by Jason Epperson
Update – February 24, 2019, 10:00 PM CST: The Roadrek/Ewrin Hymer North America Plants have closed and are in recievership. To date, no evidence has come forward that embezzlement took place, nor have any charges been filed. It seems as though fake invoices may have been created, but in an effort to inflate the profitable image of the company – not for theft. Few details have emerged as Erwin Hymer Group has yet to make any statement.
Update – January 30, 2019, 12:00 PM CST: CTV has reported that work has halted at the Kitchner, Ontario plant.
Update – January 21, 2019, 2:51 AM CST: Erwin Hymer Group has confirmed via a press release that managers have been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation into accounting irregularities. External auditors are looking into the matter while managers from the European parent company have been sent to preside over the company. The company says it will not comment further until the investigation has concluded.
Update – January 21, 2019, 2:51 AM CST: Thor Industries has negotiated to drop the North America subsidiary, including the Roadtrek nameplate, from their purchase of the global Erwin Hymer Group. Read the full story here.
RV Daily Report has published news of a scandal that could shake apart one of the biggest RV Industry deals ever. According to the website’s confidential sources, Ontario-based Erwin Hymer North has fired CEO Jim Hammill, Chief Financial Officer Mark Weigel and Chief Operating Officer Howard Stratton for “financial impropriety,” saying that at least one of the executives was escorted from the company property.
Allegations in the report include 1,700 fabricated invoices worth over $100 million with phony VIN numbers attached.
The revenue from those fabricated sales was then funneled into bank accounts of high-level officials at Erwin Hymer and their family members who were on without actually working for the company. [See update above]
The news comes in the wake of the announcement that the company has laid off 100 workers and began withholding vacation pay. Employee William Singleton told KitchnerToday.com that “people have watched their CEO get walked out. Our company’s going through an audit, our accounts are frozen, people are getting laid off; yet there’s no answers, no comments, no nothing.”
The audit Singleton was referring to is a part of a deal with Thor Industries to purchase Erwin Hymer North America and its parent Erwin Hymer Group, making Thor the largest RV manufacturer in the world. That deal could now fall apart.
Singleton also said that no new vans are coming into the building for them to work on. Erwin Hymer North America manufacturers primarily Class B campervans that are converted from Ford or Mercedes Sprinter chassis, including the Hymer nameplate, and Roadtrek, which the company acquired in 2016. Erwin Hymer Group manufactures 25% off all RVs.
“Everyone’s scared and thinking they’re going to lose their jobs, and looking for new ones. I think the main thing that’s scaring everyone is that not one thing has been said,” Singleton continued.
Read RV Daily Report’s full article here.