Inside INdiana Business

Northern Indiana RV startup plans $4M investment to grow business

(Aug. 2021) Aerial view of Ember Recreational Vehicle's new facility in Bristol. (photo provided)

BRISTOL, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A new competitor in northern Indiana’s vast recreational vehicle industry has announced plans to invest $4 million to grow operations in the Elkhart County town of Bristol and add 150 jobs by the end of 2023. Ember Recreational Vehicles Inc., a startup RV manufacturer, is entering the marketplace with lightweight travel trailers for off-road and off-grid capabilities.

The company says it is building an 88,000 square foot plant, an upgrade from its current 18,000 square foot facility in Bristol. Ember expects to complete the construction project next month.

The company was founded earlier this year by Ashley Bontrager Lehman, the granddaughter of Jayco Inc. founders Lloyd and Bertha Bontrager. Jayco is now a subsidiary of Elkhart-based Thor Industries. (NYSE: THOR)

“The craftsmanship, dedication and work ethic of the local workforce has proven, over decades, to be unmatched,” said Lehman, Ember president and chief executive officer. “We strongly felt to build a better RV, we need to build a better RV company first. We’re excited to bring a fresh approach to the RV Industry and where better to do it than Indiana?”

Ember says it has started the prototype process and has already hired two dozen workers. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered Ember RV up to $1 million in conditional tax credits based on job creation plans. IEDC says the town of Bristol is also offering incentives valued at $425,000.

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