Indiana Gov. Touts RV Industry During RV/MH Hall of Fame Visit
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said he believed even four years ago that the recreational vehicle industry would come back from the depths of the recession.
The governor was at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind., today (April 27) for a meeting with RV industry leaders to talk about the comeback, the South Bend Tribune reported.
“I said so at the time,” Daniels noted, with RV business leaders behind him and a couple of vehicles nearby at the hall. “First of all, I’ve always had confidence in the American economy. It’s proven before it can fight its way through even some bone-headed policies from Washington if it has to.
“Secondly, specifically here, in the area and in this industry, there was so much focus on Elkhart. The whole world learned where it was and how to spell it.
“I said many times then, ‘We, of course, are very troubled with the way the Elkhart economy has been hit, but you watch, that place will come back. It has all the elements of success.’ ”
Daniels added that “there’s a reason this area has had a strong economy over the course of time — good companies, good leadership, a great work force. And honestly, as hard hit as Elkhart has been, I am confident it will snap back more so than other parts of Indiana, which I think are going to prove harder to bring enough new jobs to.”
And that’s what the state is seeing, the governor noted. “I just wish every other part of the state and so many economies elsewhere had a comeback story that’s as strong as the one that’s going on here.”
Daniels said during the course of about a 20-minute meeting with the press that he still believes the national economy is fragile, but he also said he thinks Indiana’s business climate is in as good a position as anywhere to make a sustained run at improving its economy.
The formal release from the Indiana Economic Development Corp. follows below.
Gov. Mitch Daniels met with recreational vehicle company executives today to discuss the status of Indiana’s RV industry at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart.
“Indiana’s market share has climbed from the mid-60s just a few years ago to 83 percent today. Five of every six RVs in the nation are built here in Indiana,” said Daniels. “There’s only one reason for that, we have the best companies, the best business and we believe the best business environment.”
Joining Daniels were representatives from a variety of Indiana’s RV companies, including Dometic, Fleetwood RV, Forest River, Jayco, Livin’ Lite Recreational Vehicles LLC, Lippert Components and Thor Industries Inc.
“Indiana’s business climate has given the RV industry the chance to rebound,” said Mark Bowersox, executive director of the Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council. “With Hoosier RV manufacturers leading the pack, we forsee continued growth in the years ahead.”
RV production in the Hoosier State continues to come back since the national economic recession. According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, the RV industry produced 252,400 units nationally in 2011, a 4.1 percent increase from the year before. More than 83 percent of all American-made RVs are produced in Indiana.
About the IEDC
Created by Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2005 to replace the former Department of Commerce, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. is governed by a 12-member board chaired by Daniels. Dan Hasler serves as the chief executive officer of the IEDC.
The IEDC oversees programs enacted by the General Assembly including tax credits, workforce training grants and public infrastructure assistance. All tax credits are performance-based.