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RVDA Exec: Keep Public Lands Open for All

January 25, 2013 by · Comments Off on RVDA Exec: Keep Public Lands Open for All 

Phil Ingrassia, RVDA president

Editor’s Note: The following is a column penned by Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) President Phil Ingrassia appearing in the latest issue of RV Executive Today examining the public lands access issue.

As debates over the federal budget continue in Washington, we’re getting reports from several states that public lands access is in jeopardy. Road closures in Arizona and Oregon are occurring in the national forests, sometimes surprising users. Roads that are open to RVers and other outdoor recreationists one day are closed the next.

We’ve been told that the Forest Service is closing roads because the agency is spending so much money fighting fires. Keeping people out is now a “fire prevention” measure. The Forest Service has pledged to get stakeholders involved in deciding which roads are appropriate for continued use and which are not. RVDA is working with the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) and our dealer leaders to keep the dialogue going, but the concept of keeping people off public lands to save money is not good for our industry.

It’s reached the point in Arizona that even law enforcement officials are confused as to where people can go and where they can’t. Gene Elms, law enforcement branch chief for Arizona Game and Fish told the Arizona Daily Sun last month that “the inconsistency in the Forest Service’s implementation of new restrictions across the different forests is likely to cause confusion for anyone hunting or recreating on forest lands.”

This idea of closing off access to public lands clearly goes against the wishes of American voters. According to a recent public opinion poll commissioned by the National Park Hospitality Association (NPHA) and the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), national parks are cherished by an overwhelming 95% of likely voters.

This survey, conducted by the bipartisan pollster team of Whit Ayers, a Republican, and Peter Hart, a Democrat, found that more than 80% of those likely voters have visited a national park at some point in their lives, and nearly nine in 10 say they are interested in visiting a park in the future.

At a meeting sponsored by ARC in Washington last month, the pollsters said that while the survey did not cover all federal land agencies, it is likely that similar public support would apply to other public recreation areas.

It’s clear Americans favor protection of public lands – along with access. However, this kind of balance is hard to find in Washington these days. It will be up to the outdoor recreation community to educate both returning and newly elected officials in Washington about the economic impact of maintaining access to national forests and parks, as well as the consequences for preservation if people are discouraged from using public lands. People don’t value things that they don’t – or can’t – use.

RVDA and its allies will continue to push for a balanced approach that keeps outdoor recreation accessible for our customers.

 

RVDA to Gauge Present/Future RV Rental Market

December 18, 2012 by · Comments Off on RVDA to Gauge Present/Future RV Rental Market 

Bert Alanko, RV Rental Association

The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) is surveying RV dealers and RV rental companies to create a “snapshot of current rental market conditions and gauge rental outlook for the future,” according to a press release.

The results are deigned to serve dealers as they assess their existing rental programs and plan for 2013 and beyond. The survey is being conducted for the RV Rental Association (RVRA) by RV Assistance Corp.’s Retailer Intelligence Program.

“The data we gather will help demonstrate to industry stakeholders and the media that RV rentals are an important and vibrant segment of the RV business,” said RVRA Chairman Bert Alanko of MBA Insurance. “RVRA members provide a variety of vehicle choices to fit the needs of consumers looking to rent an RV.”

The short, informal instrument will gather data on rental fleet size, composition and length of contracts, in addition to the outlook for the RV rental market in 2013.

RVRA is the national association of companies who rent recreation vehicles (RVs). Visit www.rvra.org for a list of members and for more information about renting an RV.

RVDA Announces Quality Circle Award Winners

November 1, 2012 by · Comments Off on RVDA Announces Quality Circle Award Winners 

2012 recipients announced

The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) will honor RV brands built by 13 manufacturers with its Quality Circle Award Nov. 26, prior to opening of the 50th Annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky.

According to a press release, these brands/manufacturers received at least 15 dealer responses and scored 80% or above for overall dealer satisfaction in the association’s 19th Annual Dealer Satisfaction Index (DSI) survey.

“The DSI Quality Circle Award recognizes the high level of success these manufacturers have had in working with their dealer business partners,” said RVDA Chairman Jeff Hirsch of Kingston, N.H.-based Campers Inn. “Their commitment to continuously improving products and services ultimately helps dealers serve customers better and preserves our industry’s share of consumers’ discretionary dollars.”

