Affinity Group Inc.’s (AGI) Good Sam Authorized Dealer network has been growing at a rate of 15 to 20 new stores a year and ultimately expects to have more than 180 retail outlets.
”Obviously, things were depressed in the last 18 months, but we’ve seen renewed interest in the program and we are seeing sales climb at a relatively rapid pace,” said Scott Blanc, the Denver-based vice president and general manager of AGI’s Affinity Ventures division.
He reported that Affinity Ventures recently has shifted emphasis to provide more comprehensive service to the network’s dealer members. ”We’ve refocused more on working more intensely with a smaller number of dealers rather than just getting names of dealerships on the roles,” Blanc said.
The Good Sam Authorized Dealer network, which has nearly doubled in size to 87 outlets in the last three years, this month began offering its products to RVers in dealership service departments rather than through F&I services.
”This gives them much greater exposure,” said Blanc. ”A typical dealership has five times the traffic in the service department than it does in F&I.”
The Good Sam Authorized Dealer network offers seven service-related retail products to RVers, the lynchpin being the Good Sam Pre-owned Certified program in which dealers warranty used towable and motorized RVs for 60 days after purchase.
”The idea is that with certification, buyers have peace of mind that they are buying a high-quality vehicle,” said Blanc.
He noted that even with the Pre-owned Certified program, a high percentage of consumers buy the Good Sam Extended Service Plan, which, in addition to standard warranty services, includes coverage during the period that a manufacturer’s warranty would apply if the RV builder goes out of business.
A new aspect of the Extended Service Plan — available for up to four years — is that there is no mileage limit.
Other products that the Good Sam Authorized Dealer network retails include Platinum Emergency Road Service, Good Sam Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP); Good Sam Tire and Wheel Protection; Good Sam Theft Protection; and Good Sam Vehicle Insurance Plan (VIP).