Recreational vehicle maker Thor Industries Inc. is partnering with an organization of credit unions to offer RV discounts of up to $1,000 for credit union members.
CUcorp, a credit union marketing group, said today (Aug. 26) that credit union members are eligible for discounts of $300 to $1,000 on the RVs purchased through Thor’s Airstream, Breckenridge, CrossRoads, Damon Motor Coach, Dutchmen, Four Winds and Komfort brands, according to the Washington Examiner.
Thor Chief Operating Officer Dicky Riegel said the discounts will help the company bring in more business from credit unions, which are member-owned financial institutions that often offer better retail financing terms than banks.
“Credit has been a little bit difficult over the past several months and has contributed to the difficulties we’ve faced as an industry,” Riegel said during a conference call. “To help credit unions gain share of RV loans – which are historically high-performing loans – that is an excellent goal of this program’
The program is the latest expansion of CUcorp’s “Invest in America” program, which has offered discounts to credit union members buying vehicles made by Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC. CUCorp CEO Dave Adams said the program has helped to sell 180,000 vehicles so far this year. More than 1,900 credit unions around the country are part of the program, he said.
The RV industry has been among the hardest hit in the economic recession as the market for financing grew tighter and consumer spending declined. RV sales are down 55% for the first six months of the year compared with the year-ago period, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
In addition, several companies in the RV industry have filed for bankruptcy protection over the last year. But the industry group is expecting sales to rebound 24% next year compared to 2009 levels.
The Michigan Credit Union League announced a marketing agreement with Thor Industries Inc., the largest producer of recreational vehicles, to aid credit unions offering secured RV loans through Thor’s captive finance firm, Thor CC Inc., according to Credit Union Times.
Under the marketing pact, CUcorp, the league’s marketing subsidiary, will promote “high-quality consumer RV loans” and “broaden the complement of lending products we provide to credit unions,” according to the league.
“High-quality RV loans can help credit unions diversify their portfolio in a safe and profitable manner and also provides an additional avenue to attain new members,” said David Adams, president/CEO of the league.
The captive, Thor CC, originates secured RV loans and sells those loans to both banks and CUs. Thor has 1,300 dealers nationwide.
In a press statement, the league noted that RV loans have outperformed mortgage and home equity portfolios, and the new agreement will allow CUs “cross sell other products and services to this desirable demographic.”
“CUcorp has been a leading provider of new products and services to the credit union industry for the past 40 years,” said Ed Arienti, president and CEO of Thor CC Inc. “We are very excited about this new partnership and look forward to delivering high-quality RV loans and new members to CUcorp’s credit union network.”
TCC offers credit unions a unique channel to acquire incremental members and cross-sell other products and services to this desirable demographic. Traditionally, RV loans have outperformed mortgage and home equity portfolios.
Credit unions interested in finding out more about this opportunity are encouraged to contact CUcorp Vice President for Marketing and Sales Lisa Robinson at (800) 262-6285 ext. 539 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CUcorp, a marketing company based in Livonia, Mich., and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Michigan Credit Union League, provides advertising services through CU Growth Solutions and technology solutions through CU Village. Follow Love My Credit Union on Twitter at www.twitter.com/LoveMyCU.
CUcorp, a subsidiary of the Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) that provides products and services to credit unions nationwide, will host a meeting for Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) member manufacturers from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on May 21 in Elkhart, Ind., at the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum to discuss a proposal to include RVs in their Invest in America Program targeting the nation’s credit unions and their members.
The Invest in America Program was developed to provide exclusive credit union member discounts on products and services offered by American-owned corporations to provide a stimulus for stronger financial results for the U.S. economy, increase credit union membership, and member satisfaction, according to an RVIA news release. Over 1,000 credit unions and 40 state credit union associations are already promoting the Invest in America Program.
Currently, CUcorp has partnered with GM, Chrysler, AAA, and Sprint/Nextel in the Invest in America Program. Under the proposal to include RVs, participating RV manufacturers would offer an exclusive credit union member discount on the purchase of RV products. In return, credit unions would provide financing options and promote the RV program to their members. CUcorp would also promote the inclusion of RVs in the program to credit unions nationwide.
“The Invest in America Program offers promise for the RV market with the potential to provide attractive financing options to RV buyers,” said RVIA President Richard Coon. “We are making our members aware of this opportunity so our member manufacturers can learn more about the program and determine if they would like to participate.”
With the national economy and RV market facing a tight credit market, the nation’s credit unions offer an attractive lending option. Credit unions have over $166 billion in liquid investments as of Dec. 31, 2008. Their membership demographics are also impressive as credit union members are better educated, have a higher household income and are more likely to be married, homeowners and employed full-time than the general public.
CUcorp is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) and has been at the forefront of providing new products and services to credit unions for the past 40 years.