RVIA’s Fore Examines RV Industry’s Recovery, Global Reach
In remarks at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) Annual Membership Meeting on Tuesday (June 7) during the association’s Committee Week in Washington, D.C., Chairman of the Board Gregg Fore said that the RV industry continues to gain strength, thanks in large part to the strong affinity that RV owners have for RV travel and camping, according to a news release.
“While the economic downturn took away some RV manufacturers, suppliers and dealers, our industry remains strong with shipments at a sustainable volume because of the millions of RV owners who love their RVs, love what they can do while RVing, and can’t imagine giving up the enjoyment of their RVing experiences,” Fore said.
Fore also pointed out that the popularity of RVing is flourishing beyond America’s borders, calling attention to the established market in Canada and the potential new market in China.
“We are driving toward a true North American RV industry,” he said. “RVIA along with our industry partners in Canada are working hand-in-hand to strengthen relationships and tear down artificial walls so that we can conduct business more efficiently and effectively.”
Fore cited the association’s newly formed Canadian Coalition Committee and RVIA’s move to require member manufacturers to place RVIA seals on all North American products as key steps in this effort.
“The Canadian Coalition Committee will work toward harmonizing U.S. and Canadian RV standards as well as address other important issues that affect the North American RV industry,” he said. “The new RVIA seal requirements simplify the process for manufacturers while assuring that Go RVing Canada receives proper funding to better promote RV ownership in Canada.”
Separate from the efforts in North America, RVIA continues to look at other global opportunities, particularly in China.
“We are continuing to investigate the Chinese market,” said Fore. “A focal point of this effort is the possible adoption of current U.S. RV standards to allow their market to develop through the import of vehicles and components.”
Fore also said the association is now beginning to look at how destination camping fits into the RV market. Recently, RVIA and the Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA) agreed to form a Destination Camping Alliance to develop and share ways to promote destination camping, regardless of product type.
“Destination camping has long been viewed as more of a market for park models, but in reality, people use both park models and RVs for this purpose,” Fore said.
In his remarks, Fore also touched on a wide range of activities conducted by RVIA in the areas of government affairs, shows, standards and industry education.
In the political arena, he said that Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and greenhouse gas standards legislation and regulations as well as potential tax issues are on RVIA’s radar.
“These issues require our constant attention and action as an association, as companies, and as individuals,” Fore said. “RVIA’s Government Affairs department is on the front line, protecting our industry from unfair legislation and bureaucratic initiatives that could have a negative impact.”
He cited the strong demand for exhibit space at RVIA’s upcoming National RV Trade Show and California RV Show as evidence of the industry’s recovery.
“As business people making our living in the RV market, we all recognize the value that RVIA’s shows bring to the industry and our companies,” Fore said. “The outlook for both events is very good this year with industry members demonstrating their support with strong space requests.”
Fore also detailed achievements in the Standards and Education department. Notable highlights included the implementation of the 2011 editions of the National Electrical Code, NFPA and ANSI standards for the RV industry this year and the continued focus on identifying and overcoming barriers to delivering ongoing training to RV service technicians.