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RV Industry Sees a Strong Sustainable Growth

Kentucky Exposition Center

The RV industry should continue to grow next year, though the market is changing, and if it grows more than anticipated, manufacturers and suppliers — most of them in Elkhart County — won’t be able to keep up.

That was the word at the opening of the 50th annual National RV Trade Show Tuesday (Nov. 27) at the Kentucky Exposition Center, The Elkhart Truth reported.

This year should finish out with about 10% growth, and next year should see about 4.5% growth, according to James Ashurst of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) at the kickoff breakfast. “There’s real reason for the industry to be upbeat,” he said.

Later in the day, the RVIA released numbers showing that so far this year, the industry is up 12.4% through October after October wholesale shipments posted 31% gains over the same month in 2011.

Tim Graber, one of many Forest River Inc. executives at the show, said the company is running at summer-like production levels to keep up with demand.

While there are concerns for the industry, like gas prices and the impact federal budget problems will have on consumers, Ashurst noted that 8.5% of vehicle-owning households in the U.S. own an RV, a steady increase over the decades.

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