Elkhart Composites develops and sells a proprietary sustainable foamed polypropylene-based composite material marketed and sold under the “Elkboard” brand name. Lightweight, rigid, and durable, Elkboard is used in the RV industry for sidewalls, an alternative to the traditional lauan-based sidewalls. Unlike traditional lauan-based sidewalls, Elkboard is a sustainable solution and is not susceptible to rot or delamination.
“We are excited about this acquisition for so many different reasons,” said THOR President and CEO Bob Martin.
“First, Elkboard is a far more sustainable solution than traditional lauan-based sidewalls. For decades, the RV industry has sourced lauan wood from tropical hardwood forests which continue to be over-harvested. As the recent supply-chain constraints have demonstrated, sourcing such materials from the other side of the world can no longer be taken for granted and our ability to quality-control lauan product is severely limited. Elkboard, on the other hand, is sustainable, and is fabricated locally,” he added.
The CEO also said that Elkboard is an “innovative and superior” product already utilized in many of THOR’s RV offerings. The company is also looking into the product’s other RV applications.
“Its current use in sidewalls is only the beginning for this product. With additional R&D investment into the Elkboard product, we expect it can be utilized as a solution in several other RV applications,” Martin continued.
The growth potential of Elkboard is exponential, as per Martin. THOR’s companies have been purchasing 100% of the Elkboard produced but that number has only supported a fraction of the RVs they produce. THOR and Airxcel have already agreed to make capital investments into Elkboard to expand its production capacity.
“Fourth, this is the first opportunity for us to continue to build on our recent Airxcel acquisition and the strategy that drove that acquisition,” he ended.
Airxcel, Inc. President and CEO Jeff Rutherford also added: “John Petrofsky and his Elkboard product presented a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Airxcel to enter the ground floor of a new and exciting business.”
“We are excited to have John join our team and look forward to growing this great business in the years to come.”
John Petrofsky, Elkhart Composites’ President and CEO, commented, “As the demand for the Elkboard product began to outpace my ability to produce it, I began looking for the right partner to assist in expanding the production and utilization of Elkboard. While I had numerous suitors, THOR and Airxcel were the most natural fit. THOR’s embrace of sustainable technologies and products combined with its focus on innovation made it the right choice for the company. THOR’s leadership has believed in the potential of Elkboard product since our first introduction, and I look forward to growing Elkhart Composites, Inc.’s product offerings, production volume, and applications with Airxcel.”
About THOR Industries, Inc.
THOR Industries is the sole owner of operating subsidiaries that, combined, represent the world’s largest manufacturer of recreational vehicles. For more information on the Company and its products, please go to www.thorindustries.com.