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Coon, Sheldon Address RV Industry Issues

Posted By RVBusiness On June 10, 2010 @ 2:48 pm In Breaking News | No Comments

Richard Coon

Richard Coon

Speaking to members at Recreation Vehicle Industry Assocation (RVIA) Membership Meeting at the Century Center in South Bend, Ind., Wednesday (June 9), RVIA President Richard Coon and Chairman Jim Sheldon detailed a number of long-term issues on the association’s radar screen as the RV industry begins to recover from the market downturn.

“These are important items and trends that need to be considered as the RV industry moves forward because they will play a factor in our continued success,” Coon said, noting that the RV industry is becoming more global, according to a press release.

“The RV lifestyle is no longer just a North American or European phenomenon. The industry continues to develop in China, Australia and South Africa, and this provides opportunities for the RV industry,” he said.

Among the other issues, he discussed:

  • The environmental movement and government regulations, such as Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and greenhouse gas emission standards, will continue to play a significant role in the future development of the RV industry’s products.
  • The rush of recent state franchise legislation driven by automotive dealers in response to the impact of the recession on the automotive industry has the potential to adversely impact RV dealer and manufacturer relations.
  • The need for continued focus on customer aftermarket service so problems can be remedied.
  • Destination camping becoming more popular among consumers and needs to be studied and promoted.
  • The need to interest America’s young people in nature and outdoor recreation to create a new generation of outdoor and RV enthusiasts.
  • In addition, Coon reviewed actions by the RVIA Board of Directors over the past year and detailed the make-up of the RVIA Board and Executive Committee for attendees at the meeting.

    “We have an active, engaged Board composed of manufacturer, spplier and at-large members serving alongside the past chairmen of the association,” Coon said.  “And, our executive committee members provide a tremendous amount of experience and expertise. As an association, we are fortunate to have such strong leadership.

    Jim Sheldon

    Jim Sheldon

    Sheldon said that with the RV market beginning to rebound it was a fitting that the industry gathered in the South Bend and Elkhart, Ind. area for RVIA Committee Week meetings.

    “It has been a tremendous week for our industry, coming together here in the RV capital of the world to celebrate the RV Centennial as the industry begins to travel the road to recovery,” Sheldon said.

    He praised the RVIA Government Affairs department for success on several federal and statue issues, including their work on new light-duty truck mileage standards that preserve towing capacity.

    “The new standards could have been much more stringent, but the fact that towing capacity has not been significantly impacted is a critical win for the industry,” Sheldon said.

    Sheldon then detailed achievements in the Standards and Education department with notable highlights that included the development of the 2011 editions of the National Electrical Code, NFPA and ANSI standards for the RV industry; the development of an RV service technician standard that details the position’s skill and competencies; and the creation of an apprentice program that will provide a learning foundation and on-the-job exposure for potential technicians.

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