History

May 17, 1956

Larry Lippert Founds B&L Industries

Lippert Components, Inc. (LCI®) was founded as B&L Industries. Together, Larry Lippert and Don Baldwin formed B&L Industries. Don and Larry began manufacturing galvanized mobile home roofing, creating a product called Duratop. Detroiter Mobile Homes and Redman Industries were B&L’s first customers. In 1957, Don sold his shares of B&L to Larry. The strong foundation laid by Larry led LCI to develop many innovative technologies and improve industry processes.

1958

Larry Lippert Purchases Riverdale Steel Works

Larry Lippert purchased Riverdale Steel Works (RSW) from Bill Langdin. At the time, Jack Keeler was the Plant Manager of RSW. Jack would go on to work at LCI for over 40 years. Riverdale Steel Works manufactured mobile home chassis and chassis components.

1960-1964

Planning for Future Expansion

Towards the beginning on the decade, LCI struggled to pay bills and expansion projects were temporarily put on hold. In an effort to rebuild existing plants and to fund additional expansions, Larry entered into a deal with William “Bill” Redman. Bill’s son, Donald Redman, became managing partner of B&L Industries, alongside Larry, in exchange for cash to rebuild the plants and to fund additional expansion. Shortly thereafter, B&L Industries expanded into Pennsylvania, Kansas, Georgia and Michigan. B&L’s corporate office moved into a larger building in Alma, MI, the old Alma Products building. In 1964, Larry bought out Donald Redman and once again became sole shareholder of B&L Industries.

1966

Expansion Continues

B&L Industries expands to Syracuse, Indiana.

1967

B&L of the Carolinas Founded

B&L Industries of the Carolinas is founded.

1968

B&L Expands to Texas & Alabama

B&L opens plants in Bonham, Texas and Bear Creek, Alabama. Larry’s son, Doug Lippert, becomes Plant Manager of B&L’s Syracuse, IN facility.

1969

B&L Industries Becomes Lippert Components, Inc

Larry worked to aggressively expand LCI in 1969, acquiring several manufacturing companies: D&H Tops, a manufacturer of Formica counter tops, Coachmen Draperies, Spreads by Cynthia, Comfo Sleep, maker of mattresses for housing, and C&B Manufacturing, which would eventually became LCI of Florida in Clearwater. These acquisitions would be crucial to attaining Skyline’s manufactured housing business decades later. The names of the aforementioned businesses would soon disappear, along with B&L Industries, to be replaced by Lippert Components, Inc. (LCI®).

1970

LCI Refocuses on Steel Industry

LCI begins selling its non-steel related businesses and closes both Comfo Sleep and Spreads by Cynthia in an effort to refocus on the steel industry.

1972

Joint Venture with Riblet Industries

LCI continues to expand within Florida, opening an additional plant in Ocala. A joint venture is formed with Riblet Industries, combining forces in North Carolina and Kansas to maintain profitability for both companies within those states.

1974

Division of Assets

Riblet Industries becomes a publicly-traded company, forcing LCI and Riblet to divide their assets between the two companies. With the flip of a coin, it was decided that Riblet would own and operate the facility in Burton, Kansas and LCI would own and operate the Henderson, North Carolina facility. This division would prove to be instrumental for LCI’s future growth: In many ways a sheer stroke of luck, North Carolina would soon after become a major hub for the manufactured housing industry. Clayton Homes and Oxford Homes became major players in the manufactured housing industry, boosting LCI’s sales to all-time highs. This began a kind of “golden age” in the manufactured housing industry. With the business now thriving, LCI further expanded into Kingston, Tennessee.

1976-1977

Doug Lippert Becomes Executive VP

Doug Lippert becomes Executive Vice President of LCI. LCI opens a second division in Harrisburg, North Carolina and relocates the Bonham, TX plant to Alvarado, TX. In 1977, after Larry’s retirement from the business, LCI acquired Farmville Manufacturing, a maker of axle hubs in Cordele, GA. Additionally, LCI of Indiana relocates to Nappanee, IN.

1980-1983

Industry Slump Limits Business Growth

The manufactured housing industry experienced meager productivity increases during the early 1980’s, and as a result, LCI’s business slowed. An energy crisis and tight governmental monetary policy caused the manufactured housing industry to all but tumble. Through it all, LCI managed to stay afloat.

1986

LCI Acquires Horton Homes, Sales Increase

LCI expanded into Eatonton, Georgia and acquired the business of Horton Homes. Horton Homes became LCI’s largest customer at that time, taking sales from $30 to $40 million annually.

1988

Riblet Industries & Skyline

LCI acquired the assets of Riblet Industries, their largest competitor within the manufactured housing industry at the time. This acquisition led to expansions in New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Wisconsin. Doug Lippert formed a long-lasting relationship with Jim Miller, VP of Purchasing for Skyline. Skyline would quickly become LCI’s largest customer, allowing LCI to supply all of their manufactured home chassis, chassis parts and galvanized roofing products. By the end of 1988, LCI’s sales grew from $45 to $80 million annually.

