Mirroring reports from show exhibitors of strong traffic and sales, the 42nd Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show at Hersheypark in Hershey, Pa., that ended Sunday (Sept. 19) posted record attendance of 35,020 — 9.% higher than 2009, the sponsoring Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Camping Association (PRVCA) reported.
”People have been putting off their purchases for a while and now is the time they want to buy,” Heather Leach, PRVCA director of marketing and education,” told RVBUSINESS.com.
Reports from the FreedomRoads/Camping World dealership chain, Thor Motor Coach, Tiffin Motors Home Inc. and Carriage Inc. and other exhibitors consistently confirmed the strong sales trend.
Thor Motor Coach, formed by the recent merger of Damon Motor Coach and Four Winds International Corp., reported the show was possibly ”the best ever.”
”We nearly doubled our diesel numbers from last year, and last year was a good year,” said Matt Thompson, Thor Motor Coach vice president for diesels.
”We did excellent,” observed Phil Sarvari, executive vice president of Gulf Stream Coach Inc. ”We sold 38 pieces. People were buying, and our products were very well received.”
”Traffic was incredible,” added Don Clark, president of Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc. ”We did more than 2 1/2 times the volume of retail than we did last year. The customers were very upbeat. It was reassuring to see that kind of traffic.”
RV dealers and manufacturers report that the 42nd Annual Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show that wrapped up a six-day run Sunday (Sept. 19) at Hersheypark in Hershey, Pa., reminded them of days gone by.
”Borderline, it was the best ever,” said Bill Fenech, president of the new Thor Motor Coach, recently formed by the merger of Damon Motor Coach and Four Winds International Corp. ”It was very, very encouraging. Many of our products did significantly better than any other year, and it was definitely better than last year.
”And I think it was encouraging for the economy in general and for the RV industry in general.”
Although final attendance numbers weren’t available, Bob Tiffin, president of motorized manufacturer Tiffin Motor Homes Inc., Red Bay, Ala., was equally as encouraged by the sales results in Hershey where his company sold 49 Class A motorhomes, including more than a dozen of the company’s new 28-foot Breeze diesel pusher.
”We had a great show up there,” Tiffin said. It was the biggest (Hershey) show we’ve ever had. I think we’ve got something to look forward to in the RV industry, which is definitely on the way back.
”The people who were there to look at them at some point in the future, they will buy.”
Marcus Lemonis, president of the Freedom Roads/Camping World dealership chain, said the company sold 560 RVs, including more than 100 motorhomes.
”It’s unreal,” said Lemonis, who brought 220 sales personnel to staff 13 booths representing almost a dozen manufactures. ”We are feeling very good about the future.”
The heavy traffic also carried into high-end fifth-wheels. ”Hershey was very good,” said Ed Kinney manufacturer Carriage Industry Inc. vice president of sales. ”I don’t like to give out numbers, but traffic was good and we’ve still got orders that are coming through. It was positive news for the RV industry.
FreemdomRoads/Camping World is owned by the same company that owns RVBUSINESS.com.
FreedomRoads/Camping World RV, the nation’s largest recreational vehicle retailer, was recognized for the fifth consecutive year as the No.1 seller of towable RVs by Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI) in its recent 2009 annual sales awards.
This award comes on the heels of the retailer’s recent No. 1 ranking in motorized sales for the 2009 calendar year, according to a Camping World news release.
“We are very excited to be the leader in towable sales again in 2009,” said Roger Nuttall, vice president and CFO of FreedomRoads/Camping World RV. “We are proud of this accomplishment and are off to a great sales year in 2010 for travel trailers and fifth-wheels. We have great manufacturer partners and our goal is simple; increase our share organically in each of our markets.”
FreedomRoads/Camping World RV dealerships increased market share over the No.1 ranking in 2008. Companywide, 15,872 total new and used towable RVs were sold including non-reporting states to SSI. All U.S. dealers sold 150,322 towables in 2009.
Camping World RV also sold 6,262 motorized units, of which 2,567 were “new.” All U.S. dealers sold 18,854 motorized units in 2009.
“As with being No. 1 in motorized sales, the fact that we are also No. 1 in towable sales exhibits our desire to serve the entire RV community with quality manufacturers, service and parts,” said Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of FreedomRoads/Camping World. “We are very proud of this honor and all the praise goes to our associates as well as the entire RV industry for keeping consumers excited and interested in our great lifestyle.”
Statistical Surveys’ awards are based solely on unit volume according to independent data gathered annually.
FreedomRoads/Camping World RV operates a network of well-established local and regional RV dealerships, RV maintenance/repair centers and RV rental stations.
Camping World is owned by Affinity Group Inc. (AGI), parent company of RVBUSINESS.com.
FreedomRoads/Camping World RV Sales, the nation’s largest recreational vehicle retailer, was again declared No. 1 seller of motorized RVs for the 2009 calendar year by Statistical Surveys Inc.
In 2009, FreedomRoads/Camping World RV Sales RV dealerships sold approximately 12% of all motorhomes sold in the United States, according to a news release.
“We are very excited to once again have our sales force achieve this position,” said Mark Calzone, regional vice president of FreedomRoads/Camping World RV Sales. “The RV industry is very resilient and I look forward to future growth this year.”
FreedomRoads/Camping World RV Sales dealerships sold nearly 1,600 new motorhomes in the 31 states measured by Statistical Surveys.
Companywide, 2,567 total new motorized RVs were sold, the release stated.
“We are proud that over 15% of our sales associates sold over $3.5 million in recreational vehicles in 2009,” commented Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of FreedomRoads/Camping World. “Our top performer sold over $7 million last year which is a great forecast into our expected sales for 2010.”
In an effort to continue gaining market share and set a 2010 companywide goal of 2,100 motorized RV units sold, FreedomRoads/Camping World RV Sales is launching an exclusive program termed 353 VIP Assurance. The 353 VIP Assurance initiatives is a zero-cost value added program that includes three years of Extended Service Plan, five years of Annual 45-Point Inspections and and three years of roadside assistance with every new Class A gas or diesel motorhome purchased. More details regarding additional features and benefits about the 353 VIP Assurance program can be found at CampingWorld.com/353RV.
Statistical Surveys’ awards are based solely on unit volume according to independent data gathered annually. Award rankings are in no way influenced by the opinion of Statistical Surveys or its staff.