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Shipment Growth and Innovative Products On Display at 51st National RV Show

RVIA’s 51st National RV Trade Show, held Dec. 3-5 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, KY, displayed 2014 product lines, as well as the kind of optimism for the future that has fueled the four straight years of rising shipments.

“Everywhere I went, there was a strong feeling that the industry is doing well,” said RVIA President Richard Coon. “The RV market is coming back, and the key economic indicators are pointing in the right direction.”

The RV industry’s premiere show included 61 manufacturers and 217 suppliers showcasing their latest products and newest designs across more than 720,000 square feet of exhibit space. Attendance totaled 7,751, a small 1% increase from 2012. Total buying attendance, representing individual attendees in the RV dealer, accessory store, campground owner, and warehouse distributor categories, was down 3% to 2,874. The total number of dealerships will be released after RVIA is able to complete its internal audit of attendance data.

Although attendance was flat, a feeling of optimism pervaded the show floor.

“We were happy with traffic in our booth,” said Chad Reece of Winnebago. “There was a positive response to our new products and we did good business.”

“We’ve had a terrific show,” said Paul Eskritt of Forest River. “We’re hearing favorable comments from dealers and our sales have been strong.”

At the National RV Trade Show, RVIA released details of a new shipments projection for 2014, prepared by Dr. Richard Curtin of the University of Michigan and RVIA’s Market Information Committee. The RV industry recovery from the economic downturn will continue in 2014, as shipments are expected to rise to 335,500 — a 6% increase over the projected 2013 total of 316,300 units.

The rise in shipments to 316,300 units by year-end 2013 would be an 11% gain over the 2012 total of 285,749, and would be the first time since 2007 that RV shipments surpassed 300,000 units. The expected increase in 2014 would mark a fifth consecutive year of RV market growth.

The 52nd National RV Trade Show will take place December 2-4, 2014 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.

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