RV travel and camping vignettes custom-produced by Go RVing’s media partners will once again be a key element of the industry’s national “AWAY” advertising campaign when it kicks off its second year in February.
According to a press release, these vignettes will air on popular networks throughout the year, including Great American Country (GAC), SPEED and the Outdoor Channel.
Filming was just completed in Nashville on the two 60-second “On the Road with GAC” vignettes featuring country music recording artist Chuck Wicks. The spots showcase how Wicks uses his RV to escape the bright lights and pressure of Music City by camping, hunting and fishing with his father, John, and his dogs.
A Forest River Inc. XLR Hyperlite sport utility RV, selected through a lottery, is featured in both vignettes, which will air on GAC between Feb. 18 and June 30, and on GACtv.com.
Go RVing is once again teaming up with SPEED personality Rutledge Wood for a 60-second vignette that features Wood interviewing RVers at Texas Motor Speedway about why RVs are great for family travel and how their units are ideal for tailgating at NASCAR races. It will air 546 times throughout racing season on SPEED, beginning Feb. 18.
The Outdoor Channel will air four vignettes with network talent Pat Reeve and Nicole Jones, hosts of the hunting show Driven, and angler Mark Zona, host of Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show, talking about the appeal of RVs with outdoor enthusiasts. These will air throughout April as part of the network’s “Spring Fever” sweepstakes.
The Outdoor Channel will also be promoting the benefits of RV travel and the sweepstakes through outdoorchannel.com, targeted e-mails and the network’s social media outlets, including a Go RVing co-branded trip itinerary widget. The network will award four National Park RV vacations and the grand prize for the sweepstakes is a Forest River Flagstaff Classic folding camping trailer, also selected in a Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) lottery.
“These vignettes add tremendous value to the campaign by reinforcing the messages in our television commercials as popular network personalities enjoy and endorse RV travel and camping in an entertaining and informative way,” said RVIA Vice President of Public Relations and Advertising James Ashurst.
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) will hold its 2013 Annual Meeting from March 4–7 at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel in Orlando, Fla.
According to a press release, the event provides members the opportunity to learn more about association activities, attend informative seminars and network with business colleagues.
“I encourage all of our members to plan on attending this important association event,” said RVIA President Richard Coon. “We’ve compressed the schedule this year to minimize the time away from the office while maintaining a compelling agenda featuring instructive seminars and association reports as well as entertaining social and networking events.”
Monday is the major arrival day for attendees with the RVIA board meeting in the afternoon and a Newcomers and Welcome Reception scheduled for the evening.
Tuesday will start with an Alumni Breakfast followed by a series of in-depth seminars from 8 a.m. to noon focusing on topics impacting the RV industry. RVIA will host the Annual Membership Meeting that afternoon from 1–4 p.m. This will include reports on association activities from key officials including RVIA Chairman Doug Gaeddert and Coon along with the presentation of association awards. The day concludes with the Chairman’s Reception and Dinner where Past Chairman Gregg Fore will be honored for his service in the association’s top volunteer position.
Annual meeting attendees will have the option of playing golf or taking tours of Universal Studios or Disney World on Wednesday. Staff will assist attendess to obtain tee times or schedule the tours. These activities are optional and not included in the meeting registration. Attendees will depart on March 7.
RVIA’s Strategic Planning Committee and Executive Committee will convene prior to the the Annual Meeting in sessions on March 3-4.
Located in Universal’s Orlando Resort, the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel lets guests experience the sights and sounds of the Italian Riviera while providing AAA Four Diamond Award winning accommodations, amenities and exclusive resort benefits.
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) 50th National RV Trade Show, held Nov. 27-29 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky., showcased 2013 product lines as well as the upbeat outlook and spirit of innovation that has seen the industry recover from the recession with three consecutive years of growth.
