Country Coach out to hit the road again

Country Coach out to hit the road again »Play Video
Ron Lee

JUNCTION CITY, Ore. - The re-born Country Coach includes a 100,000 square foot warehouse with eight service bays, a temporary cabinet shop and nine paint booths capable of painting 15 motor homes a day.

"We intend on painting a lot here," said CEO Ron Lee.

Lee came out of 16 years of retirement to turn the company around.

The new Country Coach opened its doors Jan. 3. It now employs 11 people with a combined 245 years of experience.

Terry Keeler started working for Country Coach when he was 18. Keeler said he didn't hesitate to return to the company.

"I've worked with Ron for a lot of years and I know that Country Coach was a good place to work," Keeler said.

"The new goal is to build Country Coaches," said Lee. "But you have to crawl before you can walk, and walk before you can run, and we want to do this in a way that gets us there."

Lee said he needs $5 million to start building motor homes.

His business plan would use the money to hire 70 to 100 people to build 25 coaches in the first year. That's still a far cry from the company's hey-day when Country Coach rolled out 20 coaches a week.

Until they find the funding, Country Coach is starting small: servicing coaches, selling parts and consigning motor homes - whatever it takes, said Lee, to save the property, save the company and put people in Junction City back to work.

Lee estimates there are 10,000 Country Coaches on the road right now.