WAKARUSA — Elkhart-based Thor Industries is expanding its footprint in Wakarusa, announcing the acquisition of Livin’ Lite RV Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 27.
“We are pleased to welcome Livin’ Lite to the Thor family of RV brands. Adding such a creative RV maker to Thor’s strong stable of brands will enable us to expand our industry-leading position in new product development into camping trailers and truck campers,” said Bob Martin, Thor president and chief executive officer, in the announcement. “We see many opportunities for expanding Livin’ Lite’s market presence through the Thor dealer network, and the ability to leverage their lightweight aluminum and composite construction technology in other Thor products. This transaction represents a solid example of executing our strategic plan to grow our RV presence through the acquisition of brands and technologies that complement our existing business.”
Founded by former Heartland executive Scott Tuttle, Wakarusa-based Livin’ Lite is known for its advanced lightweight aluminum construction applied to a variety of smaller RVs, including travel trailers, toy haulers, camping trailers and truck campers.
Livin’ Lite also markets its products in partnership with a number of leading consumer brands including Jeep.
Tuttle’s company was recently named to Inc. magazine’s list of fastest growing companies for the third consecutive year, with the magazine and now Thor projecting Livin’ Lite to generate sales of approximately $24 million for calendar year 2013.
“We are excited to join forces with Thor, the leading company in the RV industry, and we are looking forward to the new growth opportunities we should see as a result,” said Tuttle, the president and CEO of Livin’ Lite. “We have worked diligently to grow Livin’ Lite over the past five years and expect to extend that growth as we bring the distribution, operational and financial strengths of Thor to bear on our business,” Tuttle said in the announcement.
“As the newest company to join Thor, we also expect to add to our combined development efforts as we apply our proprietary technology to a broader array of existing product lines and bring our combined market strength to camping trailers and truck campers,” he said.
Thor expects to offer Livin’ Lite’s current 35 models to its current dealer network upon closing of the transaction, which is set to close. The company expects Livin’ Lite will continue to operate out of its existing Wakarusa facilities with minimal disruption to its current business resulting from the acquisition.
In June Thor announced it would be taking over the old Monaco Coach campus in Wakarusa after Allied Specialty Vehicle acquired Monaco and Holiday Rambler from Navistar and decided to move production to Decatur. Thor plans to add production capacity for Thor Motor Coach and paint capacity for Keystone RV.