Agence France-Presse Visits Elkhart For Report On RV Industry And The Economy

Feb 6, 2020

As the consumer marketing and industry analysis leader in the RV industry, press outlets from all over the world come to the RV Industry Association to interview or connect with industry leaders and experts. Recently, RV Industry Association public relations staff served as on-the-ground guides in Elkhart to a team of journalists from Agence France-Presse (AFP), an international news service that provides stories and content in six languages to media outlets in 151 countries.

During a snowy January day, AFP visited Grand Design and Riverside RVs where they toured the manufacturing facilities and conducted interviews with Grand Design President Don Clark and Director of Operations Support Ann Spratt, and General Manager Mervin Lehman at Riverside.

The story focused on RVs as bellwethers of the economy because they are discretionary purchases that consumers typically make when they’re feeling comfortable about their economic futures.

“In the northeastern patch of Indiana centered around Elkhart, the verdict from the RV industry appeared to be that the economy - a key factor in whether President Donald Trump is re-elected - seems strong, although a notch less than recently,” reported AFP.

"A lot of people think that RVs are an economic indicator and in many ways it is, because a recreational vehicle is not a have-to-have, it's a want-to-have," said CEO of Grand Design Don Clark, a maker of high-end RVs since in 2012.

AFP also interviewed Sherman Goldenberg from RV Business, and Eric Sims, an economist at Notre Dame in South Bend. All agreed that the industry is doing well, though a bit below the record level of production in 2017.

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