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RVIA Chairman Gaeddert Says RVIA is “Rock Solid”

In his remarks at RVIA’s Membership Meeting on March 5 in Orlando, FL, RVIA Chairman of the Board Doug Gaeddert said that the RV industry benefits from being represented by an association that is “rock solid.”

“RVIA is in great shape. We are financially sound. We have a skilled staff working to advance and protect the RV market. We have a host of dedicated, talented volunteer leaders selflessly providing their time and insight to help chart our future,” said Gaeddert. “But most importantly, we have a very supportive membership that is fully engaged in the association, and that is the true source of our strength.”

In his talk, he also touched on several other topics and offered observations about the RV market:

• RV Shipments – He reported that RVIA’s latest projection estimates that RV shipments will end 2013 above 307,000 units. This would be a 7.5% increase over the 285,800 units in 2012 and the best year for the industry since 2007.

“The momentum keeps building for the RV market,” he said. “After a strong 2012, we’ve seen shipments continue to rise through the early part of 2013 and have heard promising reports from RV consumer shows and RV dealers through the U.S. and Canada of strong traffic, exceptional sales and high overall consumer interest in RV ownership.”

• Industry Consolidation – Gaeddert said that the RV industry has seen rapid consolidation since 2008 with approximately one-third of manufacturers, suppliers and dealers either leaving the market as casualties of the recession or being acquired by other companies.

“Certainly, losing a third of the industry is not ideal in any case,” he said. “However, one of the potential benefits of having fewer manufacturers, fewer suppliers and fewer RV dealership ownership positions in a growing market is that it should simplify the process of jointly identifying and solving industry issues and seizing opportunities. Anything reasonable ought to be possible to accomplish if we come together as an industry.”

• The Evolving Use of RVs – He noted that the way consumers use RVs is evolving. While the majority of owners and prospects prefer traditional RVing, there are those who prefer “seasonal” camping, meaning they keep and use their RV at the same site on a seasonal basis.

“The industry and RVIA need to evolve right along with those desires, and we’re doing that. RVIA amended our standards to allow for larger travel trailers that are used for seasonal camping. Another significant step was having park model manufacturers rejoin RVIA because we are in the same industry, we serve the same market, and we belong under the same roof. And, we will continue as an association to help our member companies adapt to a changing marketplace.”

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