The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) will honor 25 RV brands built by 12 manufacturers with its Quality Circle Award just prior to the opening of the 48th Annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., on Nov. 29.
These brands/manufacturers received at least 15 dealer responses and scored 80% or above in overall dealer satisfaction in the association’s 17th Annual Dealer Satisfaction Index (DSI) survey, the RVDA stated in a news release.
The towable RV brands/manufacturers receiving awards are (in alphabetical order): Coachmen RV Catalina/Freedom Express, Coleman Travel Trailers/fifth-wheels (built by Dutchmen Manufacturing), Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc. Kodiak, EverGreen RV, Jayco Inc. folding Campers,Jayco Designer, Jayco Eagle; Jayco Jay Feather, Jayco Jay Flight, Jayco SUTs,Keystone RV Co. Fuzion/Passport/Residence/Springdale/Summerland, Keystone Montana/Cougar,Keystone Sprinter/Bullet/Outback/Sydney, KZ RV Coyote; KZ Durango, KZ Inferno, KZ Sportsmen, KZ Spree, Lance truck campers,Open Range and Prime Time Manufacturing LaCrosse/Tracer.
The four motorized RV brands/manufacturers receiving awards are (in alphabetical order): Jayco, Pleasure-Way Industries Ltd., Tiffin Motor Homes Inc. and Winnebago Industries Inc./Itasca/ERA.
“Dealers believe the DSI is a tool to help improve communication and the overall relationship with their manufacturers,” said RVDA Chairman of the Board Tim O’Brien of Circle K RVs in Lapeer, Mich. “Through their responses in the DSI, dealers tell us that these RV brands have done an outstanding job of working with their retailer partners over the past year.”
Five manufacturers of eight towable brands, and one motorized brand received DSI Honorable Mention awards for receiving scores of 80% or above in overall dealer satisfaction, but not enough dealer responses to qualify for the Quality Circle Award. They are (in alphabetical order): Airstream Inc., DRV Elite/Mobile/Select Suites, KZ MXT, Lance travel trailers and Starcraft RV Antigua/Travel Star in the towable category; and Triple E in the motorized category.
When rating their brands/manufacturers, RVDA asks dealers to express, confidentially, their level of satisfaction on eight core issues: sales support, sales territory, vehicle design, vehicle reliability/quality, competitive price/value, parts support, dealership warranty support and overall dealer communications.
The 17th Annual DSI survey was conducted between April and July 2010. Four hundred and twenty-three (423) dealers responded to the DSI this year, and provided 2,125 brand ratings, an average of a little more than five per dealer. A summary of the DSI survey aggregate results will appear in the December issue of RV Executive Today.
The board of directors of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) voted during its strategic planning meeting March 2-3 to launch the Dealer Satisfaction Index (DSI) survey earlier this year, according to a story in the current online issue of RVDA’s RV Executive Today.
The board passed the following motion unanimously: ”Based upon the positive trend in a majority of manufacturers’ DSI scores we will postpone the publication of full DSI results to the industry, and that Brand Committee chairmen will receive full DSI reports on their individual brand in time to present them during Brand Committee meetings at the 2010 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo.”
The distribution of DSI questionnaires to dealers will begin April 26 and the deadline for responding is July 1.
The 2010 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo will take place Oct. 4-8 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.
RVDA’s analysis of the most recent DSI survey indicated progress in some areas critical to the Go RVing Coalition’s Committee on Excellence (COE), particularly in the towable sector’s product quality. Improvement also occurred in the areas of overall communications and dealership warranty support.
Towable manufacturers improved their product quality/reliability by 2.5% in the 2009 survey compared to 2008. One towable manufacturer showed a 30% increase in product quality. There was a 2% increase in towable manufacturers’ communications efforts. One towable manufacturer scored a 16% increase. Dealership warranty support improved by 1%, and one towable manufacturer posted a 7% improvement.
Twenty-five manufacturers/brands earned year-over-year increases in the overall DSI scores between 2008 and 2009, while 17 brands/manufacturers declined. The manufacturers/brands earning increases represent approximately 54% of both the towable and motorhome retail markets.
Replacement parts availability and industrywide training are two other areas of critical importance to the COE, and towable manufacturers, on average, scored increases in all five areas.
The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) analysis of its Dealer Satisfaction Index (DSI) survey indicated progress in areas critical to the Go RVing Coalition’s Committee On Excellence (COE), particularly in towables sector product quality. Improvement also occurred in the areas of overall communications and dealership warranty support, according to an article in RVDA’s RV Executive Today online edition.
Responses to the 16th Annual DSI last year showed towables manufacturers improved their product quality/reliability by 2.5% when compared with the 15th Annual DSI conducted during 2008. One towables manufacturer showed a 30% increase in product quality.
