The new owner of Foretravel Motorhomes is starting out up close and personal with his new acquisition. Lyle Reed and his wife Nell not only own a Foretravel, but they're currently living in it on the company's backlot.
Nell Reed places an 'Open' sign in the front window letting other Foretravel customers that she can receive visitors. "This is what i really enjoy. This is a vanity he put in for me," points out Reed. Nell Reed's husband helped design their Foretravel, a purchase they made after looking up motorhomes in the phone book.
Today Lyle Reed is restructuring the company he now owns. "We now we got our work ahead of us because anytime you have difficulty quality loses its edge and we're going to restore that edge," Reed says before a group of customers.
That reassurance is important for Foretravel customers who can afford the half a million dollar coaches. David Hennicke from a Chicago suburb said, "We as customers were concerned about the company going to the point where they wouldn't be able to complete our warranty work on our coaches that type of thing, but we're very happy now with the new people in there and hoping they're going to do a great job."
Foretravel employees we talked with have mixed emotions about the ownership change. Randy Cox shared, "I believe it's a step in the right direction. I really liked working for the Fores, but you now time comes for change."
Reed's immediate goal is to get as many of the 150 laid off workers back on the production line as possible. Reed wouldn't disclose what it's costing to restore the company, but shared he needed to go looking for more investors.
"Some of these shelves are pretty bare and then we have to call back the workers in an orderly way so when they come here there's something for them to do," explained Reed.
Reed has confidence good times are ahead. He noted three things before deciding on the purchase. "One is the heritage and reputation of Foretravel and second the dedication of its workers and then third Foretravel has the most loyal customers you'll find in any production market."
The designs Reed placed in his own motorhome could very end up in future models. He hopes to introduce a prototype in a couple of years.