Industry leaders have touted the international expansion of the RV market as one of the indicators of the industry’s recovery. But, according to a report in the Elkhart (Ind.) Truth, local manufacturers and suppliers are mainly still in the “getting-to-know-you” stage with many foreign companies and haven’t seen a real influx of international products into the domestic market.
That’s not to say that local companies aren’t paying attention.
At Tuesday’s (Dec. 3) Outlook Breakfast of the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) 51st Annual National RV Trade Show, RVIA President Richard Coon presented statistics that showed growth in several international markets including Australia, New Zealand and China.
The biggest overseas market, Europe, was actually slightly behind where it was a few years ago, but the strides made in other markets has the industry hopeful.
Coon said more than 700 individuals from overseas had registered for the week’s show. That total included personnel from the 13 international exhibitors, as well as many others attending the show simply to check out what U.S. manufacturers and suppliers had to offer.
Foreign suppliers littered the show floor, including furniture suppliers Tecnoform of Italy, Crespo of Spain, Fiamma of Italy and Truma, a German company that recently opened an Elkhart location.
Lippert Component Inc.’s director of marketing Jarod Lippert said the Louisville Show has become the most significant time for Lippert to connect with potential international partners.
“The international guys, this is their one time of the year to come here and get ideas and see things and talk to us,” Lippert said.
Lippert said they’ve recently hired people specifically to handle international sales. “That’s something that we’re really pushing forward in the next year and beyond.”
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