OEMs, Retailers Enjoying Industry Rebound
Everyone is smiling at the RV show.
The Goshen (Ind.) News reported that during a year in which recreational vehicle shipments to manufacturers are expected to be 10% higher than 2012 and knowing the industry expects a 6% increase next year, dealers, manufacturers and suppliers at the 51st Annual National RV Trade Show are totally positive about their industry and the economy.
“It’s our biggest display we have ever had in Louisville,” said Derald Bontrager as he stood on the lush carpet inside the Jayco Inc. display.
Bontrager is CEO of the Middlebury, Ind., company that is owned by his family. The company also is parent to Starcraft Inc. and Entegra Coach.
“We have had a positive response to the product and a lot of optimism from dealers going forward for the market next year,” Bontrager said between his chats with visiting dealers. “It’s been a very busy morning. It has been non-stop. I am very pleased.”
He said the rise of the RV industry has been across the board, from $500,000 motorhomes to inexpensive pop-up campers.
“We are seeing good sales in all segments right now,” Bontrager said. “There are buyers for every segment of the market right now. I think that is just a sign of the improving economy and consumer confidence. Consumers are willing to spend more money now then they were just two years ago.”
Nearby at Jayco’s Starcraft display, John and Stephanie Thomson were looking for units to put on their sales lot at Flint Hills RV Center in St. George, Kan.
“It’s been a very good year — sales, service and accessories,” John said. “… I think one reason for that is people who have been shying away from the market for four or five years are tired of waiting and decided to jump in.”
John said the family dealership now specializes in smaller travel trailers, as that seems to be what their local market wants.
“They want something their SUV can pull,” John said.
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