LANSING — State and local officials announced a series of grants and tax incentives for a major Indiana-based recreational vehicle manufacturer to expand in St. Joseph County.
Thor Industries Inc., the parent company of Cruiser RV LLC and Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC, plans to invest $35.9 million for two new manufacturing campuses in the city of Sturgis, state and company officials announced today.
The investment, which is expected to add 450 new jobs, is supported with a pair of $700,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grants for each of the subsidiaries’ facilities. The Heartland RV expansion has also received more than $307,000 in a state Transportation Economic Development Fund grant to support infrastructure improvements with the project. State and local tax abatements have also been approved for the Heartland RV project.
“Michigan’s business climate and highly skilled manufacturing workforce are creating an environment where businesses like Heartland RV and Cruiser RV can thrive and grow, creating good jobs in St. Joseph County,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement. “This is great news for workers, their families and our economy as we continue our economic jumpstart and put Michigan back to work. With the help of companies like Cruiser RV and Heartland RV, we can build back our state’s economy stronger than ever.”
In an announcement on the expansion, state officials noted camping’s role as a key contributor to Michigan’s outdoor recreation economy, and that Michigan is a top five state for RV deliveries, according to industry groups.
“Michigan offers natural beauty that is unrivaled by any other state, and there’s no better way to experience Michigan’s natural wonders than through the joys of camping,” Dave Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan, said in a statement. “We’re pleased to welcome Cruiser and Heartland to Pure Michigan and we look forward to partnering with them as we get more Michiganders into RVs experiencing all the joys that RVing has to offer.”
Company officials said Southwest Michigan was selected over competing sites in Indiana because of the availability of skilled workers.
“Having access to a strong pool of talent was one of the primary reasons we chose Michigan for these expansions,” Ryan Juday, president of Cruiser RV and Heartland RV, said in a statement. “This is an exciting time and we are proud to invest in a state and region that has been supportive in our mission to expand while providing excellent employment opportunities to the community.”
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