A major contingent of venerable and highly respected shuttle bus brands is now under the banner of another pioneer manufacturer, Forest River Inc., of Elkhart, Indiana, a Berkshire Hathaway company. Established in 1996 to manufacture recreational vehicles, the company later added shuttle buses in addition to its lines of pontoon boats and cargo trailers.
In a transaction announced in early May, REV Group Inc., of Milwaukee, a leading manufacturer of specialty commercial vehicles, handed over its shuttle bus business in its entirety to Forest River, which includes ElDorado National-Kansas and Champion Bus, as well as Federal Coach, World Trans, Krystal and Goshen, manufactured in Imlay City, Michigan, and Salina, Kansas.
Shared history, reputation
REV Group is a leading manufacturer and distributor of specialty vehicles for public service use that include fire trucks, ambulances, street sweepers and yard trucks, as well as consumer leisure and recreational vehicles. Several REV Group brands date back more than 50 years.
Collectively, these leading brands share a history of more than 60 years and a reputation for performance, product quality and unique features that have revolutionized this industry sector, while both manufacturers have enjoyed strong and lasting relationships with their customers.
“Both Forest River and REV Group have achieved a reputation for integrity, excellence and innovation,” said Forest River President David Wright. “The opportunity to add these iconic brands to the Forest River product line greatly enhances our capability to create customer experiences second to none.”
Focus on core vehicles
REV Group says it will use the proceeds from this transaction to pay down outstanding debt and focus solely on its founding core of fire emergency, commercial and recreational vehicles.
“The divestiture of our shuttle bus business provides an opportunity to improve our portfolio profitability,” said REV Group President and CEO Rod Rushing. “We are committed to improving our operations to achieve best-in-class performance in each of our current business segments.”
Rushing expressed his appreciation for the many years of hard work and dedication from the shuttle bus employees and wished them success in their future endeavors.