The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) has scheduled its 2014 Annual Meeting for March 4 – 7, 2014, at the Park Hyatt Aviara in Carlsbad, Calif.
According to a press release, Annual Meeting attendees will have the opportunity to discuss association activities, attend informative seminars and network with business colleagues.
The tentative schedule includes the arrival of Executive Committee and board members on March 4. The following day will be the major day of arrival for Annual Meeting attendees and will also feature the Executive Committee and RVIA board meetings, the First Timers and Welcome receptions, and an Annual Meeting Alumni Dinner.
A seminar session, featuring three presentations, will take place the morning of March 6. RVIA’s Annual Membership Meeting will be held that afternoon and feature reports on association activities from RVIA Chairman Doug Gaeddert and RVIA President Richard Coon. The day concludes with the Chairman’s Reception and Dinner.
Friday is an open day with attendees able to play golf or tour the area.
“The Annual Meeting is the ideal venue for our members to come together and develop the relationships that are so crucial to success,” said RVIA President Richard Coon. “I’ve heard from so many people that attending this event opened their eyes to all the association does on behalf of the industry and influenced them to become more active in the organization.”
The Park Hyatt Aviara is an award-winning property set on 200 acres approximately 40 minutes north the San Diego airport. It offers state-of-the art meeting facilities as well as a wide range of activities and dining options.
For more information about the RVIA Annual Meeting, contact the association’s Meeting department at (703) 620-6003, ext. 305.
If you want to put the current RV shipment numbers in perspective, look only to 2009, according to a report in the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune. Yes, 2009 was the worst year for the recreational vehicle industry since 1982, with just 165,700 RVs being shipped.
And yes, RV shipment numbers have gone up each year since 2009 with this June being the 18th straight month that shipments beat the same month of the previous year.
Still, having shipment numbers through six months this year already substantially greater than all of recession-affected 2009 is noteworthy.
Through June 30, 174,871 units have been shipped, according to the latest release by the Reston, Va.-based Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). That mark is also 12.8% higher than the midway point of 2012.
Total monthly wholesale shipments to retailers of all RVs this June were reported at 30,856 units, an increase of 12.1% compared with the same month in 2012.
“I always say that the RV market is a reflection of consumer confidence,” said Mark Bowersox, executive director of the Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council. “Look where the stock market is. Fuel prices have been consistent. It hasn’t jumped over $4 a gallon repeatedly. They’ve been stable.
“By most statistics,” he added, “the economy is getting better.”
The fear of sequestration and the cutting of $85 billion from the federal budget from March through September never even affected the industry –– just as Bowersox accurately predicted –– in early March.
“Americans have become more comfortable at being uncomfortable,” Bowersox said then and again Monday in a phone interview.
The Tribune reported that the industry is not expected to slow down any time soon. Revised predictions for 2013, have the industry shipping just less than 310,000 units. That would mark the first time since 2007 (about 353,400 were shipped that year) that the total has reached 300,000.
To read the entire article click here.
Through the midway point of 2013, RV wholesale shipments tracked by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) have climbed to 174,871 units, 12.8% higher than the same point last year. Motorhome shipments have jumped by 33%, rising from 19,425 units this year versus 14,576 units last year. Towable shipments have grown from 140,412 units to 155,446 units, a gain of 10.7%.
Total monthly wholesale shipments to retailers of all RVs were reported at 30,856 units in the June survey of manufacturers, an increase of 12.1% compared to this same month last year. This marked the 18th consecutive monthly total that was ahead of the same month one year earlier. Towable RVs increased 8.7% on shipments of 27,409 units while motorhome shipments were ahead by 48.2% on 3,447 units shipped to dealers in June. Seasonally adjusted, June’s total represented an annualized rate of 302,700 units.
RVIA’s Committee Week 2013 will take place June 2–6 at the Mayflower Renaissance Washington in Washington, D.C., according to a press release.
Over the course of the five-day event, standing committees, the Executive Committee and the RVIA board will meet to set the association’s plans for the upcoming fiscal year. The Go RVing Coalition will also meet on June 3.
In addition to the full slate of committee meetings, other key events on the schedule include:
• 2014 RV Market Outlook – Economist Richard Curtin, director of consumer research at the University of Michigan, will provide the first forecast for the RV market in 2014 and examine the current economic climate at the Joint Committee Luncheon on June 3.
• RVIA’s Capitol Hill Advocacy Day – RVIA members will visit Capitol Hill on June 5 to meet with legislators and their staff to discuss key issues critical to the RV industry.
• Networking Events – Several joint committee luncheons and receptions, including the opening reception the evening of June 3 at the National Museum of Crime and Punishment, will give Committee Week participants the opportunity to establish, renew and build upon the relationships critical to business success.