“Among exhibitors and attendees there was a real belief that the RV industry is strong and resilient and is well positioned for future success,” said RVIA President Richard Coon in a press release. “We still have some challenges in the market, but RV shipments are growing because people love RVs – what they represent and what RVs allow them to do.”
The RV industry’s premier event included 68 manufacturers and 235 suppliers displaying their newest and most innovative products across more than 725,000 square feet of exhibit space. Attendance totaled 7,658, down 6% from 2011. Total buying attendance, representing individual attendees in the RV dealer, accessory store, campground owner and warehouse distributor categories, was off 9%, declining to 2,978.
While attendance was lower than in previous years, manufacturers reported steady traffic and sales.
“We had an outstanding show that exceeded our expectations,” said Matt Buckman of Navistar RV. “We had steady traffic in our booth, and our sales through the first two days exceeded our three-day sales from last year by 40%.”
“KZ had a good show,” said Andy Baer of Shipshewana, Ind.-based KZRV LP. “Dealer traffic was lighter, but the quality was excellent. They were engaged with the product and were here in Louisville to buy.”
“We weren’t sure what to expect at Louisville because we had a big Open House,” said Nate Goldenberg of Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc., based in Goshen, Ind. “But, we’re 52% ahead of last year’s Louisville show, and 2011 was a record year for us.”
As part of the Outlook Breakfast that annually kicks off the Louisville Show, RVIA released details of a new shipments projection for 2013, prepared by economist Richard Curtin of the University of Michigan and RVIA’s Market Information Committee. The RV industry recovery from the economic downturn will continue to build strength in 2013, as shipments are expected to rise to 289,900 – a 4.5% increase over the projected 2012 total of 277,300 units.
The rise in shipments to 277,300 units by year-end 2012 would be a nearly 10% gain (9.9%) over the 2011 total of 252,300 and include double digit gains in conventional travel trailers and Class A motorhomes. The expected increase in 2013 would mark four consecutive years of RV market growth.
The 51st National RV Trade Show will take place Dec. 3-5, 2013, at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.
The Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Kentucky Exposition Center sponsored a brief party on Wednesday afternoon recognizing the RVIA’s 50th annual show.
RVIA President Richard Coon and Harold Workman, CEO of the host Kentucky Exposition center, each made brief remarks.
Coon’s remarks follow:
“Fifty years is a long time to do anything. And much has changed in the world.
In 1962, a gallon of gas cost 28 cents, the average income was $5,500, and an average house cost $12,500.
There were some notable “firsts” in 1962. John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth. The first Walmart opened. The first Beatles single — ‘Love Me Do’ — was released.
And, the RV industry held its first show here in Louisville.
While much has changed in the world, it has been good to be able to count on some things that have endured. Each year — in good times and bad — our industry has gathered here in Louisville. We have enjoyed the hard work and friendship of the people of Louisville, and I’d like to thank the Kentucky Exposition Center and the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau for your hospitality through the years. You’ve been fantastic partners.
The reason our industry has been able to flourish and endure through the decades is that while society is changing, core human values remain the same. As long as there are people, they’ll want to get outdoors and spend time with family and friends. RVs offer a great way to do that — one with unmatched comfort, flexibility and value.
Thank you again for joining our celebration. And let’s all do what we can to assure that in 2062, our descendants are celebrating the 100th annual National RV Show.”
Guests shared 50th anniversary cupcakes and light beverages afterward.
The RV industry’s recovery from the Great Recession has picked up speed.
Recreational vehicle makers are churning out higher numbers of travel trailers bound for dealers’ lots and, ultimately, campgrounds, Businessweek reported.
Overall shipments from manufacturers to dealers — a key measure of consumer demand — are expected to rise 10% in 2012 and could gain another 4.5% next year, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) said Tuesday (Nov. 27).
Through September, shipments were up nearly 11% from the same period last year, the group said. The higher-than-expected number had dealers, manufacturers and suppliers feeling more optimistic as they gathered this week for an annual industry trade show.
