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Sheldon Reflects on Industry Rebound, Association Achievements

Category: Committee Week
Source: RVIA
Publish Date: Monday, June 14, 2010
Summary: Meeting on June 9, Chairman of the Board Jim Sheldon said that with the RV market beginning to rebound it was fitting that the industry gathered in the South Bend and Elkhart, Ind.

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In remarks at RVIA's Membership Meeting on June 9, Chairman of the Board Jim Sheldon said that with the RV market beginning to rebound it was fitting that the industry gathered in the South Bend and Elkhart, Ind. area for the association's Committee Week meetings.

"It has been a tremendous week for our industry, coming together here in the RV capital of the world to celebrate the RV Centennial as the industry begins to travel the road to recovery," Sheldon said.

He reported that wholesales shipments totaled 24,600 units in April, continuing a nine month positive trend upward and leading RVIA to project 2010 year-end shipments to jump by 39 percent to 230,000 units.

With the RV market strengthening, Sheldon also said that RVIA's financial standing has improved allowing the association in April to lower seal fees paid by member manufacturers by $5 to $30. That fee was temporarily increased last summer to address growing pressure on the RVIA budget caused by the downturn in the RV market. (Note: The RVIA Board voted to cut the seal fee by another $5 at their June 10th meeting)

"In a severe economic environment, RVIA was able to continue our mission to promote and protect the interest of the membership and the industry at a crucial time," he explained. "Now that conditions are improving we are pleased to be able to reduce the cost to our membership."

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 improving outlook.

"The amount of manufacturer space requested for both shows has already eclipsed the total space used at the shows last year," Sheldon said. "We are expecting similar increases in requests by supplier exhibitors. And, that's great news for the industry because having robust trade shows speaks to the vitality of the RV market."

Sheldon also detailed a wide range of activities conducted by RVIA in the areas of government affairs, standards and industry education.

He praised the Government Affairs department for success on several federal and statue issues, including their work on new light duty truck mileage standards. These new standards announced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) for 2012-2016 models take steps to preserve towing capacity.

"The new standards could have been much more stringent, but the fact that towing capacity has not been significantly impacted is a critical win for the industry," Sheldon said.

Sheldon then detailed achievements in the Standards and Education department. Notable highlights included the development of the 2011 editions of the National Electrical Code, NFPA and ANSI standards for the RV industry; the development of an RV service technician standard that details the position's skills and competencies; and the creation of an apprentice program that will provide a learning foundation and on-the-job exposure for potential technicians.

In closing, Sheldon also thanked the RVIA members for their strong dedication to the association. "The support of our members allows us to be successful as an association," he concluded.


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