The towable RV manufacturers/brands receiving awards are (in alphabetical order by manufacturer): Airstream Inc.; CrossRoads RV (Zinger/Z-1/SE/Hampton); Forest River Inc. (Flagstaff travel trailers and fifth-wheels, Palomino RV travel trailers and fifth-wheels, Rockwood/Roo expandables, Sierra/Sandpiper, Indiana-built Surveyor/r-pod); Heartland RV LLC (Big Country/Elk Ridge, Bighorn/Landmark, Cyclone/Road Warrior/Torque, North Trail/Wilderness, Prowler); Jayco Inc. (Eagle/Super Lite/HT, camping trailers, Jay Feather/Select, Jay Flight/Swift/SLX, Pinnacle, White Hawk); Keystone RV Co. (Bullet/Premier, Cougar/X-lite, Passport, Raptor); KZRV LP (Durango, Sportsmen/Sportsmen Classic, Spree/Spree Escape); Lance Camper Manufacturing Corp. (truck campers); and Prime Time Manufacturing Inc. (LaCrosse/Trace, Crusader/Sanibel).

The six motorized RV brands/manufacturers receiving awards are (in alphabetical order): Forest River Inc.; Jayco Inc./Entegra; Leisure Travel Vans/Triple E RV; Pleasure-Way Industries Ltd.; Tiffin Motorhomes Inc.; and Winnebago Industries Inc./Itasca/ERA.

When rating the brands/manufacturers, RVDA asks dealers to express, confidentially, their level of satisfaction on eight core issues: Sales support; sales territory; vehicle design; vehicle reliability/quality; competitive price/value; parts support; dealership warranty support; overall dealer communications

The 19th Annual DSI survey was conducted between April and July 2012. Four hundred and sixty-one dealers responded to the DSI this year and provided 2,709 brand ratings, an average of nearly six per dealer. A summary of the DSI survey aggregate results will appear in the November issue of RV Executive Today.

Go RVing Panel to Discuss Away Campaign

August 29, 2012 by · Comments Off on Go RVing Panel to Discuss Away Campaign 

Some of the major consumer outreach strategies behind Go RVing’s new “Away” national advertising campaign will be examined during an all-attendee session at the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo Oct. 1-5, in Las Vegas.

Dealers will learn about the consumer research behind “Away” and its sophisticated methods for reaching consumers based on what people say they’re looking for right now in leisure, vacation and personal travel, according to a news release.

“Go RVing: Research-based Strategies to Motivate Today’s RV Buyers,” is a special General Session scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 4, from 8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

“This will be an excellent opportunity for dealers to get a detailed look at some consumer outreach initiatives that are included in the new Go RVing “Away” campaign and how some of these ideas can help reach new customers in local markets,” said RVDA President Phil Ingrassia, one of the speakers on the panel.

In addition to reviewing some of the latest consumer research, panelists will discuss how public relations, mobile apps, and social media fit into this multi-media consumer outreach program. The Richards Group developed the campaign in collaboration with industry representatives on the Go RVing Coalition.

In addition to Ingrassia, the session also features Chris Mahony, executive director of Go RVing Canada; James Ashurst, vice president of public relations and advertising for RVIA; and Chad Strohl, account manager for The Richards Group.

The RV Dealers International Convention/Expo will be held Oct. 1-5, at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. The convention is sponsored by RVDA–The National RV Dealers Association, RVDA of Canada and the RV Learning Center.

The 2012 convention will feature an exhibit hall filled with the RV industry’s top suppliers offering products and services to help dealers improve profitability. RVDA’s Partners in Progress Brand Committees will also meet to work on important dealer/manufacturer issues.

Companies interested in sponsorship opportunities and exhibitor information can contact RVDA at (703) 591-7130 or send an e-mail to info@rvda.org. To register and for more information on the Convention/Expo, visit www.rvda.org.

 

 

 

 

 

RVDA Panel to Explore Tow Vehicle Future

August 17, 2012 by · Comments Off on RVDA Panel to Explore Tow Vehicle Future 

Tom Walworth, president of Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Statistical Surveys Inc., will moderate a Dealer/GM Track panel that will explore “What the Future Holds for Tow Vehicles” during the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo in Las Vegas.

