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RVIA Seminars Focus on Key Issues

RVIA hosted a series of seminars on March 11 at the Century Center in South Bend, Ind. that focused on issues of significant interest to members, including the recently announced TALF program (see story above), new opportunities for credit union financing, the implementation of CARB requirements, and plans for the association's 2009 retail and trade shows.

Credit Unions and RV Financing
American Recreation Coalition (ARC) President Derrick Crandall moderated a discussion of the benefits of a liaison between the RV industry and
America’s credit unions, and provided an overview of RVIA’s pilot program in partnership with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) to develop dealer floor plan and consumer financing through credit unions. 

Speakers Richard Rice, President and CEO of Teachers Credit Union in South Bend, Paul Novotny, a financial consultant in the RV and marine industries, and RVIA President Richard Coon outlined credit union financing options and explained how the industry can approach and establish relationships with local credit unions. Pointing out that 90 million Americans belong to credit unions, and that 90 percent of credit unions offer RV and boat loans, Rice said that, in contrast to other financial institutions, “credit has not dried up in the credit union industry.”

Crandall outlined the steps that have been taken to form a liaison between the recreation and credit union industries, including efforts to bring together RV and boat manufacturers with larger credit unions that have cash available to lend. CUNA and ARC continue to work together to bring RV and boat dealers to already scheduled automobile/truck buying events, to pursue RV manufacturer interest in offering special pricing for credit union members, and to share legislative targets and tactics that would benefit both industries.  

Implementation of CARB and RVIA Requirements
RVIA Vice President of Standards and Education Bruce Hopkins hosted a session on CARB emission requirements, implementation, and enforcement with Lynn Baker of the California Air Resource Board (CARB) participating via phone.

The seminar outlined what RVIA members should be doing to ensure adherence to the CARB and RVIA regulations, and included:
* An overview of CARB requirements for Phase I and RVIA program requirements
* Labeling requirements for CARB
* Managing wood usage for CARB and for RVIA's program
* A discussion of when RVIA will require CA Certified wood for all 50 states
* Overview of Phase II requirements for CARB and for RVIA

Plans for RVIA’s 2009 Retail and Trade Shows
RVIA Vice President of Meetings and Shows Mike Hutya outlined plans to ensure that both the National RV Trade Show and the California RV Show remain relevant and important to members even during difficult financial times.

Hutya outlined Show Committee plans to revamp its look and messaging in order to attract exhibitors and consumers to the California RV Show. “This year’s California RV Show will have a brand-new look and feel, one we think will energize our exhibitors and attract consumers who might be new to RVing,” she said.  "Our consumer advertising messages focus on RVing providing economical, quality family time in a healthy and wholesome environment,” she continued, pointing out that the Show Committee agreed to an increased use of web-based promotional vehicles to get more “bang for the advertising buck.”  At the show itself, plans include adding an outdoor living section and a green RV display.

RVIA and the Show Committee are also focused on aggressively marketing this year's National RV Trade Show and working to diversify attendance at the show by appealing to credit unions and a broader group of recreation equipment dealers. “RVIA wants to make sure that our members continue to think of the National RV Trade Show as a great value and an important investment of their time and money,” said RVIA President Richard Coon.  

Manufacturer space offerings for both shows were sent to exhibitors this month. Coon strongly encouraged members to have a major presence at both shows.  "As the industry's true only-trade show, the National RV Trade Show remains a tremendous value to promote your company and products, and the California RV Show provides access to thousands of consumers in one of the top RV markets anywhere," he said.  "I urge you to buy a lot of show space, invest in your company's future, and send a powerful message to your customers and prospects about your outlook for the RV market."

To reserve space at the National RV Trade Show, slated for December 1-3 in Louisville, manufacturers may contact RVIA’s Show Department at (703) 620-6003. Members interested in exhibiting at the California RV Show should contact RVIA's Western Region Office at (951) 274-0696.


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