Hymer North America lays off entire staff

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Editor’s note: This story was modified to add a statement by a former executive with the company.

KITCHENER, Ontario — Erwin Hymer Group North America has just laid off the entire staff, RV Daily Report has learned.

Several employees and contractors have reached out to RV Daily Report this afternoon to say that all 800 employees have been terminated effective immediately.

“They have messed with 800 or more lives and lied right up to the very end. There was no warning,” one employee said.

Another employee reporting the mass layoff noted that employees were told they were going into receivership, which could signal potential bankruptcy.

There is already talk among suppliers about filing a class action lawsuit against Erwin Hymer Group, which just sold all of its European operation to Thor Industries.

Four weeks ago today, RV Daily Report published a story regarding a financial scandal that rocked Erwin Hymer Group North America, and a few days later, the company admitted to hiring auditors  to review the company’s financial records.

At the time, former CEO Jim Hammill called the story an astonishing fabrication.

Thor Industries subsequently excluded the sale of the North American operation from is purchase of Erwin Hymer Group.

In a message received after this story was first reported, Marcel Champoux, senior director of motorized for Erwin Hymer Group North America, noted the following:

“Why do you have to post what a disgruntled employee has to say, instead of waiting and getting the truth. False news, you take the cake.

“I was employed with Erwin Hymer until today. I can assure you that they did not lie to anybody. If you could not see that this was one of the options, you had to be blind or stupid. Under the circumstances all employees were treated fairly. It is a sad, and unfortunate situation, but the Hymer family is not the guilty party here.”

Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber

A journalist who has covered the recreation vehicle industry since January 2000, Greg Gerber founded RV Daily Report on April Fool's Day in 2009. He also serves as the editor of the publication and website. As an Eagle Scout, he has enjoyed camping for decades and has visited every state except Hawaii. A DODO -- Dad of Daughters Only -- to three young women, he has two grandchildren as well. He currently splits his time between Wisconsin, Texas and Arizona. Greg can be reached at editor@rvdailyreport.com.

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  • Diane says:

    What is going to happen to those who have major warranty work to be done. My electric system and lithium batteries and generator under the hood are totally shot. I can’t even hook it up to shore power (no electric) I have had it in the shop continuously since purchasing the Roadtrek in 2016 (CS Adventurous) Who is going to help those who can’t afford the repairs? Will I be contacted by Erwin Hymer if there is no one to call in Canada? I read dealerships are not honoring the warranties and that you have to pay upfront for the repairs and then get reimbursed by Roadtrek (Erwin Hymer North America). Please follow up on more reports… I hope there are some caring compassionate RV service people that can help those who are in my situation. I can’t even think of selling it because it can’t be camped in.

    • Tami says:

      It is generally against the law for a SELLING dealer to not honor the warranty. That is written into the dealer agreement with the state. Please check with your state’s Department of Licensing. Also if they sold you a “extended warranty” or “aftermarket warranty” they have to honor that as well. Good Luck and don’t believe everything a dealer tells you.

      • Mike says:

        I believe you are right about the extended warranty bit but the original manufacturer”a warranty is what it is. Not a dealer warranty.

        • Tami says:

          Normally if the dealer sold the rig with a “warranty” regardless of who’s warranty it is they can be held liable. These cannot be sold as new because you cannot sell a new vehicle w/o a warranty at least in Washington state. Dealers will have problems selling these rigs “as is” and get top dollar. They could provide an extended warranty to compensate the consumer but then again it still will be a major blow to the dealers that have new inventory. Banks won’t rush in to lend on them either. Def a mess but personally I would be barking up every tree before I would take a huge hit on warranty work. I wouldn’t want to be a Roadtrek dealer right now. Going to get ugly. And how many receivables are dealers holding already for warranty work performed?

  • Barbara McKenzie says:

    I got a call from US dealership where I bought Hymer Aktiv 6 months ago that they won’t do warranty work. They will do work, but I have to pay for it. So much for 6 year warranty! What can owner do?

  • Margo says:

    Greg, I believe the sabotage of Hymer is complete. I wondered what Thor would come up with to keep Hymer off the American market. This is exactly what I expected.

    • Mexray says:

      Hog wash… Thor was originally making its purchase to include the NA operation & backed out when the poo hit the fan up there… What ever one’s opinion of Thor, I believe they have continued to build & market all their RV brand buy outs, keeping their workers, etc… I’ll bet Thor wished to build & market the RT Brand, not discontinue it… You can’t blame Thor for the Hymer-RT management’s ruin of the NA operation… IMHO

    • Varen says:

      Ha! The creativity of conspiracy theorists never ceases to amaze me. How ridiculous. Ever heard of a company doing their due diligence before a major deal? Standard practice. Thor just backed away from this stinking pile of financial excrement after their auditors lifted the cover off of it.

  • ShamselDin Rogers says:

    I went there this afternoon to look to buy, saw the people being laid off, spoke to one, listened to them and took pics. Posted all that on Carado Axion FB group.