Slated for Oct. 4, the workshop will cover the impact of more stringent fuel efficiency standards on towing capacity and look at changing demographics and what that means for the future of pick-ups and SUVs. Towables currently account for 90 percent of unit sales in the RV industry, according to Walworth.

Expert panelists Todd Kaufman of Ford Motor Co., Les Roeber of Blue Ox, and Lenny Sims of NADA Guides will lead participants through the “maze of government standards, industry directions and consumer trends.” The role of hitches and safety of trailering, two key issues particular to towables, will also be on the agenda. Participants will get the latest information, expert analysis and even get a look at what they can expect down the road.

“Tow vehicles play such an important role in our industry,” said RVDA Convention/Expo Committee Chairman Peter Albano of American RV in Olive Branch, Miss. “I am especially pleased that Ford Motor Co. is providing their expert on the F-Series truck, given its popularity with RVers. We are delighted that this distinguished panel of experts will offer their guidance on the current status of tow vehicles and the outlook for the future, given their critical role in our industry.”

The RV Dealers International Convention/Expo will be held Oct. 1-5, at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The convention is sponsored by the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), RVDA of Canada and the RV Learning Center.

The 2012 convention will feature an exhibit hall filled with the RV industry’s top suppliers offering products and services to help dealers improve profitability. RVDA’s Partners in Progress Brand Committees will also meet to work on important dealer/manufacturer issues.

RV Show Stays in Louisville Through 2014

July 20, 2012 by · Comments Off on RV Show Stays in Louisville Through 2014 

RV manufacturer, supplier, dealership and association representatives serving on a joint committee examining the calendar for national RV industry events are recommending that the National RV Trade Show take place as scheduled from Dec. 2 -4, 2014, in Louisville, Ky.

While advising no changes to the existing schedules for the National RV Trade Show or the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, the committee also recommended that the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) and Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) continue to gather more information from industry stakeholders about the timing of industry events, according to a news release.

In June, the RVIA board of directors indicated it would consider moving the National RV Trade Show from late November/early December to a late September/early October timeframe in 2014. The RVDA board of directors indicated it would consider moving the RVDA Convention/Expo later in the year to accommodate the move.

“In the near term, it became clear that we need more information from manufacturers, dealers, and suppliers concerning the industry event calendar before entering into any agreement to change the dates of the National RV Trade Show,” said RVIA Chairman of the Board Gregg Fore of Dicor.

“Both organizations agree that facility and program commitments mean moving the dates for RVDA and RVIA events is not possible at this time,” said RVDA Chairman of the Board Andy Heck of Alpin Haus.

In 2012, the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo is set for Oct. 1-5 at the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

In 2012, the National RV Trade show is set for Nov. 27-29 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.

 

 

New Speakers/Workshops Coming to RVDA Con/Expo

June 22, 2012 by · Comments Off on New Speakers/Workshops Coming to RVDA Con/Expo 

The sales management educational track for the 2012 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo is taking shape, featuring several new speakers with fresh workshops that address the changing dynamics of today RV market.

The RV Dealers International Convention/Expo will be held Oct. 1-5, at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The convention is sponsored by The National RV Dealers Association (RVDA), RVDA of Canada and the RV Learning Center.

According to a news release, some of the new topics and speakers confirmed so far include:

Paradigm Shift – A New Approach to Internet Marketing, Evan Davis, Nukleus; In this groundbreaking seminar, Internet marketing expert Evan Davis proves why the traditional Internet marketing approach has failed. In addition to attracting visitors to our dealer websites, we’re now looking for ways to get our content and inventory onto sites where traffic already exists: Facebook, eBay, Craigslist, and Twitter are just a few. Dealer websites are becoming launching pads for content and inventory data. Discover how using a data distribution service can help you sell more units … faster … and for less!

Unique Personality Drivers Your Salespeople Should Have, Ricardo Roman, Caliper; Sales is a role where success is critical – companies can no longer afford to have the wrong salespeople on their teams, especially in the RV industry where closing a sale is imperative to a company’s success. There are distinct personality traits that make successful salespeople. If your sales team has these foundational traits, they will have the inner motivation to succeed and take your company to the next level.

