Fleetwood to build RVs in Mexico
Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. will begin production in May in the border town of Mexicali, Mexico of two of its travel trailers sold in the Southwest. Fleetwood becomes the first U.S. company to make RVs in Mexico.
Assembly of two RV models -- Pioneer and Mallard -- will begin in an 80,000 square-foot leased facility with about 150 employees, Lyle Larkin, Fleetwood's vice president and treasurer told the Riverside Press-Telegram. "This will allow us to do one of two things, and maybe both: Price them more competitively or provide ourselves with a higher margin," Larkin said. Fleetwood reportedly pays full-time employees at its Southern California facility about $20 an hour in wages and benefits, but will pay $4 an hour in Mexico.
The news comes six days after the company announced plans to close three of its nine U.S. travel-trailer factories, including a 35-year-old plant in Rialto, Calif., with 429 employees.
According to the Press Telegram, Fleetwood has struggled since 2001 and has admitted to several strategic errors that resulted in losses totaling more than $728.8 million between 2001 and 2006.