Thor Industries

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Thor Industries, Inc.
Traded as NYSETHO
Industry Recreational vehicle (RV)
Founded 1980
(through acquisition of Airstream)
Founder Wade Thompson and Peter Orthwein
Headquarters Elkhart, Indiana, United States
Key people
Wade Thompson (co-founder and CEO)
Peter Busch Orthwein (co-founder and chairman)
Revenue Increase $3.53 billion USD (2014)[1]
$179 million USD (2014)
Number of employees
Subsidiaries See subsidiaries below

Thor Industries, Inc. is an American manufacturer of recreational vehicles.


Thor Industries, Inc. was founded on August 29, 1980, when Wade F. B. Thompson and Peter Busch Orthwein acquired Airstream. The name "Thor" combined the first two letters of each entrepreneur's name. Despite its image, Airstream had not fared well during the economic downturn of the late-1970s. By focusing on improving quality while reducing costs, Airstream returned to profitability in its first year under the new Thor management.

In 1982, Thor purchased the Canadian company, General Coach, which manufactures travel trailers and motorhomes. Also part of this acquisition was Thor America, which manufactures Citation and Chateau travel trailers and fifth wheels.

In 1984, Thor became a public company and in 1986 was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. That same year, Forbes magazine ranked Thor sixth out of the "200 best small companies in America."[2]

In 1991, Thor acquired Dutchmen, a brand of fifth wheel and conventional travel trailers. Four Winds International, manufacturer of class A and C motorhomes, was acquired in 1992. Komfort, a maker of fifth-wheel and conventional travel trailers, and Skamper, a builder of folding camping trailers, became members of the Thor family in 1995.

1996 saw the start up of Thor California and the introduction of the Tahoe and Wanderer brands of trailers and fifth wheels. These products became instant hits among the recreational vehicle (RV) community and the fastest-growing brands on the market.[citation needed]

With the acquisition of Keystone RV in 2001, Damon RV in 2003, and CrossRoads RV in 2004, Thor Industries became the largest RV manufacturer.[3]

In September 2010, Thor Industries' subsidiaries Damon Motor Coach and Four Winds International merged to form Thor Motor Coach. THOR Motor Coach has become the top retail selling motorhome manufacturer in North America.[4] Thor Motor Coach produces several brands of Diesel Pushers, Class A, Class B Plus, Class C Motorhomes that are distributed in the Italy, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, India, Japan, Canada, and the United States.

Thor announced its acquisition of Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC, a privately held RV manufacturer based in Elkhart, Indiana, for $100 million in cash and 4,300,000 shares of Thor Industries, Inc. common stock, subject to adjustment on September 17, 2010. The acquisition, Thor’s first major purchase since 2005 and just two weeks after its 30th anniversary, was rumored for several days.

In May 2013, Thor sold its ambulance manufacturing company, SJC Industries, to Allied Specialty Vehicles, including the McCoy Miller and Marque brands.[5] In August 2013, Thor announced the sale of its bus businesses to ASV as well.[6] Until that time, Thor had been the largest mid-size bus manufacturer, having acquired ElDorado Motor Corp., National Coach, Champion Bus, Heartland and Goshen Coach companies between 1988 and 2012.[7]

Like several other firms in the industry, Thor offers employee incentives based on productivity, with reductions in bonuses based on warranty work. Thor encourages employees to be actively involved in community programs and Thor executives serve on the boards of numerous civic organizations.


Recreation vehicles

  • Airstream
  • THOR Motor Coach
  • Breckenridge
  • CrossRoads RV
  • Dutchmen RV
  • Redwood RV
  • Keystone RV
  • KZ RV
  • Heartland RV
  • Livin Lite RV
  • Bison Coach

Motorized recreation vehicles (motorhomes)

  • Airstream
  • Thor Motor Coach (combined Four Winds International and Damon Motor Coach)

Former subsidiaries[edit]

Commercial bus


  1. ^ "Form 10-K". Retrieved 2015-05-01. 
  2. ^ "History of Thor Industries, Inc. – FundingUniverse". Retrieved 2015-05-01. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ Data provided by Statistical Surveys (January 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012)
  5. ^ "Allied Specialty Vehicles, Inc. Acquires Ambulance Manufacturer SJC Industries" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-05-01. 
  6. ^ "Thor Sells Bus Business - Newsroom - Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick". Retrieved 2015-05-01. 
  7. ^ "Thor Industries - About Thor - Our History". Retrieved 2015-05-01. 

External links[edit]