Smartphone App for Your Dealership? Why Your Dealership Will Have One within the Next 12 Months, Mike Martin, Quantechsoftware.com Inc.; In this fast-paced, yet informative presentation, you will see and hear how Smartphones and Smartphone apps are being used in RV dealerships. Smartphones are changing the way customers and businesses do many of their daily tasks. This session takes a high level view on smartphones and cloud technology. You’ll learn more about what’s possible and what’s going to be possible. You’ll learn some strategies for keeping up, and see how one dealership is using Smartphones to enhance the customer experience as well as improve productivity in the dealership.

The 2012 convention will feature an exhibit hall filled with the RV industry’s top companies offering products and services to help dealers improve profitability. RVDA’s Partners in Progress Brand Committees will also meet to work on important dealer/manufacturer issues.

Companies interested in sponsorship opportunities and exhibitor information can contact RVDA at (703) 591-7130, ext 103, or send an e-mail to info@rvda.org. Visit www.rvda.org and www.rvlearningcenter.com to register for the convention and receive regular updates. You can also get convention updates on LinkedIn professional networking services, Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

RVDA Honors 17 RV Makers with Quality Circle Awards

August 1, 2011 by · Comments Off on RVDA Honors 17 RV Makers with Quality Circle Awards 

RVDA to honor DSI award recipients.

The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) will honor 33 RV brands built by 17 manufacturers with its Quality Circle Award during the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo on Oct. 5 in Las Vegas.

The awards will be presented during “Celebrate Excellence: An All-Industry Gala” at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, according to a news release.

To qualify for the Quality Circle Award, brands/manufacturers must receive at least 15 dealer responses and score 80% or above in overall dealer satisfaction in the association’s 18th Annual Dealer Satisfaction Index (DSI) survey.

“The DSI Quality Circle Award recognizes the high level of commitment these manufacturers show toward their dealer business partners,” said RVDA Chairman of the Board Tim O’Brien of Circle K RVs in Lapeer, Mich. “Their commitment to continuously improving products and processes ultimately helps dealers serve customers better. We look forward to honoring these outstanding manufacturers at the convention this year.”

The towable RV brands/manufacturers receiving awards are (in alphabetical order): Coachmen Freedom Express/Freedom Express LTZ; Dutchmen Aspen Trail, Coleman, Dutchmen Kodiak and Dutchmen Voltage; EverGreen RV; Jayco Eagle/Folding Campers/Jay Feather/Jay Flight/Pinnacle; Keystone Cougar/Montana/Mountaineer/Laredo/Alpine/Avalanche/Bullet/Fuzion; KZ Coyote/ Durango/Inferno/MXT/ Sportsmen/Sportsmen Classic/Spree/Spree Escape; Lance Travel Trailers/Truck Campers; Northwood/Outdoors RV; Palomino Travel Trailers/Fifth Wheels; Prime Time LaCrosse/Tracer/Crusader; and Skyline Travel Trailers.

The motorized RV brands/manufacturers receiving awards are (in alphabetical order): Forest River; Jayco/Entegra; Newmar; Pleasure-Way; Roadtrek, Tiffin; and Winnebago/Itasca/Era.

Five towable brands will receive DSI Honorable Mention awards for receiving scores of 80% or above in overall dealer satisfaction from 10 to 14 responding dealers. They are (in alphabetical order): Airstream, Dutchmen Rubicon; Jayco Skylark; Skyline Ultra-lites; and Starcraft Autumn Ridge.

The 18th Annual DSI survey was conducted between April and July 2011. Four hundred and eighty-four dealers responded this year and provided 2,509 brand ratings.

RV Rentals a Seminar Topic at Dealers Confab in Las Vegas

July 21, 2011 by · Comments Off on RV Rentals a Seminar Topic at Dealers Confab in Las Vegas 

Find out some of the best practices that make for a profitable RV rental operation at the upcoming RV Dealers International Convention/Expo Oct. 3-7 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

According to a news release from the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), topics will include:

