

The company will invest more than $850,000 to lease a 140,000 square-foot LaGrange manufacturing facility, add machinery for a new production line and make infrastructure improvements. The new space is located near its existing manufacturing facility and headquarters in Howe.

“Cruiser RV continues to find new ways to grow and that is why they are leaders in this industry,” said Governor Mitch Daniels. “Companies that innovate and expand will find no better home to do so than Indiana. We look forward to the opportunities Cruiser RV is creating for themselves and for Hoosier workers.”

Cruiser RV, which currently has 140 full-time Indiana employees, will begin the hiring process for new manufacturing and administrative positions this month. The company plans on commencing production at the facility by the end of the year.

“We simply were busting at the seams in our current Howe, Ind. facility and faced making a big decision,” said Jeff Fought, president of Cruiser RV. “We’ve been a single plant organization since our inception, but we feel this is the logical next step for us. The LaGrange plant will give us the needed flexibility to expand our current product offering, while reducing our lead time during the peak selling season and improving overall product quality. We’re proud to be expanding in LaGrange County.”

Formed in 2003, Cruiser RV has grown from making five trailers a week to making more than 20 a day. The company currently produces four lightweight brands of towable travel trailers: Fun Finder X, ViewFinder, Shadow Cruiser and Fun Finder XTRA toy haulers.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Cruiser RV, LLC up to $1,750,000 in performance-based tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. The town of LaGrange will consider additional tax abatement and tax increment financing (TIF) bonds at the request of the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation.

“We are extremely happy to support Cruiser RV as they continue their growth here in LaGrange County,” said Keith Gillenwater, executive director of the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation. “The town of LaGrange wants to support this growing company any way we can and we are thrilled that they chose our town in which to locate their second facility.”

Cruiser RV’s announcement comes on the heels of several recent RV manufacturer jobs announcements in northern Indiana. In August, Monaco RV announced plans today to relocate all motor coach manufacturing operations from Coburg, Ore. to Wakarusa, creating up to 400 new jobs by 2012. Also, Spartan Motors announced plans in June to relocate its Utilimaster RV manufacturing operations from Michigan to Wakarusa, creating up to 60 new jobs by 2012.

About Cruiser RV

Cruiser RV, LLC is an industry leader in lightweight, towable travel trailers. Family owned, Cruiser RV is headquartered in Howe, Ind. and produces four brands of RV’s, including the Fun Finder X, Fun Finder XTRA, ViewFinder and Shadow Cruiser. Cruiser RV is a sister company to high-end fifth wheel manufacturer, DRV Luxury Suites.

About IEDC

Created by Governor Mitch Daniels in 2005 to replace the former Department of Commerce, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation is governed by a 12-member board chaired by Governor Daniels. Mitch Roob serves as the chief executive officer of the IEDC. For more information about IEDC, visit www.iedc.in.gov.

About LCEDC

The LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation, established in 2009, is a 501(c) 3 corporation designed to assist business development needs. The LCEDC partners with local, regional, state, and federal agencies to attract, retain, and develop new businesses and entrepreneurs in LaGrange County and its communities. For more information about the LaGrange County EDC, please visit www.lagrangecountyedc.com.

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