Despite posting second-quarter losses of more than ten-million dollars, officials with Forest City-based Winnebago Industries are maintaining a positive outlook. C.E.O. Bob Olson says one advantage the recreational vehicle manufacturer will have, once the economy recovers, is that there will be less competition.
Olson says nine R-V manufacturers have gone out of business in the last year and four other "major players" have filed for bankruptcy protection in the last few weeks. He says once the recession is done, Winnebago should have a bigger piece of the pie in the marketplace. Olson says the difference between Winnebago and those manufacturers that went out of business is that Winnebago’s management prepared the company for this fast-moving recession.
He says, "If you didn’t notice that this recession was coming, you didn’t prepare for it and you didn’t start making cuts into your overhead expenses, it caught up with you so fast that by the time you started doing that, it was too late." Olson says the Winnebago team noticed the coming storm early on and started making "corrections" a year ago.
Winnebago lost $10.4 million, or 36-cents per share, in the quarter that ended February 28th. That’s compared to a profit of 2.5 million, or nine-cents per share, in the second quarter of 2008.