As RV sales in Fife, Wash., continue to gain momentum, more dealerships are taking part in the action.
“We didn’t have any business for a couple of years,” said Russ O’Connor, general manager of Fife RV Center. “We had a lot of pent-up demand in the area. … We had dealers that went away, but now we have dealers popping back up. The factories are reinvesting again.”
The Business Examiner, Tacoma, reported that O’Connor said his business is up about 60% from last year and on top of that last year was up significantly over the year before.
“You are going to see all this pent-up demand and all these people waiting for something new to come out or something better,” O’Connor said. “You are seeing all those people coming back into the market. It is very, very good.”
Baydo’s RV Center in Fife also witnessed the collapse of the industry in 2008.
“That kind of marked the turning point for sure,” said Kim Smith, finance manager for Baydo’s. “Then from about 2010 on, it’s been an ever steady increase in business. Last year was real good and this year is getting off to a banner start as well.”
While Smith said sales weren’t where they were in the 2007 period, he does believe this year will still be a “record year” for the RV industry.
“It’s just getting better and better all the time,” he said.
O’Connor said a couple of factors play into the industry’s improvement. But perhaps the most important one is that banks started to lend to customers again.
“In 2010 you would have a customer with good credit, but you couldn’t get them financed,” he said. “There’s a lot of RVers out there, but they couldn’t get the money to consider financing an RV. You don’t have that many cash buyers out there. When the lending went away the industry took a big hit.”
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