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Owner closes Elkhart Monaco RV plant, idling 85

– The owner of Elkhart’s Monaco RV plant closed the factory’s doors Monday, idling 85 permanent employees and turning away those who arrived for work in the morning.

WSJV-TV reported that when employees arrived for work Monday, security guards informed them that the plant had been shut down and gave them copies of a letter saying owner Allied Specialty Vehicles had decided to exit the market for towable recreational vehicles produced by the plant.

The plant had produced the R-Vision and Holiday Rambler towable RV models, said Melissa Schober, an office manager at Orlando, Fla.-based Allied Specialty Vehicles.

“There is no change to our other motorized RV business, which is growing and profitable, including American Coach, Fleetwood RV, Holiday Rambler and Monaco,” Schober said, reading from a statement. “We will continue to honor our warranty obligations for our towable products.”

Employees were told they will receive a check for 60 days’ severance pay on Feb. 28 and can keep their insurance through April 10.

Allied bought financially troubled Monaco last May from Navistar International Corp. It then closed Monaco’s factory in Wakarusa, near South Bend, and shifted its production work to Decatur, about 20 miles south of Fort Wayne.

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