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Obama Visit to Elkhart Draws More Publicity for RV Industry

President Barack Obama’s return to the RV heartland August 5 for an economic announcement in Wakarusa, Ind. resulted in another round of national media coverage in which the RV industry’s rebound and future figured.

Speaking to a crowd at the Navistar-Monaco Coach facility, Obama announced $2.4 billion in recovery act grants for manufacturing advanced battery technology and electric vehicles. The grants are expected to spur job growth.

“The battle for our future will be fought and won in Elkhart,” Obama told the audience.  “It will be won by making Elkhart what it once was, a center of innovation, entrepreneurship, and opportunity.”

Obama said that the money allocated in the plan to develop new battery technologies would allow not just cars, but potentially RVs as well, to move into the next generation.

The speech was carried live on cable news networks.  NBC News Chief White House Correspondent and Political Editor Chuck Todd conducted a one-on-one interview with the President while they walked the motorhome factory floor.  Todd asked questions submitted by Indiana residents concerning the economy and stimulus progress.  The interview was featured on MSNBC and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.

CNN also aired a piece on the impact of stimulus funding to Indiana and spoke with Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore, who remains optimistic about the city’s future.

RVIA President Richard Coon said, "The fact that Obama has made Elkhart such a key part of his plans for the nation's economic recovery is very positive for the RV industry, and I look forward to continued focus on jump-starting the region's recovery."

The event drew nationwide coverage from major national media, including The Los Angeles Times, New York Times and Associated Press.  The Washington Post previewed the event by profiling a couple affected by job losses in Elkhart.


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