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Old 02-17-2017, 01:48 PM   #1
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Default WGO Layoff & Cut Back

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Employees: Layoffs, reduced hours at Winnebago Industries in Forest City | Mason City & North Iowa | globegazette.com


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Old 02-17-2017, 03:11 PM   #2
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Thats too bad. I thought WGO was actually expanding with new models, etc. Maybe the RV bubble is bursting a bit... that would make sense considering now I bought one and prices may come down now...
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Old 02-17-2017, 04:15 PM   #3
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That news report is a bit sketchy but appears to be about the Forest City production facility for Class A and C units, not the Lake Mills facility for Class B.

And it may simply represent a production shift of large Class A's from Forest City to Winnebago's new Junction City plant in Oregon. Reportedly they're just ramping up production of the big units in Junction City now.

Marco's sales reports show Class B units growing at a significant rate, with Winnebago continuing to lead the pack. No guarantee that will continue of course, particularly if a big economic downturn were to occur. But for now the Class B outlook appears to be defined by constrained production capacity, rather than by limited demand.
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Old 02-17-2017, 07:45 PM   #4
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That news report is a bit sketchy but appears to be about the Forest City production facility for Class A and C units, not the Lake Mills facility for Class B.
I agree. TWO (2) people being laid off out of two or three THOUSAND that Winnebago employs, doesn't even seem to be worth writing about..

I've been learning to read news articles and flashy headlines with a bit more pessimism these days....
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Old 02-18-2017, 01:08 AM   #5
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Update: CEO says layoffs temporary, Winnebago committed to Forest City | Mason City & North Iowa | globegazette.com


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Old 02-18-2017, 02:13 AM   #6
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Competitiveness at the expense of employees? Anyone ask what the ROI is to locate HQ in Eden Prairie, MN because perhaps the new CEO lives there?
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Old 02-20-2017, 05:34 PM   #7
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Yeah, it seems kinda petty to lay off a handful of people for a short period, then out of the other side of the mouth complain how hard it is to get workers in northern Iowa for the $12/hr they offer.

If you are supposedly this big "family" of a company, I don't see how you rationalize doing that. Unless of course, it's really all bullshit.
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Old 02-20-2017, 05:54 PM   #8
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I love Winnebago, however feel they are half driving in the breakdown lane. Too many inconsistencies across "classes" and models. ie. Multiplex wiring or not, frameless, or rubber moldings, on demand hot water, or tanks, and perhaps too many model choices within brands. Look at all the "B" units and floorplans. The economics of having so many SKU's ( models) can be financially crippling if you don't stay sharply tuned to actual consumer demand and trends. One example, their new Paseo. Great Ford product with a sleeping platform that will accommodate few, and is impractical. Over at Coachmen, who copied them I presume, their new CrossFit had same lousy sleep arrangement. Low and behold, just after Tampa, they have generated a "FIX" courageously, rather than sticking through a first and miserable launch that one might have expected. New plan, allows for traditional longitudinal sleeping, with 68"W x 76" L. This is how you respond to consumers. I feel Winnebago is dragging their feet a tad too much. I could be wrong, just my observation.
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Old 02-20-2017, 06:13 PM   #9
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I love Winnebago, however feel they are half driving in the breakdown lane. Too many inconsistencies across "classes" and models. ie. Multiplex wiring or not, frameless, or rubber moldings, on demand hot water, or tanks, and perhaps too many model choices within brands. Look at all the "B" units and floorplans. The economics of having so many SKU's ( models) can be financially crippling if you don't stay sharply tuned to actual consumer demand and trends. One example, their new Paseo. Great Ford product with a sleeping platform that will accommodate few, and is impractical. Over at Coachmen, who copied them I presume, their new CrossFit had same lousy sleep arrangement. Low and behold, just after Tampa, they have generated a "FIX" courageously, rather than sticking through a first and miserable launch that one might have expected. New plan, allows for traditional longitudinal sleeping, with 68"W x 76" L. This is how you respond to consumers. I feel Winnebago is dragging their feet a tad too much. I could be wrong, just my observation.
Well, what Coachmen did was debut the new model at a show, and then made some changes based on the feedback. That model was not in production yet, so that is kind of the process, generally speaking. Paseo already had it's debut. It's in production now. WGO seems to like to do running changes in their models during the year for some reason - they have bundled numerous changes and rolled them out together. I'd agree with you that the Paseo bed is a problem and it's a head scratcher as to why that was allowed to continue.

Another thing you have to contend with in a large company like WGO is the "parts bin". Not only utilizing many of the components across all your product lines, but also items you get from 3rd parties that have long lead times. When you dig into the Paseo, you'll see it's a fairly complex build because of the shape of the van. They had to commission all those funky interior panels and the bulkhead pieces are all custom for the Transit. I suspect (but don't know for certain) the bed problem is not an easy fix because of some supplier parts. It also could be that their response will be an alternate floorplan (like when they introduced the K, one year after the G debuted). For now, the Paseo is the 'short person's" van.
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Old 02-20-2017, 08:13 PM   #10
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Thanks for your keen and further insight. I was probably a bit harsh in my comments of WGO. They are great people, but it seems like things operationally over years things get cumbersome naturally.
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