Victoria Industries Ltd., which has designed and manufactured trailer hitches and other recreational vehicle accessories for North American and international markets for 41 years, has been sold to a U.S. company.
CEO Diane Cameron confirmed Tuesday the sale of all intellectual property and patents to Demco Manufacturing, a farm equipment maker based in Boyden, Iowa. Privately held Victoria Industries, with offices on Commerce Circle in Saanich and a manufacturing plant in Esquimalt, will cease operations at month's end. No financial details were disclosed.
Known for its Hijacker brand of hydraulic jacks, fifth-wheel hitches, under carriage receivers and camper steps, it employed 30 at its peak, but has been down to about 10 over the last few months. Some staff will remain to close down the business from November to February.
Cameron has been operating the company for the past 12 years since her husband, Geoffrey, suffered a stroke. He died from complications of the stroke in 2003. Victoria Industries was founded in 1967 by his father, Clyde Cameron, who built manual jacks out of local RV shops.
"With everyone going offshore to build things, we just can't compete anymore," Diane Cameron said. "Being on an Island has also been difficult. We managed it but it gets harder and harder. It's sad to let go. It's bittersweet. You're tired of losing money, but it's been a family business for so long."
Demco will keep the Hijacker brand, adding to its own line of RV and marine towing products. The company has diversified recently into the market after making a name for itself in the agricultural sector with field sprayers and grain-handling equipment.
The distribution channels will remain and products will continue to be available at local RV shops.