Ally Financial recently announced its participation in the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo Oct. 3-7 as a Copper Sponsor of the annual event.
Sponsored by RVDA, RVDA of Canada and the RV Learning Center, the expo will be held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
In addition to its financial sponsorship, Ally representatives will be on hand to discuss dealer wholesale financing, retail financing and remarketing services. The bank holding company formerly known as GMAC, Detroit, Mich.-based Ally Financial was named the largest auto finance company in the U.S. earlier this year by the Auto Finance Big Wheels annual ranking of car lenders and lessors. Ally entered the RV financing market in June 2010 and began wholesale financing for RV dealers last November.
“We are committed to supporting RV dealers in their sales efforts and look forward to building lasting business relationships,” said Mark Manzo, Ally Financial vice president of Alliance Sales. “We are putting our expertise to work nationwide for the RV industry.”
Prior to the convention, dealers interested in Ally financing and services may contact the company at (800) 814-8842.
The RV industry’s retail scorekeeper, Tom Walworth of Statistical Surveys Inc., will lead a high-powered panel discussion delving into the market and credit forces impacting the RV industry on Oct. 7 during the 2010 RV Dealers International Convention/Expo.
The panel of industry experts is:
- Ron Fenech, RV Group president, Thor Industries Inc.
- Peter Lannon, group president – RV & Motorsports, GE Capital Commercial Distribution Finance.
- Craig Kennison, senior research analyst for Consumer Products & Automotive Services, Robert W. Baird & Co.
The panel will focus on minimizing risk factors with RV floorplan loans, a manufacturing outlook on the future of RV product development and distribution, financial markets, and the impact the issues will have on the dealer’s bottom line.
“This session is sure to be extremely informative for everyone attending the upcoming convention,” said RVDA Convention Chairman Peter Albano. “It will provide some important steps that dealers can take to reduce their risk and successfully meet the financial challenges we are all facing today. The Convention/Expo Committee secured an outstanding group of RV industry experts to participate in this event.”
The panel discussion, titled “RV Market Outlook?” will be the second general session on, Oct. 7 at 2 p.m. This is just one of the workshops that are planned for the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, which will be held Oct. 4-8 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.
A total of 105 exhibitors are already confirmed for the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) International Convention/Expo, Oct. 6-9, at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.
More than 400 dealers from across the U.S. and Canada are expected to attend the event, which includes continuing education sessions from 45 workshop speakers, according to an RVDA news release. A total of 87 suppliers and 18 RV manufacturers are scheduled to exhibit, with 12 manufacturers displaying product as of Sept. 15.
There is limited expo space that is still available. Companies interested in exhibiting should call RVDA’s Susan Charter at (703) 591-7130 (ext. 103) or e-mail email@example.com for more information. The remaining space at the Rio will be reserved on first-come, first served basis.
For a complete list visit this link: http://www.rvlearningcenter.com/AM/TemplateRedirect.cfm?Template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=8429
Bold Denotes Corporate Sponsor
* = Displaying Vehicles
i =Workshop Speaker
g= Proprietary Seminar
- iA World of Training
- ADESA Specialty Sales
- ADP Lightspeed
- Affinity Media
- Airstream Inc.
- America’s Auto Auction
- American Guardian Warranty Services Inc.
- American Hardware Mutual Insurance
- Aqua-Hot Heating Systems Inc.
- gAuction123 Inc.
- iBank of the West
- iBlue Ox
- BR Wholesale RV & Marine
- Brasher’s Northwest RV, Boat, & Powersports Auction
- Carefree of Colorado
- *Carriage Inc.
- Cequent Performance Products Inc.
- iChannel Blade, an ARI Company
- gCleverQ Software
- Coast Distribution System
- CornerStone United Inc.
- *Cozy Traveler
- *CrossRoads RV
- Cummins Onan Generators
- The Customer Connection Inc.
- Damon Corp.
- Diversified Insurance Management Inc.
- Dometic Corp.
- Dream Maker Spas
- *Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc.
- *EverGreen Recreational Vehicles LLC
- Four Winds International
- Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp.
- GE Capital
- GEICO Powersports
- Good Sam Authorized Dealer Network
- Gulf Stream Coach Inc.
- *Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC
- IDS – Integrated Dealer Systems
- Interstate Star Rv
- Iota Engineering LLC.
- iThe Joe Verde Group
- iKampgrounds of America
- Keystone RV Co.
- Komfort Corp.
- iKVH Industries Inc.
- i*KZ RV L.P.
- *Livin’ Lite Recreational Vehicles Inc.
- Marine One Acceptance Corp.
- iMarzahn & King Consulting Inc.
- iMBA Insurance
- iMedallion Bank
- MOR/ryde International
- iMoss Adams LLP
- NADA Appraisal Guides & NADAguides.com
- NTP Distribution
- *Open Range RV Co.
- Parallax Power Supply – a Division of Connecticut Electric Inc.
- Pettes & Hesser Ltd.
- Poliseek AIS Insurance Solutions Inc.
- Power Gear/Kwikee Products
- Premier Auction Group
- *Prime Time Manufacturing
- gR. L. Polk & Co.
- Redeye Surveillance Systems
- Reed Brothers Insurance Group, Division of Brown & Brown Insurance
- *Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc.
- Robert Weed Plywood Corp.
- RV America Insurance Mktg. Inc.
- RV Daily Report
- RV EDUCATION 101
- RV PRO Magazine
- iRV Safety & Education Foundation
- RV Solutions Inc.
- RV Trader/RVTRaderOnline.com
- RV Web Services
- RVAA – Recreation Vehicle Aftermarket Assn.
