The California Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (CalRVDA) has recovered from the recent industry downturn to stage one of its best-attended conferences.
More than 90 people representing 21 RV dealerships as well as supply and service firms attended CalRVDA’s 16th Conference Nov. 10 at the Aires Hotel & Suites in Ontario, Calif.
“Ninety is almost an all-time high; that alone tells the story that there is optimism out there,” said Skip Daum, CalRVDA executive director, alluding to the beleaguered California marketplace. “People are doing the right thing and, hopefully, have survived the worst.”
“Everybody said we were so glad you are back,” Daum continued, referring to the association’s decision to cancel the 2009 convention due to the economy. “We couldn’t go dark two years in a row.”
“The New Reality: Driving the Industry in a Whole New Direction” was the theme for the conference at which attendees learned about alternative financing, arbitration and mediation programs, franchise dispute cases at the new motor vehicle board, consignment sales, current market data, “New Reality” marketing through social media and innovative advertising techniques that are way ahead of the pack and have been proven very effective.
“It was a packed agenda but it moved along at a good clip,” Daum said.
Speakers included Phil Ingrassia, vice president of communications for the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), who spoke on new federal legislation and updated the members on Go RVing; Robert Robards of Automotive Systems Analysis, who spoke on “Consignment Payoffs, Red Flag Rules, Advertising Laws…Do’s, Don’ts and DMV Enforcement;” Robin Parker, senior staff counsel for the new California Motor Vehicle Board, who spoke on recent RV cases to go before the board; RVIA President Richard Coon, who reported that RV shipments are increasing, indicating an industry turn-around; RVDA President Mike Molino; Randy Sobel of Sobel & Associates; and Sheril Vergara and Roger Vergara of RH Power & Associates Inc., who spoke on new marketing techniques.
An hour-long dealers-only town hall meeting at the end of the day included a lengthy discussion about the state’s new motor vehicle law. The law was enacted three years ago but needs fine-tuning, Daum explained, noting that the state board and CalRVDA will sponsor legislation to remove the vagaries and conflicts with existing codes.
A number of RV-related disputes have gone before the board, some of which were a direct result of the economic downturn, Daum said. Among some of its positive features, Daum said, the new law, as it pertains to the RV industry, restricts RV shows sponsored by out-of-state groups.
CalRVDA’s proposed officers for 2011: President Joey Shields, Pan Pacific RV Center; Vice President Mike Arrambide, Barber RV. Ventura; Secretary Doug Range, Range Vehicle Center Inc., Hesperia; and Treasurer Troy Padgett, All Valley RV Center, Acton.