The Recreation Dealers Cooperative Association (REDEX) will unveil a private-label retail initiative during its annual meeting April 28-29 at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort in San Antonio, Texas.
”We didn’t have any retail exposure at all,” said John Mancinelli, who in March was named executive director of REDEX with offices in Bowling Green, Ky.
REDEX was formed in 1996 as a dealer cooperative and currently has 51 members with combined revenue of about $2 billion who accounted for the sale of 50,000 new and used RVs in 2008.
”We took on a new name — Priority RV Network (www.priorityrvnetwork.com) – and in San Antonio we will be introducing new products and programs and talking about how we will move forward,” Mancinelli continued. The organization will retain its REDEX nomenclature for its business-to-business operation, Mancinelli said.
Retail programs will include customer service, extended care, roadside assistance, certified RVs and a camping club along with other services, Mancinelli said.
About 45 dealers representing more than 90 locations are expected to attend the San Antonio meeting as well as 18 vendors including Bank of the West, US Bank, Reed Brothers Insurance, P&H Group, Coach-Net and distributors NTP Distribution and Stag-Parkway Inc.
Mancinelli said REDEX will continue to provide business-to-business opportunities for its dealership members apart from its retail outreach program.
”We think we have a really good idea how to make this work,” he said.
”The whole idea is that REDEX will have two functions. One is to have the b2b vendor program that give us an advantage in the marketplace. But there also will be an external side where we want to be visible in the RV consumer marketplace so that consumers can have the same advantage.
”We want consumers to recognize the fact that there is advantage of doing business with a Priority RV dealer.”
Heartland Recreationa How To Get Ur Girl Back l Vehicle LLC recently obtained a 150% increase in its floorplan allotment from GE Capital, the Elkhart, Ind.-based towable manufacturers told dealers in an e-mail last week.
”That is a very significant increase,” said Brian Brady, Heartland president and CEO, who declined to release financial details. ”With the exit of KeyBank and Textron it was important to have.”
Brady said Heartland’s increased lending limit will have a substantial impact when recovery occurs. ”This market is going to turn around,” Brady said. ”Credit is going to loosen up. When it does, that’s when this increase will have a profound impact on our business.”
In another positive note, Heartland also recently entered a floorplan agreement with Bank of the West, Brady reported.
The GE Capital increase followed a routine credit review and will allow more Heartland travel trailers and fifth-wheels to be sold wholesale to credit-worthy dealers, according to Brady.
Brady’s e-mail to Heartland dealers also disclosed that the privately owned company’s revenue increased 20% in 2008 compared to 2007 and that the Elkhart, Ind.-based towable manufacturer was within 2% of its revenue forecast for the first quarter of 2009.
”It’s very difficult out there, but our guys did a very good job managing the business,” Brady told RVBusiness. ”Our first quarter is going to be very, very solid.”
Brady said that floorplan lenders are being particularly attentive right now to an OEM’s ability to buy back units under terms of existing agreements with dealers and lenders. ”The big concern for the national floorplan providers is the capacity to honor repurchase obligations,” Brady said. ”The second issue is the credit-worthiness of the dealer. But we can’t really control that.”
Generally, manufacturers and dealers have cited tight credit at the wholesale and retail levels as a key reason why RV sales plummeted last year. The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) has made freeing up credit at both levels a top priority.