Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Winnebago announces new president for struggling towable division

Posted on Jan. 16, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Jan. 16, 2013 at 6:44 p.m.

ELKHART — Winnebago Industries announced new leadership for its locally based towable RV segment.

Johnny Hernandez, 56, is now president of Winnebago Industries Towables, according to an announcement from the Forest City, Iowa-based RV company.

”I am truly excited to be heading up the Towable group of Winnebago Industries,” said Hernandez in the written announcement.

“Winnebago Industries is a world-class company that is recognized globally for its products, quality, and award-winning service. I am honored to be working with the best workforce in our industry towards our goal of providing innovative quality towable products that will live up to the legendary Winnebago name,” he said.

“The marriage of Sunnybrook and Winnebago created a company that has an historic reputation for not sacrificing quality for quantity with a brand that is iconic throughout the world and not just the RV industry. During my tenure within the RV industry, I have worked with some very good companies and been involved with some very successful products but I have never before witnessed the enormous potential that lies before our company, our employees and our dealers,” Hernandez said.

The company reported last month that in the first fiscal quarter of this year, the towable line — started in 2011 — lost $1.4 million, and the company noted significant management changes.

In Wednesday’s announcement, Winnebago said Hernandez’s predecessor, Elvie Frey, “resigned to pursue other interests.”

Hernandez comes with 38 years of experience in the industry, moving up from his position as vice president of sales and product management for Winnebago Industries Towables.

Before joining Winnebago, he worked with Coachmen, Thor’s Aero Coach, Fleetwood Enterprises and founded and ran Frontier RV.