  • Advanced Rental Topic 1: Lot Operations, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2:45-4:00 p.m. This workshop will cover best practices for everything that happens on your rental lot. Walk-throughs, maintenance, Pre-rental prep, check-ins, service calls, cleaning, and repairs, will be among the topics that the three instructors, and the participants, will explore. The instructors for this 75-minute workshop are Martin Onken, Expedition Motorhomes Inc., Tom Zielstra, Pierce RV Supercenter, and Donn Kaebisch, RV Rental Outlet.
  • Advanced Rental Topic 2: Office Operations, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2:45-4:00 p.m. This workshop will cover best practices for everything that happens in your rental office. Procedures, paperwork, phones, counter, website, customer appreciation, profitability, and pricing, will be the topics that the three instructors, and the participants, will explore. The instructors for this 75-minute workshop are Martin Onken, Expedition Motorhomes, Inc., Barry Raye, 84 RV Rentals & Service, and Brad Bacon, PleasureLand RV Center Inc.
  • How to Run a Successful Rental Department, Thursday, Oct. 6, 1:15-2:30 p.m. Led by Randall Jeremiah of Adventure on Earth, this workshop is geared for dealers considering rentals. The first half of the session will examine profitability. The discussion will include specific examples and possible fleet configurations. The session will then turn to RV rental myths, including debunking the myth that rental units are often returned in poor condition. You’ll also learn about turning a fleet for a profit. The goal of this workshop is to provide attendees with a enough information on RV rental operations that they’ll be able to make an informed decision on whether rental is right for their dealership.

Click here for more information.

GE Capital Analysts to Address RV Dealers at Expo

July 6, 2011 by · Comments Off on GE Capital Analysts to Address RV Dealers at Expo 

Serena Tse

Scott Cohen

Serena Tse and Scott Cohen, industry research analysts at GE Capital, Americas, will discuss economic indicators affecting the RV industry, industry trends, and their outlook on how it all shakes out during a special session titled “Does 1 + 1 Still Equal 2? The RV Industry in 2012 and Beyond” at the 2011 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo.

The convention, sponsored by the RV Dealers Association (RVDA), RVDA of Canada, and the RV Learning Center, is set for the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Oct. 3-7. The special session is scheduled for Oct. 5, according to a news release.

“It’s a strange world we live in, and seemingly contradictory economic indicators leave us wondering if old adages still hold true,” says RVDA Convention/Expo Committee Chairman Peter Albano of American RV in Olive Branch, Miss. “We are fortunate to have secured the insights of GE Capital for this dynamic session that will help us make sense of the economic factors that impact RV sales.”

Tse is a senior vice president and senior research analyst for GE Capital, Americas, covering the construction and transportation sectors. With more than 15 years of experience following these industries, she strives to analyze general economic conditions, cyclical and secular industry trends, and regional dynamics affecting construction and transportation. Tse publishes quarterly “Industry Research Monitors”, regional “Trends,” and monthly “Updates.” She also publishes the annual GE Capital Transportation Survey.”

Cohen is a senior research analyst at GE Capital. His work focuses on the consumer, media, and communications sectors. His recent work in the consumer sector has included the collaborative development of a robust forecasting tool for a key client within the leisure vehicle sector.

“This session is another way that GE Capital supports the mission of the RVDA and dealer education,” says Peter Lannon, managing director for Commercial Distribution Finance’s (CDF)’s RV business. “We have a strong commitment to the RV industry in the United States and Canada and are looking forward to presenting this session, which will be designed exclusively for the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo.”

GE Capital, Commercial Distribution Finance is a leading provider of specialized financing and servicing programs in the U.S. and Canada that facilitate the manufacture, distribution, and sale of RVs, watercraft, motorsports, technology products, electronics and appliances, industrial equipment, outdoor power equipment, office products, musical instruments, trailers, and other consumer durables. GE Capital is a Gold Sponsor of the convention.

Themed “ReVolution: Take Charge Today,” the convention will feature new, in-depth super sessions covering the top issues RV dealers and their employees are facing. The education program will include information on building sales through innovative marketing strategies that reach new customers and an overview of the short and long-term trends that will affect the RV industry.

To make the convention as affordable as possible, the registration fee for dealership employees is the same as last year. Register by August 6 for special early-bird rates. RVDA is also offering special registration plans, including an “Easy Pay” plan of four payments. To register, visit www.rvda.org. Companies interested in sponsorship opportunities and exhibitor information can contact RVDA at (703) 591-7130, ext 103 or send an e-mail to scharter@rvda.org .

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