Cavco’s Rocky Mount Plant Fills Strategic Purpose
The former Fleetwood factory in southern Virginia is playing an increasingly important role in Cavco Industries Inc.’s market strategy by manufacturing a diverse mix of manufactured and park models for a growing dealer base.
Before Phoenix, Ariz.-based Cavco acquired Fleetwood’s housing division two years ago, the Rocky Mount factory only built HUD-code homes, as it had since 1968.
But with the Cavco acquisition, the factory’s product mix now includes not only Fleetwood brand manufactured homes, but Cavco’s own lines of manufactured homes as well as park models, according to a news release.
“We’re pleased with the progress we’ve been making,” said Tom Satterwhite, general manager of the Rocky Mount factory, which employs 60 people.
“We’re happy, too, because the Rocky Mount facility gives us a strategic market reach we didn’t have before,” said Tim Gage, vice president of Cavco’s Specialty Division.
Indeed, prior to the Fleetwood acquisition two years ago, Cavco didn’t have any manufacturing plants along the Eastern Seaboard, a situation that limited its national marketing potential because of the high cost of trucking its products from the factory to the customer. But now that’s no longer an issue and the company is much better to sell its housing products to customers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.
Cavco’s park model lineup is also a new and exciting product that the Rocky Mount factory hadn’t produced before.
Park models are 400-square foot vacation cottages that can be used as weekend retreats or vacation homes and set up on leased or purchased sites in campgrounds, RV parks and resorts. Consumers often buy them for use as a second home, while campgrounds increasingly using them as rental units.
The Rocky Mount factory initially produced custom-designed park model cabins for campgrounds affiliated with Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA). But now the facility produces both cabins and traditional vinyl sided park models for a growing number of independently owned and operated parks as well as KOA brand campgrounds throughout the Eastern U.S.
The factory is also opening up new distribution channels for park models, both through street dealers and at campgrounds that want to sell the products to consumers as weekend retreats or vacation cottages.
“We’re constantly becoming stronger and getting more distribution and more retail turns on our product,” Satterwhite said.
The company is also developing growing number of sales leads through its websites and by participating in a growing number of trade shows, such as the upcoming Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show, which is scheduled Sept. 14-18 in Hershey, Pa., and the National RV Trade Show, which is scheduled for Nov. 29-Dec. 1 in Louisville, Ky., in addition to RV shows in Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh.