Middlebury, Indiana-based Grand Design Recreational Vehicles marked production of its 100th Solitude luxury fifth-wheel trailer built with an employee luncheon at its manufacturing complex.
In addition, the recreational vehicle start-up company celebrated two additional noteworthy milestones: hiring of the company’s 100th employee and the company’s 100th day of delivery to dealerships, according to a news release.
“The number 100 is a very special number for us today. Not only are we celebrating the production of 100 Solitude fifth wheels, we have also delivered products to our dealers for 100 days, and last week we hired our 100th employee, said Don Clark, president and co-owner of Grand Design.
“Dealer and retail response to the Solitude fifth wheel has been overwhelming and continues to create need for our increased production volume.”
“Here’s what you did: 100 units in 100 days, all the same model… one color, built one way, that really can’t happen in our industry, but you’re doing it,” he said.
Clark and Bill Fenech, on behalf of themselves and fellow co-owner Ron Fenech who was out of town, thanked the Grand Design employees for all they have done during the start- up phase and for helping make this dream a reality.
“A company truly is only as good as its people,” Clark added.
“We have been blessed with great people and all of you are making Grand Design a great company.”
Clark thanked employees for their hard work and gave them a progress report of the company, as well a history of how it came to be.
Clark and co-founders Bill and Ron Fenech started the company after leaving their positions as brand presidents for Thor Industries. The company began with “a vision” Clark said, being born out of a conversation at a restaurant.
They decided right then and there to start their own RV Company, Grand Design RV.
According to Clark, Grand Design is different because of company’s strategy with its product line.
“A lot of companies out there will attack markets five or six dealers at the same price point, but we decided that we would have one dealer in each market that sells our entire line,” he said. Eventually they will have six products at different price points. Currently the company is producing one product line called Solitude.
Bill Fenech said that the company launched October 1 last year.
“Louisville (the National RV Trade Show) was really our coming out party,” Clark said.
At that show the company held an informal presentation for dealers, expecting around 30 or 40 dealerships to attend.
“Over 100 dealers ended up showing up,” Clark said.
Since then they have been busy keeping up with dealer demand, while serving their customers with a product the company feels is customer-friendly.
“We’re allowing the retail consumer to design our product,” he said.
“If you just listen they’ll tell you what they want and then they’ll vote on it with their checkbooks.”
Addressing employees, Clark laid out the company’s achievements over the short time the company has been around.
Grand Design RV
Grand Design RV is a privately owned company founded by friends Don Clark and brothers Ron and Bill Fenech (each having over 25 years of experience in the RV industry).
Bill Fenech was a founder of Keystone and also was president of Thor Motor Coach when he left to start Grand Design. Don Clark was president of Dutchmen, Komfort, and Breckenridge Group, and Ron Fenech was president of all of the RV companies for Thor when the trio left.
Grand Design RV Company has over 400,000 square feet of manufacturing facilities located on 67 acres in the rural community of Middlebury, Indiana.
Address: 11333 County Road 2, Middlebury, IN 46540
Phone: (574) 825-8000
Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.