RED BAY | Citing challenges within the recreational vehicle industry and a need to focus on its core motorized RV business, Tiffin Group announced to suppliers, dealers and employees Monday morning the company plans to cease production of the Vanleigh RV (VLRV) line of towable recreational vehicles.
A letter dated Monday, Jan. 9 from Tiffin Group President Leigh Tiffin stated the company was having to make the decision to better position itself for the future.
“The Tiffin Group and its subsidiaries have adapted to challenging recreational vehicle market conditions over the last several months. Elevated inflation, rising interest rates, higher fuel prices and a weakening stock market have affected the RV industry,” the letter stated. “Certain products we offer have been impacted more than others, and this reality has forced us to carefully assess how to position our business for the future. After thorough evaluation, it is with deep sadness that we have made the decision to restructure the organization by discontinuing operations at Vanleigh RV.”
The letter was in association with a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) act announcement to Vanleigh’s employees. Although an official count of employees affected was not immediately available, it is believed the plant employed more than 100 people at its location in Burnsville, Miss. The factory had seen layoffs in the second half of 2022, with 43 people laid off on September 22, 2022.
The letter from Tiffin Group stated the company will provide resources to the individuals affected by the VLRV closure in their search for new employment and would abide by the WARN status and maintain all current VLRV employee benefits until March 10, 2023. The Mississippi Department of Employee Security’s rapid response teams are available to answer any questions regarding future planning for employees, including unemployment benefits, training, resume assistance and career planning, the letter stated.
Tiffin stated in the letter that the decision was made more difficult by his own connection to the plant. The company was launched in 2014 by Leigh Tiffin and his father, Van Tiffin.
“I, along with our team, loyal customers, dealer network, and supplier partners have invested countless hours and tremendous energy over the years to help make Vanleigh a prominent luxury fifth wheel brand in the marketplace,” Tiffin said in the letter. “Nevertheless, market realities couple with dealer calls for us to focus on our core business of motorized product offerings have led us to the conclusion that we must shift course and streamline our business.”
Tiffin said all VLRV product warranties would be honored, and customer service would still be offered as the company had moved last year to integrate VLRV service operations with existing Tiffin service operations and customer care.