Rev Group acquires Midwest Automotive Designs

By April 13, 2017News

Luxury vehicle manufacturer adds product offerings
by Molly Dill April 13, 2017, 10:55 AM

Milwaukee-based Rev Group Inc. has acquired Elkhart, Indiana-based Midwest Automotive Designs LLC. The terms of the transaction, which was completed April 13, were not disclosed.

Rev Group manufactures 28 brands of specialty vehicles such as ambulances and shuttles at 15 locations, many of which are in the Midwest. The company has more than 6,000 employees. Tim Sullivan, former chief executive officer of South Milwaukee-based Bucyrus International Inc., has served as CEO of Rev Group since 2014. The company moved its headquarters to Milwaukee last year, and went public in January. The company has been vying for a contract to produce 180,000 vehicles for the United States Postal Service.

Midwest Automotive Designs “upfits” custom Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans and manufactures luxury vehicles such as motorhomes, shuttle vans, limousines and customized executive transportation vehicles. It has more than 130 employees and about $45 million in annual revenue. The company’s manufacturing and office facilities total more than 100,000 square feet.

This acquisition will expand Rev Group’s recreation and commercial product lines, adding Class B RVs and several limousine, charter and tour bus products. Midwest Automotive will operate as a subsidiary of Rev Group in its recreation division, said Dean Nolden, chief financial officer of Rev Group.

“We’re going to take advantage of any opportunities as a combined operation from an expense standpoint,” Nolden said. “The acquisition of Midwest gives us a good foothold in the strong, very fast-growing Class B (RV) market.”

Rev Group already makes Class A and Class C RVs, but wants to also take advantage of shifting demographics driving growth in the Class B RV space, Nolden said. According to Statistical Surveys Inc., Class B motorhome sales registrations jumped 53 percent in February and are up 36 percent year-to-date. Retiring baby boomers are buying up RVs for travel, and gradually move up the value chain into the most expensive line of RVs, Class A, he said.

“The addition of top quality custom shuttle buses, limousines and executive transportation vehicles is complementary to our existing commercial vehicle line of products,” said John Walsh, president of Rev Group’s bus division. “All of these products add to an already solid line of luxury vehicles under our Krystal and Federal brands. Our luxury transportation dealers will be very excited about these additions to our luxury product line.”

“One of our key strengths is our ability to rapidly design, engineer, and commercialize new products,” said Tim Gray, president of Midwest Automotive Designs. “Our combination with Rev makes all of the sense in the world. We are excited to tap into Rev’s technical resources and nationwide dealership footprint.”