  • Dana says:

    Just bought my Hymer 2019 two weeks ago! This is SO WRONG. Dealership should honor a warranty, independent of the Hymer. No questions asked !!!

    • Bill says:

      The dealership does not warrant a thing. The manufacturer does. As it is, the dealers get the raw end of warranty claims as it is. I was at dealer when Coleman/Fleetwood and Weekend Warrior went under. We lost $10k in promised warranty payments. WE ate that. That isn’t right either! Dana, I suggest you start bringing doughnuts to your local RV shop and expect to pay to play. Sad but true.

  • Ronald Burdge says:

    When an Rv manufacturer goes out of business, everyone loses. Here are the thoughts of an Rv Lawyer: it may be upper management’s fault but practically speaking that doesn’t really matter. But let’s not start at the top. The lives most likely disrupted are owner’s whose new Rv warranties are still in effect but are now worthless, and whose lives and plans go up in smoke overnight. Now any service or repair is most likely at your own cost and that could be thousands of dollars on top of the thousands you paid to buy the Rv in the first place. Start planning your maintenance better, get it done regularly and save up for the certainty of future repairs, folks. It sucks, but it is reality. In most situations owners won’t have any legal rights against the selling dealer (read your sales paperwork carefully, talk to a local Contract Law Lawyer in the state where you bought the Rv). And the hundreds of company employees? Bad news. In most cases you won’t be able to do anything but look for unemployment, use your savings to live, and find another job. Even if the company owes you wages or money under an employment contract (which most people don’t have anyway) that is just a claim that will likely end up in a bankruptcy or similar liquidation proceeding. And some companies go out of business without even doing that; they just lock the doors and write out checks to whoever they want until the assets are gone. It could be a mentality of “Let’s pay this supplier so we have a chance of getting new jobs for ourselves, but not pay the last payroll” etc. Filing a lawsuit to stop it probably won’t work because the money and people will be gone before your case even gets to court. Now let’s look at the retail dealers. They are owed for pending warranty claims; good luck. They have expensive new “orphaned” Rv’s sitting on their lots whose disappearing warranties have ripped the heart of of the Rv’s price and, hence, it’s retail value. Get ready for a “fire sale” folks. If a buyer is really good with mechanical things, it will be a good time to buy. If not, we’ll, swear clear of the orphan lot. Either way, a dealer might as well get out a towel because they are going to take a bath, a deep one. Nobody wins when an Rv company goes out of business, except maybe the ones at the top of the corporate ladder who can grab the money and run.

  • Zane says:

    To say that the EHG is not the guilty party here is beyond belief. Where was their due diligence on a subsidiary they wholly owned? There is a number going around that EHGNA was 300 million in debt. Even if it was half that, it did not happen overnight. I work for a North American subsidiary of a privately owned German firm. There’s no way we could get in that situation. EHG is sticking their head in the ground if they say they have no responsibility for this. They’ve ruined the livelihood of 800+ employees, and the dreams of thousands of customers. We love our 2018 SS Agile, but now every time I look at it I see a vehicle with no resale value and wonder what I’m going to do when my Voltstart or Ecotreks or Alde system stop working. Even if I could get them fixed, it’s a choice between that or going on vacation.
    EHG should do the right thing and use their sales profits to make this right…but they won’t.

  • iworkedthere says:

    Scroll down and read the comments. Look for the one from a RV lawyer…Ronald Burdge ….don’t count on getting paid for last week, or any vacation pay guys…..termination means no severance, no retirement packages…..
    My question is this….Since Jim Hammill peach at the Shirley and Rueter plants how great we were doing for years to come, new employees were told to join us because they had a wonderful career ahead of them with Erwin Hymer Group NA, go ahead and buy new homes and new vehicles….. Howard Stratton, at Christmas, said “trailer line was back on track (LMAO) and didn’t know if he could find a golf course big enough for us all for our annual tournament. And don’t forget to join the famous soccer team.” I was in a group with Robert Koats who said, tons of money was coming with Thor. Get ready, things will be great……with all being said, is there a breach of trust litigation opportunity involving a class action lawsuit????
    Oshawa has been given a years notice, we were told in a minute by a lady that you didn’t know and couldn’t hear. Others were told by “some guy in a suit”. Why DID Erwin Hymer allow this to happen for 3 years? Why did the Erwin Hymer family allow THIER upper management to behave recklessly to the point of receivership unless there was deliberate sabotage to put EHGNA out of business? We were doing ok until Erwin Hymer bought out Roadtrek
    Where’s the government intervention for US?? Is it because we don’t have a union to speak loudly for us?? Our scenario has just as much impact as Oshawa to the livelihood for the people in this community.
    Yes, I am a disgruntled ex-employee but I am neither blind nor stupid.

  • Steve St. martin says:

    I would hate to own a Hymer

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