Louisville Still 'Big Show' for OEMs, Dealers
Monday (Dec. 2) was a busy day at the Kentucky Exposition Center as workers put the finishing touches on more than 4,200 exhibits at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association's (RVIA) 51st Annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville.
The South Bend (Ind.) Tribune reported that the three-day event officially gets under way this morning with what's expected to be a very positive talk by Richard Coon, RVIA president, on the state of the industry.
More than 8,000 people are expected to attend the show, including about 2,700 dealers. A total of 61 manufacturers and 217 suppliers will be showing their wares in 720,000 square feet of exhibit space.
"This year's show demonstrates the strength of our industry's recovery," said Coon in a recent release. "Shipments are up, employment is up, and optimism is up because our industry has showed its resilience."
RVIA officials say Coon's address today will focus on that recovery as well as a look to the future.
Although in the past several years the fall open houses by manufacturers in Elkhart County have lessened the show's impact, it is still considered very important.
"For the industry, it's the main show for the manufacturer side," said Bob Martin, president and CEO of Thor Industries, who will be marking his 21st appearance at the show.
"The Open House is maybe bigger for some of the bigger manufacturers like Forest River and Thor," he added. "For some of the smaller manufacturers, this is actually a bigger show for them.
"For us and the dealers, it's still a big show."
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