U.S. Contingent Active at Chinese RV Show
The first day of the China RV and Camping Show in Shanghai ended at 5 p.m. local time (5 a.m. EDT) Friday (May 16) following an RV trailer towing demonstration by the U.S.-based Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
As part of an unusual trade mission for representatives of the American RV industry, RVIA is sharing a booth at the East Asia Exhibition Hall – part of the Shanghai Olympic Stadium complex – with representatives of Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA), Billings, Mont., and Cummins Power Generation, Minneapolis, Minn.
On Thursday night, RVIA President Richard Coon with three staff members accompanying him, hosted a welcoming dinner for the 14 representatives of 10 RV manufacturers and suppliers attending the show who will visit Chinese manufacturing operations after it concludes.
“We also have a presentation by the Shanghai Foreign Investment Commission, which advises and consults foreign investors, and the RV Business Forum, which will feature remarks by Zhongde Chen, vice president of the Shanghai Automotive Trade Association, and (RVIA President) Richard Coon, as well as panel discussions,” Bill Baker, RVIA senior director of communications and publications, wrote in an e-mail to RVBUSINESS.com., sister publication of Woodall's Campground Management.
In another e-mail, Mike Atkinson, KOA facilities development manager, noted that the U.S. RV industry will have to foster changes in Chinese society for the RV market to become viable.
“One of the big issues in China is that it is against the law to tow a trailer on highways – surface streets are OK, though,” Atkinson wrote. “This, as you would expect, makes camping rather impossible for the average citizen. Hopefully, this will change. This (is an) embryonic market.”
Atkinson continued: “We were told of a proposed campground near Beijing that will have a spa and camping resort that will sell memberships that include a large garden plot as part of the site. I've never thought of that as an amenity. This is a good example of the cultural differences and desires of the citizens of China. I hope that this is just a precursor of future applicable ideas.”
Other companies sending representatives include Coachmen RV Co., Inc., Middlebury, Ind.; Jayco Inc., Middlebury; Fleetwood Enterprises Inc., Riverside, Calif.; GE Capital Solutions, Tampa, Fla.; Velvac Inc., New Berlin, Wis.; BRD Supply Inc., Bristol, Ind.; Airxcel Inc., Wichita, Kan.; United Shade LLC, Elkhart; and Lippert Components Inc., Goshen, Ind.
After the show and meeting, the entourage will visit four factories in the Liyang area and will tour the facilities of China's only RVIA member, CenTech Specialty Vehicle Ltd. in Tianjinan, a motorhome and travel trailer manufacturer that exports the iCamp travel trailer to the U.S. Tentatively, they'll also visit the area of a campground planned by CenTech owner Alan Wang.
To conclude the trip, most of the attendees will visit Great Wall Motors in Beijing, a manufacturer of Class B and C motorhomes and specialty vehicles.