Most years, those of us in the northern part of the U.S. would be looking for sure signs of spring in early April: the yellow buds on a forsythia, green leaves on an oak tree or the violet of a lilac bush.
But 2020 is the year we're all looking instead for signs of a return to normal, not just a change of seasons: auto plants resuming production, kids on slides, opening day of major league baseball.
Not sure this fits into any of those signs, but if it helps, Winnebago Industries Inc. has set out its plan to reopen production of its recreational vehicles, boats and trailers.
Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago declared itself nonessential fairly early in the COVID-19 crisis, suspending production the week of March 23, which led not only to shuttering the production of fiberglass Chris-Craft boats and plastic-trimmed RVs and trailers, but also a loss of sales for suppliers such as rotomolders, thermoformers, blow molders and injection molders.
It announced April 8, though, that it expects to begin the slow process of reopening the week of April 13 at "certain of its locations."
Winnebago warned that schedule will depend on guidance from local, state and international health experts — and some units are not set to reopen until mid-May — but it's a start.
"Our top priorities during these uncertain times remain the health of our employees and the financial stability of our company," Winnebago Industries President and CEO Michael Happe said. "Finally, despite these challenging times, we are confident the outdoor recreation industry will rebound in the future, and as such, we will carefully activate our leading brands and sound strategies against available demand as it gradually recovers."