WinnebagoForest City-based Winnebago Industries is reporting their earnings for the first quarter of their fiscal year dropped from last year.

The motor home manufacturer says net income for the Fiscal 2016 first quarter was $8.6 million compared to $9.9 million for the same period a year ago.

Vice President of Sales and Product Management Scott Degnan says the company is happy despite the slight drop in revenues. He says there were labor constraints in the first quarter that limited what they could do on a top line basis and they are focusing on expanding their margin. Degnan says the solution to that problem hopefully will be moving the production of select diesel products to a 200,000 square-foot facility in Junction City Oregon while expanding at the company’s headquarters at the same time.

Degnan says the company is adapting their production facilities to what consumers want in motor home products today. “Some of those being larger 42 to 45-foot diesel motor homes with a lot of electronics and big rooms that slide in and out,”Degnan says. “We needed to get the complexity out of the Forest City facilities and into a facility that was more conducive designed to build that kind of product.”

He says now that they’ve been able to close on those facilities, the company can grow the volume in Forest City and actually start to produce their core motor homes in a more efficient and effective way. The national motor home trade show in Louisville always takes place right after Thanksgiving and is usually a good barometer for Winnebago’s prospects for the year to come. Degnan says they heard very positive feedback from the dealers this year.

“The comments coming back from our dealers and our suppliers, vendors and actually guests coming through was that was the best display they had ever been a part of,” Degnan says. He says the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association team was giving them a very positive response to their display. He says it makes for a nice springboard heading into the spring season.

(Reporting by Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City)