“We made up a lot of ground this year,” said Jeffrey Pastore, owner of Hartville RV Center in northeastern Ohio. “We’re seeing a lot more buyers walking in the door, and we’re seeing those buyers with more money in hand.”
“It was dreadful,” said Tom Stinnett, an RV dealer in southern Indiana. “There were a lot of us wondering if we were going to make it.”
Shipments to dealers slumped to 165,700 units in 2009 from 353,400 in 2007. Weak demand and evaporated credit left dealer lots clogged with RVs and forced the industry to lay off tens of thousands of workers. This year’s shipments are expected to be better — hitting 277,300.
Jobs are coming back, too. The industry’s workforce has risen to 375,000 from less than 250,000 in 2008, according to RVIA. It’s still below the 530,000 from 2007.
Driving the industry’s gradual comeback have been less-expensive towable RVs attached to pickups or hitched to other vehicles.
Towables, which now account for about 90% of the new RV market, cost between $8,000 and $100,000, with an average price of $32,000, according to RVIA. Before the recession hit, towables represented eight out of every 10 new RVs shipped.
By contrast, stand-alone motorhomes range in price from $55,000 to $1.5 million for top-of-the-line, bus-like vehicles. The average price is $100,000 for the amenity-filled moving homes.
“It’s a given that consumers love to do this, or there would be no market at all because they don’t have to have it,” Stinnett said. “But they’re simply not willing to commit as much money.”
KZ RV, based in Shipshewana, Ind., has regained about three-fourths of its pre-recessionary business, but the manufacturer has seen the shift in consumer demand toward towables. Its most popular products cost between $10,000 and $35,000 — well off its top-of-the-line RVs, which run about $90,000, said Andy Baer, the company’s vice president of sales.
“Seven years ago they didn’t give a thought to buying a top-of-the-line product, kind of similar to the housing industry,” Baer said. “People are more in tuned with what the reality is that they can comfortably afford today.”
Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Thetford Corp., which supplies toilets and sinks to RV makers, saw its business plunge by 70% during the recession. It survived the downturn because RV owners upgraded existing models, said Executive Vice President Kevin Phillips. Now, the company is having a good year as existing RV owners purchase upgrades and entry-level buyers enter the market, he said.
Winnebago Industries Inc., best known for its premium products, also has adjusted to the new market.
The company, headquartered in Forest City, Iowa, is rolling out towable products again after a decades-long absence from that market.
And Winnebago has stepped up its presence in the market for entry-level motorhomes priced in the $60,000 to $70,000 range. Those vehicles offer fewer features and amenities than their pricier counterparts.
“That’s where we see a lot of the movement in the industry,” said Scott Degnan, the company’s vice president of sales.
Winnebago’s profits soared in its last fiscal year, which ended Aug. 25. Winnebago earned $45 million over those 12 months, up from $11.8 million in the prior year. Revenue rose 17 percent to $581.7 million.
The RV industry today (Nov. 27) launched the 50th National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., at “Outlook 2013: A Golden Opportunity” an informative, entertaining program that provided details of the industry’s prospects for 2013 and an update on advertising and public relations initiatives.
The event began at 7:30 a.m. and was attended by approximately 1,000 RV manufacturers, dealers and industry representatives. Go RVing Co-Chairs Bob Olson and Tom Stinnett partnered with RVIA Public Relations Committee Chairman B.J. Thompson and RVIA Vice President of Public Relations and Advertising James Ashurst for a multimedia presentation recapping 2012 accomplishments in the advertising and public relations arenas, according to a news release.
“We have a strong public relations team at RVIA,” Thompson told the audience. “I’m proud of the work we’ve done to promote the RV lifestyle, combat misperceptions and position the industry as growing, vibrant and innovative.”
Thompson discussed a few of the industry’s media relations successes, including coverage on TV networks such as ABC News, FOX News Channel and HGTV. He also highlighted digital media placements and detailed RVIA’s plans to commit more resources to online outlets in the future.
