The Elkhart County Council gave initial approval Saturday to a tax phase-in for a $6 million RV factory being built in northwest Elkhart.
This story by Jordan Fouts originally appeared in The Elkhart Truth.
The council passed a declaratory resolution to establish an economic revitalization area at the site of East to West and North to South Inc., to be built at County Road 6 and County Road 101. The plant would employ 325 people on a payroll of $16.9 million and could potentially employ twice as many if it expands further in the future, according to Mark Dobson, president of the Economic Development Corp. of Elkhart County.
He said the company started out as an independent operation but is now a division of Forest River. It represents a new way to do things, he noted, with a simplified plan that results in better quality.
“It’s a simplification of the manufacturing process, simplification of the floor plans, especially at an entry level, that should result in a higher-quality recreational vehicle,” Dobson said. “It cuts down on the flaws as they come out of the factory.”
The simplified plan also results in a lower cost for the vehicle, he continued.
“In a trailer operation there are 28 different floor plans with 50 different color combinations. You could imagine what that does to the cost and quality situation when you have so many variations coming down the line,” Dobson said. “There will be fewer floor plans, fewer options, it should streamline the manufacturing process (and) bring something to the market at a little bit lower cost than the competition, and I think it represents kind of a strengthening of the RV process.”