Forest River acquires Imlay and Kansas-based plants
IMLAY TWP. — For the second time in seven years, Champion Bus has been sold. According to a press release issued Friday by REV Group, the Milwaukee-based company had divested it’s shuttle bus business and sold those divisions to Forest River, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.
REV Group said the sale for an undisclosed amount would allow their company to improve their portfolio profitability and reduce debt.
“I appreciate the hard work and dedication of our shuttle business employees and wish them success, said Rod Rushing, REV Group’s President and Chief Executive officer.
Along with the Imlay City facility, Forest River also acquires REV’s ElDorado bus plant in Salina, Kansas.
Last month, REV said that approximately 170 people were employed at Champion Bus. According to a phone recording sent to Champion employees, the plant is temporarily closed due to vendor and chassis shortages but Forest River plans to use that time to transition all paperwork and procedures to the new owners.
REV Group, then known as ASV, acquired Champion Bus back in 2013 from Thor Industries.
In a press release, Forest River said they valued the product quality and reputation for performance of their newly-acquired brands.
“We are excited to welcome Champion Bus and ElDorado to Forest River. Both organizations have built a history of integrity, quality, and innovation and enjoy an excellent reputation in our industry today,” said company official David Wright.
“As we navigate these challenging times, the addition of these historic and iconic brands to the Forest River family enhance our ability to provide products and a customer experience that is second to none. We look forward to working with our dealer partners as we better position Forest River’s shuttle bus divisions for the future.”
The sale encompasses six brands of shuttle buses utilized by colleges, churches, assisted living facilities, retirement communities, transportation companies and government agencies.
Forest River is based in Elkhart, Indiana and also makes recreational vehicles, cargo and utility trailers and pontoon boats. Their existing shuttle bus brands include Battisti Customs, Berkshire Coach, Elkhart Coach, Glaval Bus, Starcraft Bus and StarTrans Bus.