“It used to be that people only got news from print publications, television or radio,” Thompson said. “Times have changed. More than a third of adult Americans own a tablet or smart phone to read news stories or watch video clips.”
This year, RV coverage appeared in several major digital outlets, including Yahoo! News, SheKnows.com and MadeMan.com.
Stinnett and Olson reported on strong results from the new “AWAY” Go RVing advertising campaign. The pair emphasized the campaign’s strategic shift to focus on media brands that provide the opportunity to build cross-platform partnerships.
“Consumers are really engaging with our message,” Stinnett said. “We’ve experienced great success in our first year of targeting brand-building partnerships. Our co-branded initiatives with Great American Country and Outdoor Channel drew 46,000 new leads.”
The new ads, which debuted in early 2012, resonated with consumers, Olson told attendees.
“Our research demonstrates that consumers look favorably on what our industry is selling,” Olson said. “Our messaging about RVs allowing consumers to spend more time doing the things they want to do with the people they want to do them with — works. It reinforces the need to keep getting our industry’s message out to as many consumers as possible.”
Ashurst closed the presentation by discussing some of the plans for Go RVing in 2013.
“Next year you will see a return of some of our best performing partners, as well as several new offerings,” Ashurst said. “One such deal is a sizeable partnership with Discovery Networks’ newest lifestyle cable network, Destination America, which will explore the people, places and stories of the United States while celebrating the tenacity, hard work and humor that characterizes our great nation.”
In addition, Go RVing will partner with Travel Channel and will expand its outreach to the Hispanic market.
The RV industry recovery from the economic downturn will continue to build strength in 2013, as shipments are expected to rise to 289,900 — a 4.5% increase over the projected 2012 total of 277,300 units, Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) Vice President James Ashurst, standing in for President Richard Coon, told attendees today (Nov. 27) at “Outlook 2013: A Golden Opportunity,” the kick-off event to the 50th Annual National RV Trade Show.
Addressing approximately 1,000 RV manufacturers, dealers and industry representatives on, Ashurst presented a positive outlook for the industry’s future, based on new projections from Dr. Richard Curtin, director of consumer surveys at the University of Michigan, in RVIA’s quarterly forecasting newsletter RV Roadsigns.
The rise in shipments to 277,300 units by year-end 2012 would be a nearly 10% gain (9.9%) over the 2010 total of 252,300 and include double digit gains in conventional travel trailers and Class A motorhomes. The expected increase in 2013 would mark three consecutive years of RV market growth.
“RV shipments are trending up,” Ashurst said. “We’ve had good crowds and strong business at fall shows, and demographics are in our favor. It is time to shine for the RV industry.”
According to the new forecast, most of the 2013 gain will come in conventional and fifth-wheel trailers and by type A motorhomes. Conventional and fifth-wheel trailers are expected to account for 86% of all RV shipments in 2013 — which would be an all-time high.
The continued strength in 2013 RV shipments is due to rising consumer confidence and improved economic conditions; however, a failure by America’s political leaders to bridge the “fiscal cliff” could significantly alter the industry’s fortunes in 2013, Ashurst cautioned.
“Our forecasts are affected by volatility in the economy,” Ashurst said. “If Congress and the President don’t act on the fiscal cliff before the end of the year, federal tax rates will rise, mandatory cuts in government spending go into effect, and the economy could go into recession.”
During his presentation, Ashurst walked the audience through RVIA’s 2013 projection for each of the major RV product types:
- Travel trailers: up 5% to 180,200 units.
- Fifth-wheel trailers: up 7% to 68,800 units.
- Truck campers: up 3% to 3,500 units.
- Folding camping trailers: down 17% to 9,000 units.
- Class A motorhomes: up 8% to 15,400 units.
- Class B motorhomes: up 10% to 2,300 units.
- Class C motorhomes: down 2% to 10,700 units.
