Internet – March, 20, 2015:
A Heartfelt THANK YOU From Peterson Industries
Dear Excel Family Members,
Peterson Industries, Inc. has been a pillar of the RV industry and our community for nearly 50 years. Founded in 1966 by Vaughn & Leonard Peterson, the Excel brand has survived crisis upon crisis and always bounced back. Beginning with the fuel shortages in 1974, when people stood in line for hours just to get gas. Followed by the interest crisis of 1979, when interest rates jumped to a staggering 21%.
Next, we had a fire in 1983 that burned our main plant to the ground. Operating out of 5 locations around Smith Center, we produced our 1st unit within 30 days after the fire.
Then came 9/11 and the softening of the RV markets during the Gulf war.
And finally, the greatest recession to hit America since the 1930’s, caused by the sub-prime mortgage crisis that began in 2007 and lasted for a staggering 6 years for the RV industry. Coming into the 2007 recession, Peterson Industries was positioned quite well to sustain a moderate downturn. This however, was in no way “moderate”! The recession began with approximately 15 RV manufacturers building in the “high end” market, until finally there were only 2 left. DRV and Excel.
After a diligent search seeking a buyer or investor proved fruitless, I am so sorry to say that the last 7 years has left Peterson Industries undercapitalized and unable to continue.
Therefore, we regret to inform you, our valued family members that Peterson Industries is closing our doors, effective immediately.
On behalf of Vaughn, Duana, Bryan, Curtis, and all the employees, we want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank you for your loyalty and for giving us an opportunity to be a part of your lives.
Words cannot express our gratitude… We will miss you all so very much!
A side note from Jack and Niki
proud owners of an Excel 5th Wheel
We had to buy an Allegro Motorhome and a larger (38′) Coachmen RV before we made the right decision and purchased our Excel 30RSO. It is solidly and thoughtfully built to withstand the 4-Seasons and full-time on-the-road RV living. There are very few manufactures left building them that way. We are glad we have one and thank the good folks in Smith Center, Kansas that built it. We wish you each and all the best as you take your impressive talents to new companies. -Jack & Niki