1992

Hurricane Andrew

Hurricane Andrew devastated families in and around Homestead, Florida, requiring 18,000 FEMA housing units to be built for misplaced families. LCI was called upon to provide chassis for the 18,000 FEMA units. 10,000 of those chassis were needed immediately. LCI teams rallied around the effort, operating three shift, 24 hour days for an entire year. With the sharp increase in demand, LCI’s facility in Florida increased chassis production from 15 to 55 chassis per day. LCI’s ability fluidly increase production capacity and to produce such a high number of chassis caught the eye of Drew Industries, a New York-based holding company that would eventually acquire LCI.

1994-1995

Winn Industries

LCI acquired Winn Industries, expanding into Fitzgerald, Georgia. In 1995, LCI opened its second Indiana plant in Goshen.

1996

Acquired Continental Stamping

LCI took a major step in vertically integrating the company with the acquisition of Continental Stamping, a Goshen-based steel parts fabricator. This acquisition helped LCI gain better quality control for the various steel parts for its chassis production.

1997

Drew Industries & Travel Trailer Chassis

1997 was a big year for LCI in many ways. Seeing a need for diversification, a young Jason Lippert, the son of Doug Lippert and grandson of Larry Lippert, received the green light from management to start a travel trailer chassis line in McAdoo, Pennsylvania. As fate would have it, this would become the single largest turning point in the company’s history. LCI is acquired by Drew Industries, a long-established investor in the manufactured housing and RV markets. Having acquired Kinro decades earlier, the LCI acquisition further strengthened Drew’s portfolio in the manufactured housing and RV industries.

1998

Expansion to West Virginia

LCI expanded its RV operations into Berkley Springs, West Virginia.

2000

LCI Becomes an International Company

LCI becomes an international company with the opening of a facility in Lindsey, Ontario in Canada.

2001

Acquired We-Shape

LCI acquired We-Shape and expanded its RV Chassis product line.

2001-2003

Expanding Chassis Production Capabilities

LCI acquired Coil Clip, manufacturer of fabricated steel parts in Boaz, Alabama. Keeping pace with the growing RV industry, LCI acquired three Indiana-based RV chassis manufacturers: Quality Frames in 2001, We Shape in 2002 and ET&T in 2003. Drew Industries purchased Better Bath, adding plastic thermoformed kitchen and bath components to the growing portfolio.

2003

Jason Lippert Becomes CEO

Doug Lippert stepped down as CEO of LCI and handed the torch to his son, Jason Lippert. Jason became LCI’s third generation of leadership.

2004

West Coast Expansion

LCI acquires Zieman Manufacturing, its largest purchase to date. Zieman Manufacturing added boat, small watercraft and equipment trailer production to LCI’s growing list of production capabilities. The acquisition also expanded LCI’s operations into the west coast of the U.S.

2004

The RV Accessory Market

LCI acquired LTM Manufacturing, marking LCI’s entry into the RV accessory market. Today, LCI is known as the industry leader in RV accessory and component innovation.

2005

Acquisition of Venture Manufacturing

LCI Acquired Venture Manufacturing, increasing manufactured and residential housing chassis capabilities and capacity in Howe, Indiana.

2006

HappiJac & Steelco

LCI acquired HappiJac, a manufacturer of numerous patented RV products such as bed lifts, slide-outs, camper jacks and tie down systems. LCI also acquired Steelco, a manufacturing company that held numerous slide-out patents.

2007

Acquired Coach Step

LCI began manufacturing Coach Step products, adding motorized entry steps to the list of capabilities.

2007

Acquired Trailair

Trailair, an industry leader in ride improvement components, was a major acquisition for LCI. The Trailair brand products include the Equa-Flex® rubberized equalizer, the Air Ride Pin Box and the Center Point Air Ride Suspension system.

2007

Acquired Extreme Engineering

LCI acquired Extreme Engineering and began building specialty trailers for high-end watercraft, further expanding marine trailer capabilities.

2008

Acquired Seating Technologies

LCI Acquires Seating Technology, marking LCI’s entry into the RV Interiors market with a variety of custom RV furniture and mattresses, allowing LCI to begin producing comfortable and durable RV furniture and mattresses to OEM’s custom specifications.

2008

Acquired JT's RV Accessories

LCI acquired JT’s RV Accessories and began producing JT’s Elephant Pads, Strong Arm Stabilizers and Digital Levelers – products that dramatically reduce rocking and promote better rest and a more enjoyable camping experience.

2009

RV Entry Door Market

The Nappanee Door acquisition marked LCI’s entry into the RV entry door market. In just four years, LCI has introduced more than forty innovations to the RV entry door. Over the next two years, LCI would amass almost half of the RV entry door market.

