RVBusiness Releases ’16 Class of Top 50 Dealers

September 29, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

RVBusiness magazine today (Sept. 29) announced the winners of the 2016 RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer Awards, designed to recognize U.S. and Canadian RV retailers nominated by RV manufacturers for their professional approach to most every aspect of their commercial enterprises – from sales to F&I and service operations — as well as their civic and charitable practices. “The industry in general has demonstrated an interest in raising the bar with regard to the quality of products and services... Read more

‘Sully’ Sullenberger to Keynote RVIA Outlook 2017

September 28, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) announced major changes to the upcoming National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 28–Dec. 1. With a significant investment, the show will unveil exciting new elements to go along with popular tried-and-true features to benefit all attendees, RVIA reported in a press release. The Outlook 2017 program, a long-standing show opener, will feature Captain “Sully” Sullenberger delivering the keynote address. While he is best known... Read more

RVIA: RV Shipments Post Best August Since 1977

September 27, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

RV wholesale shipments to retailers tracked by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) rebounded strongly in August after a lower-than-expected July report. Monthly shipment totals for the month totaled 35,946 units, a rise of 26.8% over last month and 31.5% ahead of August 2015. This was the largest August total since 1977. Year-to-date totals have reached 290,582 units, an increase of 13% over the 257,089 units shipped during the same eight-month period last year. Motorhomes posted... Read more

Thor Thanks Community for Open House Success

September 26, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

In a high-profile tribute delivered to Elkhart, Ind., and the surrounding communities, Thor Industries Inc. ran a full page ad in Saturday’s (Sept. 24) editions of the South Bend Tribune, The Elkhart Truth and the Goshen News offering a formal thank you for the area’s support in the wake of last week’s Elkhart RV Open House. Bob Martin, Thor president and CEO, told the ad — which also conveyed a heartfelt shout out to Thor’s 14,900 employees — provided... Read more

OEMs: 2016 RV Open House Was ‘The Best Ever’

September 22, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Dealers sit down to dinner at the Elkhart Open House From the on-stage C&W performances at Forest River Inc.’s mammoth exhibit to the crowd-pleasing Mercedes-Benz giveaway at Thor Industries Inc.’s expansive display, the 2016 Elkhart RV Open House will likely be remembered as one of the best so far in the nine-year history of the Open House – a growing trade exposition that takes place each September along the boulevards of Elkhart, Ind., where the vast majority of North America’s recreational... Read more

‘Open House’ Delivers as Dealers Buy Up Product

September 21, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Dealers enjoy dinner at the RV Open House (Photo by Shawn Spence, RVBusiness Magazine) The biggest event of the year for the largest recreational vehicle company in the world is off and running with new amenities as the top attractions. As reported by the Elkhart Truth, Thor Industries Inc.’s 2016 Open House opened on Monday (Sept. 19) morning at the RV/MH Hall of Fame, giving dealers a good look at new models. By mid-morning a steady stream of dealers were going in and out of the more... Read more

Hershey RV Show Sets Record as Gate Hits 57,692

September 19, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Crowds packed the Hershey Show throughout the five-day run (Photo by Kirk Zutell) Throughout last week’s five-day run crowds packed the turnstiles leading into the Giant Center’s expansive grounds as America’s Largest RV Show lived up to its billing with record attendance of 57,692 for the annual event in Hershey, Pa. Aided by picture perfect weather, the show’s Sept. 14-18 Public Days surpassed previous highs every day except for Sunday’s closing. “We couldn’t have asked for better... Read more

Open House ‘Menu’ is About More Than New RVs

September 15, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Forest River packed the house at last year’s Open House during its evening entertainment By now, the lobster tails served up under the Thor Industries Inc. tent and the fist-sized filet mignon usually on the dinner menu at least one night at Forest River Inc.’s Dynamax facility have become the stuff of Open House legend. Suffice to say that both companies will again be pulling out all the stops with food and drink at their respective venues. Increasingly, however, they are being joined... Read more

Forest River Open House Books Adkins, Daughtry

September 12, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Daughtry will perform at Forest River’s Open House display In celebration of its 20th anniversary, Forest River Inc. will be showcasing two Grammy-nominated performers as parts of its expansive product display at the Elkhart County RV Open House slated to run the week of Sept. 19. According to a press release, on Tuesday evening country artist Trace Adkins will be performing while the group Daughtry will take the stage Wednesday night. Both acts will be opening at 8 p.m. on their respective... Read more

SSI: Towable Sales Gain 1.8% in July, 11.4% YTD

September 10, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Year-over-year towable retail registrations edged up 1.8% in July while posting an 11.4% gain for the first seven months. Travel trailers were the only segment to post an increase in sales during the month. According to the latest report from Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI), results by category showed: Sales for the travel trailer segment increased 4.8% for the month and 14.5% year-to-date. Fifth-wheel registrations declined 4.9% in July, while seeing a 4.2% gain for the first seven months. Folding... Read more

SSI: Motorhome Sales Flat in July, Rise 8.5% YTD

September 9, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

July motorhome retail registrations showed no change from the same period a year ago while sales for the first six months grew 8.5%. According to the latest report by Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI), Thor Industries Inc. was the motorized sales leader through July with a 36.1% market share, ahead of Forest River Inc. (25.9%) and Winnebago Industries Inc. (17.8%). Motorhome sales by Jayco Inc. were included in totals for Thor Industries Inc., which acquired the company on July 1. Sales in the Class... Read more

Elkhart RV Open House is ‘Getting Bigger’ in 2016

September 8, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Thor’s expansive display at the Hall of Fame was filled last year The RV industry’s biggest “block party” — the Elkhart RV Open House — just got bigger. Not so much in size, mind you. While there have always been a few outlier displays in nearby cities like Middlebury and Bristol, the annual September trade show has, for the most part, traditionally taken over a large swath of Elkhart’s northeast side. And, true to form, the ninth annual affair will again occupy a lengthy stretch... Read more

2016 CARAVAN SALON Posts Record Attendance

September 6, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Display halls were packed at 2016 CARAVAN SALON This year’s CARAVAN SALON Düsseldorf posted all-time record attendance of 203,500 as the international trade fair marked its 55th year Aug. 26-Sept. 4 at Germany’s Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre. “CARAVAN SALON 2016 was an outstanding event with great business, very good sales figures and the best mood. Despite the summery temperatures on the first weekend, this year’s fair will be the best in the event’s history and has more than met our... Read more

Dexter Axle Acquires Supplier Rockwell American

September 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

DexKo Global Inc., global supplier of trailer running gear, chassis assemblies and related components, announced that Dexter Axle Co. has acquired Azle, Texas-based Rockwell American from American Industrial Partners. DexKo Global was formed through Elkhart, Ind.-based Dexter Axle’s acquisition of German manufacturer AL-KO Vehicle Technology (AL-KO VT). According to a press release, Rockwell has been a leading supplier of trailer axles, leaf springs, fenders and other trailer components serving... Read more

A Closer Look at Walorski’s Roundtable in Elkhart

August 29, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Indiana Rep. Jackie Walorski The economy, taxes, federal regulations and the area’s labor issues took center stage at a Roundtable discussion last week (Aug. 25) involving 2nd District Indiana Rep. Jackie Walorski and a room full of RV and marine executives at Lexington Corp. on the north side of Elkhart, Ind. The session was part of a swing through the area during which the Republican congresswoman, a former news reporter for South Bend’s WSBT-TV, also toured a number of area businesses in... Read more

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