EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- Lane County's fragile recreational-vehicle manufacturing industry could find hope in an unexpected place -- green technology.
The Eugene Register-Guard reports (http://bit.ly/pGItWx ) RV manufacturer Country Coach has plans to develop a diesel-electric hybrid.
That plan will have to wait as the local luxury motor coach industry tries to survive.
Once an economic engine for the region, the industry was carrying sales that peaked at nearly 400,000 in 2006, but the Great Recession sent purchases of RVs plummeting.
Now, consumers want smaller, lighter and more fuel-efficient models, and Oregon's luxury models need to change to meet that demand.
The Oregon manufacturers could take their cues from Indiana, a state that produces about 80 percent of the nation's RVs. Two companies there, Evergreen RV and Earthbound, have found success in eco-friendly models.
Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com