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Rebounding Industry Enjoys RVIA’s Upbeat National RV Trade Show

With shipments rising and consumer demand remaining strong, RVIA's 48th Annual National RV Trade Show showcased 2011 product lines and brought together an industry optimistic about prospects for continued growth. 

The show featured 70 RV manufacturers and 251 suppliers exhibiting in 766,000 square feet of show space — 27% more than the 604,000 in 2009.  Attendance was 8,696 in 2010, compared to 8,323 in 2009, an increase of 5%.  Dealer attendance was 3,173, up 11%.  A total of 1,294 dealerships attended the Louisville show, an increase of 10%.

With 2010 shipments projected to improve 43% from 2009, the mood on the show floor had a similar upswing, according to attendees.

“The general mood of the show, with the increase in show space, is terrific and encouraging,” said Bob Olson, president and CEO of Winnebago.  “It points to the fact that we’re on the road to recovery.”

“Traffic has been very good,” said Northern Lite General Manager Keith Donkin.  “There are definitely more dealers here than last year, and the attitude is more upbeat.”

“We found that optimism was much higher on the floor this year,” said Michael Santillo, director of marketing at Flexsteel.  “This is an excellent show for us to be in front of our customers to establish and maintain our relationships.  This is definitely the pinnacle show for us.”

“This is the best new dealer show in my six years of coming to Louisville,” said Kevin McMahon, a Sunnybrook RV sales representative.  “There’s more confidence among dealers this year than last year.”

“This is the best diesel show we’ve had in the past eight years I’ve been coming,” said Matt Thompson, vice president of diesel for Thor Motor Coach.  “Dealers have been very responsive and we’ve written a lot of orders.”

“The positive energy in Louisville shows the strength of the industry’s recovery,” said RVIA President Richard Coon.  “It gives us a great opportunity to build on this year’s growth and to have a prosperous 2011 and beyond.”

Next year’s show — the 49th Annual National RV Trade Show — will take place Nov. 29 through Dec.1 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.

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