The Mayflower Renaissance Washington is a luxury hotel and historic landmark. Proclaimed by President Truman to be Washington, D.C.’s “Second Best Address” after the White House, the hotel is on the National Registry of Historic Places and a Historic Hotel of America.
Located just blocks from the White House, metro stops and dining and cultural hot spots, the 4-diamond property offers a splendid center for exploring the city.
For more information about Committee Week, contact Doreen Cashion in the Meetings and Shows Department at (703) 620-6003 (ext. 324) or email@example.com.
A first-ever “RV Industry Power Breakfast” featuring a prestigious slate of local and national speakers is scheduled to bring together key elements of the U.S. recreational vehicle industry with an array of area industry people and civic leaders on the morning of May 9 at the Northern Indiana Event Center and RV/MH Hall of Fame in the RV manufacturing hub of Elkhart, Ind., according to an RVBusiness press release.
The inaugural Power Breakfast, kicking off with a 7 a.m. sunrise buffet and 7:45 a.m. program, is facilitated by Elkhart-based RVBusiness magazine and sponsored by Dicor Corp., Dometic Corp., the Economic Development Corp. of Elkhart County, Forest River Inc., GE Capital, Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA), Spartan Motors Inc. and Thor Industries Inc.
This new event comes at a time when RV builders and suppliers are doing fairly well in terms of national retail sales and wholesale shipments during a post-recessionary era in which about 85% of national shipments are now centered around northern Indiana’s Elkhart and LaGrange counties and an array of smaller area communities like Goshen, LaGrange, Middlebury, Bristol, Wakarusa and Nappanee, the release states.
“Officials from these towns are being personally invited to the event, as are representatives of relevant trade associations like the Reston, Va.-based Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), the Fairfax, Va.-based RV Dealers Association (RVDA) and the Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council (RVIC) in Indianapolis,” reports BJ Thompson, president of BJ Thompson Associates in Elkhart and chairman of RVIA’s Public Relations Committee who is in charge of the inaugural Power Breakfast on behalf of RVBusiness.
“There was, speaking on behalf of the RVB staff, a sense that we could all do a better job at times of working together as a cohesive force here in Elkhart to showcase the power and job-building potential of the U.S. RV industry and, at the same time, bring to Elkhart some of the general and industry-specific intelligence that exists in the current economic climate for area industry people to absorb,” stated RVB Publisher Sherm Goldenberg.
Dicor President Gregg Fore and Forest River General Manager Doug Gaeddert, immediate past chairman and current chair of RVIA, respectively, will share emcee duties at the morning event at which there will be a fast-paced slate of speakers, including a short teleconference with U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), if, in fact, the first-term senator is available with Congress in session.
Two anchor presentations are planned: In the first half, RVIA President Richard Coon, RVIA Vice President of Public Relations & Advertising James Ashurst and RVIA Vice President of Administration Mac Bryan will provide an overview of the industry’s 2012 status and a quick look at 2013’s opportunities and challenges.
In the second half, KOA CEO Jim Rogers, fresh off his January appearance on the CBS hit series “Undercover Boss,” will present some in-your-face feedback from campers who annually visit Montana-based KOA’s 489 U.S. and Canadian parks.
Tickets for the May 9 event are $25 each with tables of eight available for $175. Look for a notice shortly for online registration.
While the RV industry is more than just Indiana’s Elkhart County area and Elkhart County is more than just RVs, the two are inextricably intertwined.
“If you mention to anybody throughout the United States or Canada, you mention you’re from Elkhart, the first thing they say is, ‘Oh, that’s the RV capital,’” said Darryl Searer, head of the RV/MH Hall of Fame.
As reported by The Elkhart Truth, while the recession hit this area hard because of the discretionary nature of RVs, even as it shrank the industry shored up its position in Elkhart. Today, 83% of RVs made in North America are made in this area, said Richard Coon, president of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). “Elkhart’s a very important area, as you know,” Coon said.
The share of production of RVs on the West Coast dropped off significantly in favor of production here, where the industry really grew over the decades.
“I wasn’t around when it started, but from what I understand it’s mainly centered around that area because of the Amish population which brings a strong amount of craftsmanship. It was a good place to be,” Coon said.
Jayco Inc., a home-grown RV success story, started in Middlebury and is still there.
“I can’t think of any other place I’d rather be than right here in Middlebury, Ind., Elkhart County, Ind., for home,” said Derald Bontrager, CEO of the company his father started.
“I think one of the more important things for us and the reason we stay put here is the workforce is second to none, in my mind, anywhere in the country. Just loyal, hardworking, consistent, honest. I could go on and on. They’re just a great work force we’ve been blessed with,” he said.
To read the entire article click here.