- Sentry Insurance
- *Skyline Corp.
- iSobel & Associates Inc.
- iSpader Business Management
- Spartan Chassis Inc.
- iStatistical Surveys Inc.
- Swift Hitch – Two Loons Trading Co.
- gSystems 2000 Inc.
- U.S. Bank Recreation Finance
- Ultimate Video Showcase Inc.
- United States Warranty Corp.
- Valley Towing Systems LLC
- gVision Selling Systems
- igWheeler Advertising Inc.
- Winegard Co.
- Workhorse Custom Chassis
- Yamaha Motor Corp U.S.A.
Despite the headwinds of 2009, RVBusiness is turning the corner on the second annual RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer Awards after having gone to manufacturers earlier this year for nominations of their best dealers in terms of consumer care, civic involvement and general professionalism.
A number of applications are in hand and a host of nominated retailers, as has been the case for so many business people this year, are currently scrambling to submit theirs. “I can report at this point that things are going well,” says RVBusiness Publisher Sherman Goldenberg, who is overseeing the second annual RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer Awards program on behalf of the industry’s flagship trade journal. “And we’ll continue to flex with the times and bend that deadline to get as many of those last-minute applications as we can before turning them over later this month for review by our panel of experts.”
The Top 50, like last year, will be not be ranked in any sort of order, says Goldenberg, but will be presented as a group in alphabetical order at a reception and dinner at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 7, during the annual RV Dealers International Convention/Expo, sponsored by the Fairfax, Va.-based Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA). But five of the Top 50 will receive special recognition as Blue Ribbon dealers and one above the rest receives the Dave Altman Award, which goes to an exceptional corporate citizen.
Appearing as keynote speaker at this year’s dinner is former – and possibly future – Republican presidential candidate and Fox News contributor Mike Huckabee, who will more than likely have a few things to say about the current economic and political landscape.
“All in all, we can’t imagine that anyone attending the RVDA Con/Expo wouldn’t want to take the opportunity to mix with Mr. Huckabee and their industry peers at the cocktail party prior to our dinner and to hear Mr. Huckabee speak on the hot topics of the day at the dinner itself, regardless of their political persuasion,” said Goldenberg. “And, of course, we’ll honor our dealers, one by one, at the dinner as well, giving everyone a chance to reflect on the professionalism for which we’re trying to help raise the bar in this industry.”
The bottom line of the Top 50 program, he maintained, is to continue to remind individual dealers – and the industry at large – of the intent and specific recommendations of the Go RVing Coalition’s Committee on Excellence.
”I don’t think there is ever a bad time to be talking about excellence and customer service and treating people right, especially customers,” said BJ Thompson, president of BJ Thompson Associates, the Mishawaka, Ind., agency that is again working with RVBusiness on the Top 50. “So, whether it’s a good economy or a bad economy, this is a good program and helpful to the industry.”
Underwriting this year’s program are RVB’s “Leadership Alliance” sponsors for 2009, including “Platinum” co-sponsors ADP Lightspeed, Salt Lake City, Utah; Blue Ox, Pender, Neb.; Coach-Net, Lake Havasu, Ariz.; Cummins Onan, Minneapolis, Minn.; Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp., Gaffney, S.C., RV Trader and RVTraderOnline.com, Norfolk, Va., and Ultra-Fab Products, Elkhart, Ind., while Protective Asset Protection Division, Chesterfield, Mo., is a “Gold” sponsor.
Tickets for the $120-a-plate dinner ($99 for RVDA members and Con/Expo exhibitors) are available through RVBUSINESS.com’s registration link (http://www.rvbusiness.com/top-50-dealer-awards/2009-registration-form/).
Online versions of the applications can be downloaded by linking directly to http://www.rvbusiness.com/top-50-dealer-awards/2009-top-50-dealer-application/
Building on last year’s format, which appears to have worked rather well for those involved, RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer Award honorees will be promoted in the national press, in dealers’ hometown newspapers and in the pages – and on the websites — of Affinity’s trade and consumer magazines, RVBusiness, Trailer Life, MotorHome, Highways, Coast to Coast and Camping Life.
However, publicity is only part of the incentive for participating in this bar-raising national promotion, says Thompson. “In talking with different size dealers last year, whether they be small, medium or large-size dealers,” said Thompson, “we did get some distinctly different responses. The smaller dealers were surprised that they were genuinely in the running to be recognized for their attention to customer satisfaction. They appreciated having the opportunity to be recognized for their hard work and their investment in customer service.
“The medium and larger dealers seemed to have their own unique set of issues in assuring good customer service and excellence in their operations,” added Thompson, who will be joined in hosting the event by Jim Sheldon, a Monaco RV LLC executive and current chairman of Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). “Because they were larger, they weren’t able to have that one-on-one experience as principals because of their size. It was a unique challenge to them to drive down their values to the people in their dealer operations who were working with customers, whether it was sales or service or otherwise. It would take a lot of work and investment on their part to have that personalized service on a larger scale. So, to be recognized for actually accomplishing excellence on a larger scale for them was also satisfying.”
Leveling the playing field again this year is the fact that larger multi-store retailers, regardless of how many locations they have, can have only one store recognized in the RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer Award program.
“It was satisfying for those of us who were involved in the development of the program to see that most dealers were genuinely appreciative of having the spotlight put on them,” added Thompson, current chairman of RVIA’s Public Relations Committee. “I think it’s always a good thing to put a spotlight on people who are doing things right and doing them well. Recognizing outstanding achievement in customer service and dealer operations not only lifts the dealership, but when they are spotlighted and shown off to the world, it lifts up the entire industry.”