Crediting factors ranging from good weather to the improving economy, Oregon dealers are reporting increased sales of recreational vehicles.
Brandon Johnson, owner of Johnson RV in Sandy, said sales of motorhomes are up 20% so far in 2013, according to a report in the Portland Business Journal. That follows a 15% uptick in 2012.
“A recovering economy is definitely a factor when you’re selling luxury items,” Johnson said, adding that customers have greater confidence in their personal finances.
About 70% of Johnson’s business is in used motorhomes, which allowed the business to survive after the recession. Now, however, new vehicle sales are outpacing those of used inventory.
Prices for Johnson’s new vehicles range from $50,000 to more than $600,000, with the priciest models leading the way. Used vehicles range from $20,000 to $200,000.
As for towables, sales at Curtis Trailers in Portland and Beaverton are up about 14%, said owner Bob Schriever. His selection includes new and used trailers, fifth-wheels and campers for pick-up trucks. Prices range from $12,000 to $70,000.
“It’s like the floodgates have opened up,” Schriever said, adding that warm and dry weather have boosted sales.
Guaranty Discount Chevrolet and RV, based in Junction City, Ore., announced the launch of a new user-friendly mobile site featuring a “responsive web design.” According to a press release, the site was developed by Lunar Logic.
“We know that many of our customers are using smart phones and tablets,” Becky Smith, marketing director, said in a press release. “Responsive web design is the most flexible option for all of the different screen sizes ensuring people have the right fit for their iPhone, Galaxy 3, iPad or whatever device they’re browsing on. Our goal is to provide the best experience for our audience during any interactions with our dealership.”
Todd Edman, CEO of Lunar Logic, noted, “Guaranty’s customers tend to be early adopters of the latest technology. A very high number of them own mobile devices including smart phones and tablets. Responsive design allows these customers to navigate the site with little or no resizing or panning to view the site.”
Edman added that Guaranty’s mobile site “isn’t a slimmed down version of the full website, it is the full website formatted in a way that works for mobile devices.”
Things were going well before the recession for the RV Corral, which bills itself as the largest recreational vehicle dealer in Eugene, Ore.
The Register Guard reported that across from its main dealership on Eugene’s Highway 99N, it had opened a budget lot selling RVs for $10,000 or less. It set up a branch selling high-end luxury motorhomes in Coburg.
Then came the recession, which battered the RV industry nationwide. 2008 “was when things kind of hit the dumps,” said Jerry McCall, who with childhood friends Rick Neet and Steve Christofferson founded the RV Corral in 1988. “We kind of contracted, brought the reins in for a couple of years.”
The company consolidated operations at its base and it sold its Coburg property.
While sales fell, the service side of the business, which the partners started a few years ago, picked up, helping the company to weather the economic storm, McCall said.
Now, RV Corral is back in expansion mode. It has acquired a neighboring 3.5-acre lot at 3690 Dove Lane from Dorsey Ventures for $750,000, increasing RV Corral’s acreage by about 70 percent. And it is fitting out more service bays on part of the new property, previously used as storage for Bethel School District buses. In the not-too-distant future, McCall said, RV Corral will expand its sales area.
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Accused by state officials of defrauding customers, the owner of a Goshen, Ore., recreational vehicle dealership has agreed to settle the matter by paying more than $34,000 in fines and restitution costs — and pledging to run an honest business.
As reported by the Register Guard, the state Department of Justice’s agreement with Mark Ingram and Ingram RV was filed Tuesday in Lane County Circuit Court. Ingram, who signed off on the settlement on Aug. 31, did not admit any wrongdoing in a deal that allows him to avoid facing a potential lawsuit.
Ingram did acknowledge that the state had formally accused him and the dealership of unlawful trade practices. He also accepted that the business would face stiff monetary penalties if it does not comply with all terms of the settlement.
Ingram could not be reached for comment Tuesday (Sept. 11). A message left on his cell phone was not returned.
The agreement requires Ingram and the dealership to pay $20,000 to the Department of Justice. If that amount is not paid by May 31, 2013, another $20,000 will be owed to the state agency.
Ingram also agreed to repay a total of at least $14,000 to eight people with whom the dealership had entered into consignment agreements or other transactions.
In addition to the payments required as part of the settlement, Ingram already has paid more than $40,000 in restitution to people who did business with the dealership, state justice officials said.
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Last weekend’s annual Central Oregon RV Dealers fall show and sale drew hundreds of RVers to the Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center in Redmond, according to a report by KTZV TV, Bend.
Organizers say this type of show is intimate and great for those looking to buy new or used RVs. Manufacturer representatives were also on hand presenting the new 2012 floorplans and latest technology.
“When all of us bring the product that you normally have to go to five or six different places for, all to one place, then it’s fun,” Central Oregon RV Dealers Association President Chris Jackson said Sunday (Sept. 18). “We see lots of families — the kids just love it. But the bigger people who are making the big decisions can walk through these vehicles, see through two or three things all in one spot.”
This weekend’s event had more than 500 RVs, and for the first time, the show included car dealers, featuring trucks for towing and towable cars for motorhomes.