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Monaco Coach Corp. files for Chapter 11

Monaco Coach Corp. announced March 5 that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

According to the Associated Press, the coburg, Ore.-based recreation vehicle maker plans to continue operating as it prepares to sell off parts or all of its business.

The company, which sent termination notices to nearly all its remaining employees after an unsuccessful 20-month turnaround effort, said it owes between $100 million and $500 million and has assets in the same range. The company estimated it has between 25,000 and 50,000 creditors.

"We understand how difficult the events of the past several months have been on everyone at the company, and we recognize the changes personally affect many people," Monaco Coach Chairman and CEO Kay Toolson said in a statement. "Further, we understand and deeply regret the effect of the action taken today on vendors and others with whom we have business relationships."

Monaco Coach has been hammered by the continued downturn in demand for its RVs. The company's products, which include the Monaco, Holiday Rambler, Safari, Beaver, McKenzie and R-Vision brand names along with several motorhome resorts, are tied closely to consumer confidence, which has hit historical lows amid the recession and rising unemployment.

The company said the filing affects all its subsidiaries, including Bison and Roadmaster specialty trailer operations in Milford and Goshen, Ind., respectively. Custom Chassis Products LLC, the company's chassis manufacturing joint venture with Navistar Inc. based in Elkhart, Ind., is not a party to the bankruptcy proceeding.

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