Winnebago Industries is reporting a loss in the first quarter of its fiscal year. The Forest City-based motor home manufacturer says the net loss for the quarter was $9.6 million, compared to a net income of $10 million for the first quarter last year. Winnebago C.E.O. Bob Olson says the trend follows everything that’s going on with the nation’s economy.
He says it’s a very difficult situation for any company building discretionary products for the American consumer, but other more traditional businesses are starting to feel some of the effects of the economy. Olson says he’s keeping the same attitude that he had last quarter, that while things could be a lot better, they certainly could be a lot worse for his company.
He says everybody realizes the tough times right now, but the company is in good financial condition without any debt. Olson says one of the positives in the last quarter for Winnebago was having the company’s new "Via" Class-A motor home be named the "Best in Show" at the annual National R-V Trade Show in Louisville earlier this month.
While most other companies didn’t bring anything new to show off at the show, he says it demonstrates Winnebago is trying to continue to be innovative despite the economy. Olson adds that 2008 has been a tough one on the motor home market overall, as 11 manufacturers connected with the industry have shut their doors for good.