2010

Acquired certain Schwintek products

LCI Acquires Certain Products of Schwintek. The revolutionary Schwintek In-Wall Slide-Out changed the landscape of the RV industry with it’s compact and efficient design.

2010

Acquired Level Up®

LCI acquired the rights to manufacture Level Up, an innovative automatic hydraulic leveling system for fifth-wheels, providing both front-to-rear and side-to-side leveling to protect the chassis. In 2010, there were no RVs that were manufactured with an automatic leveling system. In 2016, it is almost the standard or optional across the board.

2010

Acquired EZ-Ride and Sellers Corporations

LCI acquired EZ-Ride and Sellers Corporations and began producing E-Z Cruise rubber suspension systems to dramatically reduce road shock and vibrations on motorhomes. The acquisition of Sellers marked LCI’s entry into the motorized chassis modification market.

2011

Acquired M&M Fabricators & M-Tech

LCI acquired M&M Fabricators & M-Tech to grow and diversify products into the RV motorhome and bus chassis modification business.

2011

Acquired Home-Style

LCI acquired Home-style, further expanding RV furniture capacity to the west coast.

2011

Acquired Starquest

LCI acquired Starquest to expand further into specialty markets by producing windows for truck caps and windows and doors for truck caps, horse trailers and buses.

2011

Introduced Solera Awning Line

LCI introduced its popular Solera line of manual and electric awnings and protective slide-out sleeves. In just four years Solera would account for 50% of all awnings produced to the RV OEM market.

2011

Acquisition from Dexter Chassis Group

LCI Acquires towable chassis and slide-out mechanism from Dexter Chassis Group.

2012

Acquired Amerimax

LCI acquired Amerimax and launched an innovative line of RV entry door products developed from combined Amerimax and LCI technology.

2012

Acquired Agile Resources

LCI acquired Agile Resources to expand its thermoforming product production in the Midwest and to further expand plastic production for specialty markets.

2012

Formation of Aftermarket Sales Division

LCI officially begins its aftermarket sales division, focusing on retail and aftermarket product offerings and marketing programs.

2013

Lawrence Lippert inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame

LCI’s founder and patriarch, Larry Lippert, was inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame in August of 2013, surrounded by his two children, six grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren, for his lifelong work in the industry.

2013

Jason Lippert named CEO of Drew Industries

Just ten years after being named CEO of LCI and Kinro, Jason Lippert was named CEO of Drew Industries. Jason’s strong leadership continues to move the company forward to further growth and diversification.

2013

Acquired Midstates Tool & Die

As part of LCI’s automation initiative, LCI acquired Midstates Tool and Die in order to streamline manufacturing efficiencies.

2014

Acquired IDS Electronics

LCI Acquires IDS Electronics integrated electronics business. This was a critical turning point for LCI, adding the capability to design and engineer specific electronic technologies for RV towing, leveling and actuation products.

2014

Acquired Star Design thermoforming business

LCI acquired Star Design, further expanding RV and adjacent market thermoforming capabilities.

2014

Acquired Duncan Systems

LCI acquired Duncan Systems. Duncan is the industry leader in RV glass replacement and further expands LCI’s customer service capabilities.

2014

Acquired Power Gear/Kwikee

LCI acquired Power Gear/Kwikee, adding two industry trusted brands in the entry step, slide out and leveling categories.

2015

Acquired EA Technologies

LCI acquired EA Technologies, giving LCI e-coat capabilities for the RV and other adjacent industries.

2015

Acquired SpectAL in Quebec

LCI acquired SpectAL, officially forming Lippert Components of Canada, Inc and further expanding LCI’s window production capabilities in adjacent industries.

2015

Acquired Signature Seating

LCI acquired Signature Seating, a Fort Wayne based Marine seating manufacturer.

2015

Partner with Furrion

LCI agrees to mult-year distributer agreement with Furrion LMT, maker of high end audio-visual electronics, camera systems, appliances and power solutions.

2015

Sales for Drew

Drew Industries eclipses one billion in sales for the first time.

2016

Acquired Highwater

LCI acquired Highwater marine seating, further expanding marine furniture manufacturing capabilities.

2016

Acquired Flair Interiors

LCI acquired Flair Interiors, further expanding RV furniture and mattress manufacturing capabilities.

May 2016

60th Anniversary

LCI celebrates 60th anniversary in May.

2016

Project 2000

LCI makes first European acquisition, purchasing Project 2000 SRL, Italian manufacturer of innovative products for the European and North American RV markets.

2016

Acquired Atwood Mobile Products

LCI acquired chassis and seating businesses of Atwood Mobile Products

2016

Acquired Camping Connection

LCI acquired Camping Connection, an RV service provider with locations in Florida and South Carolina.

2016

Name Change

Drew Industries officially changes its name to LCI Industries

2017

Acquisition of Italy's Sessa Klein

LCI acquired Sessa Klein, an Italian manufacturer of rolling stock windows for high-speed and commuter trains.