“We’ve had a good year in 2012 in terms of sales and in how we’ve been able to promote RVs to our core markets,” Ashurst said. “There’s a lot of versatility in the RV market — many products, price points and how they’re used. There is strong demand for RVs, and we are optimistic about our industry’s future.”
The Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) recognized an array of North American RV builders Monday evening (Nov. 26) on the brink of the 50th Annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., as Quality Circle Award winners for having excelled in the 19th Annual Dealer Satisfaction Index (DSI) Survey.
On hand for the festivities at the Crowne Plaza hotel near the Kentucky Exposition Center was a big crowd of dealers and manufacturers.
“Tonight we honored the manufacturers that the dealers in the United States and Canada voted as doing the best job in a number of areas – everything from their manufacturer policies, which include things like territory, to parts and warranty policies to product quality and value,” RVDA President Phil Ingrassia told RV Business. “So, all those areas are measured in the DSI and these are the manufacturers who scored the highest with 15 or more responses from dealers.”
Four hundred and sixty-one dealers responded to the DSI between April and July and provided 2,709 brand ratings, an average of nearly six per dealer. Winners received at least 15 dealer responses and scored 80% or above for overall dealer satisfaction.
Towable RV manufacturers/brands receiving awards were (in alphabetical order): Airstream Inc.; CrossRoads RV (Zinger/Z-1/SE/Hampton); Forest River Inc. (Flagstaff travel trailers and fifth-wheels, Palomino RV travel trailers and fifth-wheels, Rockwood/Roo expandables, Sierra/Sandpiper, Indiana-built Surveyor/r-pod); Heartland RV LLC (Big Country/Elk Ridge, Bighorn/Landmark, Cyclone/Road Warrior/Torque, North Trail/Wilderness, Prowler); Jayco Inc. (Eagle/Super Lite/HT, camping trailers, Jay Feather/Select, Jay Flight/Swift/SLX, Pinnacle, White Hawk); Keystone RV Co. (Bullet/Premier, Cougar/X-lite, Passport, Raptor); KZRV LP (Durango, Sportsmen/Sportsmen Classic, Spree/Spree Escape); Lance Camper Manufacturing Corp. (truck campers); and Prime Time Manufacturing Inc. (LaCrosse/Trace, Crusader/Sanibel).
The six motorized RV brands/manufacturers receiving awards: Forest River; Jayco/Entegra; Leisure Travel Vans/Triple E RV; Pleasure-Way Industries Ltd.; Tiffin Motorhomes Inc.; and Winnebago/Itasca/ERA.
When rating the brands/manufacturers, RVDA asks dealers to express, confidentially, their level of satisfaction on eight core issues: Sales support; sales territory; vehicle design; vehicle reliability/quality; competitive price/value; parts support; dealership warranty support and overall dealer communications.
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) will offer a robust seminar schedule for the 50th National RV Trade Show, taking place Nov. 27–29 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, that will help dealer attendees boost sales and increase profitability.
The sessions kick off on Nov. 27 with “Dealing with Uncertain Market Conditions – Not Knowing What Will Happen Next Puts a Strain on Financial Planning” conducted by Randy Sobel of Sobel & Associates at 12:30–1:30 p.m. This seminar will focus on helping dealers with business planning and forecasting in uncertain markets so they can be more productive and profitable.
Sobel is president of Sobel Associates Inc., a marketing, training and consulting firm to the retail sales industry that has trained over 50,000 managers and salespeople in more than 400 dealerships throughout the United States and Canada.
On Nov. 28, three seminars are scheduled, including:
• “Measuring and Getting ROI from Social Media” from Dennis Galbraith of DrivingSales.com, taking place from 8–9 a.m. This session will examine a comprehensive formula for measuring the return on investment (ROI) from social media and demonstrate how to capture the benefits of social media and determine the value of those efforts. Galbraith leads Research and Business Intelligence for Dealers at DrivingSales.com. He previously ran the Internet division of J.D. Power and Associates and served as vice president of advertising products and training at Cars.com.
