At Guaranty RV, we’re proud to be a longtime Winnebago dealership. We’ve said this before, and we’ll no doubt say it again: Winnebago Industries is one of the most beloved and trusted RV manufacturers in the United States. Winnebago is a name that is iconic in the world of RVing. Founded in 1958, their RVs regularly win the RV Dealers Association Quality Circle Award and Motorhome Magazine’s annual Reader’s Choice Award. Their commitment to consistently outstanding quality and design makes it easy for us to recommend Winnebago motorhomes in every class—whether you’re looking for that super-fuel-efficient Class B Travato, a family friendly Class C model such as Navion, or the Class A motorhome or luxury diesel pusher of your dreams. And now there’s even more to crow about when it comes to Winnebago RVs! They are rolling their Itasca line back in under the Winnebago name and… drum roll… Winnebago Industries is opening a new manufacturing plant in our hometown of Junction City, Oregon!
Itasca is Rolling Back Into the Winnebago Line
As many of you know, Winnebago introduced the Itasca line in 1975, and they’ve been favorites of lifestyle RVers ever since because of their innovative use of space and the luxury comfort features that have become hallmarks of the brand. The Itasca Class A motorhomes have given lifestyle RVers outstanding amenities, and the Navion Class C motorhome has long been a favorite here at Guaranty with families who are ready for adventure. Now, however, Winnebago has made the decision to bring the Itasca line back under the Winnebago wing. So from now on, our favorite Navions, Sunstars, Sunovas and all the rest will be Winnebagos instead of Itascas—all the same quality, luxury and innovation, except with that classic Winnebago “W.”
This doesn’t mean that the Itasca line is going away. According to RVBusiness.com, which delivers RV Industry news, dealers like Guaranty RV, who used to carry the Itasca Sunstar, now will have the “Sunstar motorhome by Winnebago”. According to Winnebago Industries Vice President of Sales and Product Management, Scott Degnan, this move to bring the Itasca line back home is part of a 2-year initiative to further “strengthen and build the Winnebago brand,” to make sure that when you see a Winnebago, you know what you’re looking at, and that it stands for “quality and longevity.” He says, “Ultimately, we want people to see a motorhome and immediately connect to Winnebago—no stop between.”
With the lean years of the recession behind us at last, and gas prices being lower than ever, baby boomers, camping families, snowbirds and adventure seekers are finding the best RVs increasingly within their reach. As people are seeking out the perfect RV for their unique lifestyle, they’re turning to the RV manufacturers with the most rock-solid reputations. Winnebago is obviously a top contender with more than half a century of expertise, craftsmanship, customer service and awards to prove that they build some of the highest-rated RVs on the roads today.
Not only is this exciting news for the RV industry, it’s particularly good news for Junction City, because with the revival of the RV Industry, Winnebago recently purchased the former Country Coach manufacturing complex just east of Guaranty. They’re bringing RV manufacturing back to our hometown in a big way.
Junction City: Home of the RV
For many years, the area around Junction City was known as a center of RV manufacturing in the United States. The RV industry was the second largest industry in the county, and Junction City was home to both Country Coach and Monaco Coach Corporation. At the height of RV manufacturing, in the early to mid-2000s, the RV industry accounted for almost 8,000 jobs here. Sadly, the recession of 2008 hit RV manufacturing hard, and as Country Coach and Monaco Coach downsized and moved on, many skilled employees lost their jobs. So, to see RV manufacturing coming back to our area, and these talented people being put back to work, is exciting for all of us: RV lovers, families and community members.
Winnebago survived the recession when many other RV companies failed, and now they are ready to bring their business west. The move to Junction City is key to Winnebago’s West Coast expansion (currently all their facilities are in Iowa and Indiana). They intend to build up to 1,000 diesel Class A and Class C motorhomes a year at the new Junction City location, and expect to open the completed manufacturing plant in 2017, with 200 employees.
In the official announcement from Winnebago Industries, John Millis, newly appointed General Manager of the Junction City facility, said, “This is a great opportunity for Winnebago. A great legacy of products have come out of the Junction City area and we look forward to reviving that strong tradition. The region also has a strong workforce possessing many valuable years of RV industry experience.”
This is welcome news. As Lane County Commissioner Jay Bozievich told the Register Guard, “Adding 200 family-wage jobs to a community of 5,000 … is a huge deal for rural Lane County.”
Winnebago also intends to keep the 35 employees that operate the Country Coach RV Service Center at the site, and with a matching grant from Lane Workforce Partnership, will train them to Winnebago’s exacting service standards. Winnebago Vice President, Scott Volkers, said, “We’re very excited to be bringing the Winnebago tradition to Lane County.”
Soon, you’ll be able to get the best Winnebago diesel motorhomes built right here in Junction City, along with the excellent service you’ve come to expect from Winnebago Industries.
Guaranty RV: An Official Winnebago Dealership
Our commitment to our customers has always been to provide the most reliable, hardworking, innovative and comfortable RVs that match your needs and dreams. We constantly keep tabs on what is happening in the industry and we aren’t swayed by what’s beautiful if it’s not also a solid RV that will give you years of travel and camping pleasure. That’s why we’ve been selected as one of the Top 5 Blue Ribbon RV dealers in North America and also why we have such a longstanding dealer relationship with Winnebago Industries: because our commitment is first and foremost to customer satisfaction.
When you’re in the market for a new or pre-owned RV, the best place to look is going to be with the dealers and manufacturers who have been doing it right for decades—the ones who have proven over and over again that they have your best interests at heart. Stop by Guaranty and walk through a Winnebago motorhome to see some of the finest craftsmanship and attention to detail in the industry. And be sure to explore your options in pre-owned vehicles, not just the Winnebagos, but also those Itascas that were built with the same Winnebago standards from 1975 through 2015. Winnebago Industries stands behind their products; it’s no wonder Guaranty and Winnebago get along so well.
If you have any questions, or you’d like to learn more about our Winnebago or Itasca RVs, give us a call.