Wholesale shipments of all RVs surged ahead in the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) January 2013 survey of manufacturers, rising to 24,379 units. This increase was 30.5% greater than the total shipped during the same month last year. While the gain was greatest for conventional travel trailer shipments, all vehicle categories participated in the gains this month. Seasonally adjusted, January’s total was measured at annualized rate of more than 340,000 units, 12.2% better than the rate recorded in December 2012 and more than 30% better than the annualized rate recorded in January, one year ago. Conventional travel trailers, Class A and C motorhomes reported shipments more than 30% greater than in January 2012.
Middlebury, Ind.-based Jayco Inc. today (Feb. 6) announced changes in its senior management team as a further step in its plan to “strategically position the company for long-term growth,” according to a press release.
• Devon Miller has been named vice president and general manager of the Jayco Towables division.
• Akos Sefcsik has been appointed vice president and general manager of the Starcraft RV division.
• John Ganyard will become vice president and general manager of the Jayco Motorhome Group division.
In making the announcement, COO Jim Jacobs said that the management changes are part of the company’s previously announced plan to structure Jayco into three operating divisions. “We are committed to a strategy of aligning our resources to the specific product needs and opportunities within the markets we serve,” he said. “And we believe this management team will allow us to raise our customer focus and improve the speed at which we develop new products and ideas.”
In December, as part of the company’s restructuring plan, Jayco announced that Jacobs had been promoted to COO of the company. Until that time, he had been general manager of the Starcraft RV and Jayco Motorhome Group divisions.
A veteran of nearly 30 years of service with Jayco, Miller began his career in the company’s parts distribution division and has served in various production and operations management capacities. Most recently, he was vice president of operations for Jayco’s Middlebury towables production.
Sefcsik has served as vice president of operations of Jayco’s Twin Falls, Idaho, facilities since 2009. He is a 20-year veteran of Jayco and has held a variety of assignments in manufacturing and industrial engineering.
Ganyard joined Jayco in February of 2011 and most recently was vice president of administration. He has more than 25 years of experience in human resources and manufacturing management.
Thor Industries Inc. reported a 24.2% increase in sales for the company’s fiscal second quarter, ended Jan. 31.
Preliminary consolidated sales in the second quarter were $741.4 million compared with $597 million in the second quarter last year. RV sales were $636.1 million, up 27% from $501 million the previous year. Towable sales jumped 17.6% to $522.4 million from $444.2 million a year ago while motorized sales more than doubled to $113.7 million from $56.8 million. Bus sales were $105.3 million, up 9.7% from $96 million in the second quarter last year.
For the six months, sales totaled $1.62 billion, a 27.6% increase from $1.27 billion last year. RV sales gained 32.1% to $1.4 billion compared with $1.06 billion the year prior. Towable sales during the period rose 23% to $1.16 billion compared with $943.3 million last year and motorized sales increased to $235.9 million from $119.3 million. Bus sales were $219.5 million, up 5.9% from $207.3 million last year.
Cash, cash equivalents and investments on Jan. 31 were $107.2 million. Thor said the decrease in cash balances was due in large part to the payment of the $1.50 per share special dividend declared by the board and paid in December 2012.
Consolidated backlog on Jan. 31 was $822 million, up 27.1% from $646.9 million last year. RV backlog was $616.6 million, an increase of 49.4% from $412.8 million at the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2012. Towable RV backlog increased 25.2% to $375.4 million and motorized RV backlog more than doubled to $241.2 million Bus backlog was $205.4 million compared to $234.1 million at the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2012.
“Thor achieved solid gains in revenue for the second quarter as the momentum of our RV products introduced in the fall continued at Louisville in late November,” said said Peter B. Orthwein, Thor Chairman and CEO. “Indications from the early RV retail shows have been very positive, with increased traffic and higher sales levels, reflecting continued strength in our industry. Despite the improvements in RV sales, the overall environment in the towables market remains very competitive and elevated levels of incentives associated with orders placed at the fall Open House are reflected in our sales and our second-quarter operating results that we expect to report on March 7. In addition, the bus business continued to be characterized by aggressive competition during the second quarter.”
Thor Industries Inc. gained the most in three months after the maker of RVs and buses said sales surged 30% to a fiscal first-quarter record.
Bloomberg reported that Thor shares climbed 12% to $44.96 in midday trading after advancing as much as 14%, the most intraday since Aug. 3. The Jackson Center, Ohio-based company’s stock had risen 46% this year through yesterday.
Sales for the quarter ended Oct. 31 rose to $876.8 million, Thor said in releasing preliminary results. The average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg was $745.5 million. Thor said in a statement that its order backlog at the end of October was $720.4 million, up 41% from a year earlier.
According to Bloomberg, sales of recreational vehicles are monitored as a sign of an improving economy because motorhomes and travel trailers are discretionary purchases that consumers defer during a slump.