• “The Power of 5 — The 5 Main Ingredients to a Sale” from Michael Rees of A World of Training will take place from 12:30–1:30 p.m. This session will focus on the ingredients that every sale must have and cover which parts of the process are vitally important for each ingredient. Rees is a hands-on, results oriented leader with a comprehensive successful background in RV and automobile sales, management, training and overall dealership operations.
• Galbraith returns for Wednesday’s final session, “Profit Potential All Around Us – Capitalizing on Business Intelligence for Dealers” from 3–4 p.m. This seminar will demonstrate how to combine local knowledge with first-class business intelligence to boost business.
On Nov. 29, Rees will present “The Wow Factor – Making a Difference for Your Customers” from 8:00–9:00 a.m. This workshop will walk dealers through three easy steps – service tour, video e-mail followup and surprise delivery gift – that will help sales soar by blowing customers away with an unforgettable experience.
All seminars will take place in South Wing Conference Room C108.
Backed by four consecutive years of growing shipments and a steady recovery, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) 50th National RV Trade Show is the “one place” where the latest products, manufacturers, suppliers and RV dealers convene, according to a press release. The show will be held at the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC) in Louisville, Nov. 27–29.
“Our 50th annual trade show is a testament to both our industry’s strength, as well as evidence of the enduring appeal of the RV lifestyle,” said RVIA President Richard Coon. “This show brings the industry together in one place where attendees can see the best that our entire industry has to offer, meet with each other, conduct business and develop the relationships that drive the innovation that has kept RVs relevant with the American people for decades.”
The RV industry’s premiere trade event will feature 63 manufacturer and 222 supplier exhibitors displaying the latest RV products across more than 720,000 square feet of exhibit space. More than 8,000 attendees including RV dealers, warehouse distributors, accessory store owners, campground operators and exhibitor personnel are expected to be on hand for the show.
In addition to the latest RVs and RV products that will be on display, the show will also offer attendees informative programs and seminars. Below is the event schedule for the National RV Trade Show.
|50th National RV Trade Show Schedule|
|Tuesday, November 27|
|7:30 am||7:30 am – 9:00 am – Outlook 2013: A Golden Opportunity
KEC South Wing Mezzanine Level Ballroom
Complimentary Full Breakfast Served at 7:30 a.m.
|9:00 am To 5:30 pm||Exhibit Floor Open|
|12:30 pm To 1:30 pm|| Randy Sobel, Sobel & Associates, Inc.
Dealing with Uncertain Market Conditions —
Not Knowing What Will Happen Next Puts
a Strain on Financial Planning!
South Wing Conference Room C108
$60 On-Site — Lunch included; served at 12:00 noon.
|Wednesday, November 28|
|8:00 am To 9:00 am|| Dennis Galbraith, DrivingSales.com
Measuring and Getting ROI from Social Media
South Wing Conference Room C108
$60 On-Site — Breakfast included; served at 7:30 am.
|9:30 am To 5:30 pm||Exhibit Floor Open|
|12:30 pm To 1:30 pm|| Michael Rees, A World of Training
The Power of 5 — The 5 Main Ingredients to a Sale
South Wing Conference Room C108
$60 On-Site — Lunch included; served at 12:00 noon.
|3:00 pm To 4:00 pm|| Dennis Galbraith, DrivingSales.com
Profit Potential All Around Us, Capitalizing on
Business Intelligence for Dealers
South Wing Conference Room C108
$60 On-Site — Light refreshments included.
|Thursday, November 29|
|8:00 am To 9:00 am|| Michael Rees, A World of Training
The Wow Factor — Making a Difference for Your Customers
South Wing Conference Room C108
$60 On-Site — Breakfast included; served at 7:30 am.
|9:00 am To 3:00 pm||Exhibit Floor Open|