There was a 2% increase in towable manufacturers’ communications efforts in 2009, when compared with 2008, according to dealers responding to the 16th Annual DSI. One towables manufacturer scored a 16% increase.
Dealership warranty support improved by 1% between 2008 and 2009, and one towables manufacturer posted a 7% improvement.
Replacement parts availability and industrywide training are the other two areas of critical importance to the COE, and towables manufacturers, on average, scored increases in all five areas. Meanwhile, the financial turmoil which had a greater impact on the motorhome sector, most likely accounted for the declines in all five areas of critical importance to the COE.
In total 25 manufacturers/brands earned year-over-year increases in the overall DSI scores between 2008 and 2009, while 17 brands/manufacturers declined.
The manufacturers/brands earning increases represent approximately 54% of both the towables and motorhome retail markets.
The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) presented its 16th annual Quality Circle Awards to eight RV manufacturers on Monday (Nov. 30) on the eve of the 47th Annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky.
As announced earlier, the towable RV brands/manufacturers receiving awards were (in alphabetical order): Forest River Inc., Jayco Inc., Keystone RV Co., KZ RV LP, Open Range RV and Palomino RV.
The three motorized RV brands/manufacturers receiving awards are (in alphabetical order): Jayco Inc., Tiffin Motor Homes Inc. and Winnebago Industries Inc.
The results of the 16th annual survey reflect more than 1,600 individual brand evaluations from 322 dealers, according to a news release. The builders received overall ratings of 80% or higher.
RVDA Chairman Debbie Brunoforte of Little Dealer, Little Prices in Mesa, Ariz., and Mike Molino, RVDA president, presented the awards.
Here are excerpts of Brunoforte’s comments preceding the awards presentation:
“There is no doubt that this is a challenging time for all of us in the RV business. Fortunately, there are signs that 2010 will be a better year . . . and we can set aside some of the doom and gloom from the past two years. I think most of you agree that the future is looking better than it did when we got together a year ago. In the past, this industry has rebounded faster than the overall economy. Let’s do all we can to make that pattern repeat itself. I love the RV business . . .
“Today, we have some short, but very important presentations to make . . . and then we can all get back to networking with our industry partners and fellow members. For the 16th consecutive year, RVDA asked dealers to express their level of satisfaction with their manufacturers, confidentially, through the Dealer Satisfaction Index – or DSI survey. The DSI is a tool to help improve dealer-manufacturer relations by identifying how dealers perceive the strengths and weaknesses of their brands and manufacturers. The DSI is not a scientific study — it measures our dealer attitudes toward our manufacturers’ products, policies, and procedures.”
For the 16th consecutive year, the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) will ask dealers to express their level of satisfaction with their manufacturers and/or specific brands, confidentially, through the association’s Dealer Satisfaction Index (DSI) survey.
RVDA’s Industry Relations Committee made major changes to the DSI survey in 2007 to make it more useful for dealers communicating with manufacturers. Dealers and manufacturers agree the changes put in place then are extremely helpful in pinpointing strengths and weaknesses, so the 16th Annual DSI follows the same format with minor tweaks put in place in 2008 to make it better, according to a news release.
The DSI is not a scientific study, but measures dealers’ attitudes about their manufacturers’ performance in eight key areas identified by RVDA’s Industry Relations Committee. The key areas include:
- Sales support
- Sales territory
- Vehicle design
- Vehicle reliability/quality
- Competitive price/value
- Parts support
- Dealership warranty support
- Overall dealer communications
One of the changes in 2008 involved asking dealers to pick which of the eight key areas listed above is the most important factor that helps their dealership sell RVs. They also were asked to pick the second- and third-most important factors.
Last year, dealers picked competitive price/value, vehicle reliability/quality, and vehicle design as the three most important factors in helping them sell RVs. Using 2008 as the baseline, the results of this year’s DSI will help determine whether dealer attitudes change over time as to the most important factors in helping them sell RVs.
Dealers also rate the brands they carry based upon their performance in the eight key areas listed above. The ratings are on a 1 to 5 scale with 5 equaling outstanding and 1 equaling poor. Brands rated by at least 15 dealers, and receiving scores on the eight criteria that average 4 or above, will receive the RVDA Quality Circle Award.
Because the way in which manufacturers and brands are rated has not changed since 2007, dealers and manufacturers now can see whether a particular manufacturer or brand is trending up or down, in terms of its performance in the eight key areas.
Last year, 13 towable RV brands built by four manufacturers and four motorhome brands built by three manufacturers received Quality Circle Awards. Four hundred sixty-eight dealers responded to the DSI survey in 2008, for 2,547 brand ratings, an average of almost 5 1/2 per dealer.