The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association commissioned an Economic Impact Study on the RV industry, released on June 7, 2016. The study found that the RV industry contributes about $49.7 billion in economic output or 0.28 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. Through its production and distribution linkages, the industry impacts firms in 426 of the 440 sectors of the United States economy.
Nationwide, the industry is responsible for 216,170 jobs, both directly and inderectly, creating an economic impact of $37.5 billion. The full study results, along with each individual state and congressional district's economic impact is available on the website by clicking here .
Fri Jul 1, 2016
An old dog can’t learn new tricks.
But experienced RV dealers will need to begin learning new tricks of the trade in order to keep up with the up-and-coming RV dealers whose fresh ideas are starting to take the industry by storm.
Kim Siex, the Oklahoma Recreation Vehicle Association’s president and president of Bob Hurley RV in Tulsa, says he is seeing the tried and true ways of doing business fall by the wayside in favor of younger, newer and fancier dealers who are understanding the current customer’s tendencies.
And it’s time to get on board, Siex says.
“Our dollars are switching to digital,” Siex says. “That needs to be a larger pitch of the business. Customers are shopping online now and they know more than they ever did before they ever walk into the store. The old dealerships need to pay attention to where the customer shops and meet the customer on their terms. If they’re used to shopping on tablets, iPhones and iPads, that’s where the dealer needs to have their presence.”
Bob Hurley RV has had a growth burst of its own over the past few months, up 35 percent compared to last year at this time. Siex says it has just been a result of all the elements of the economy and the seasons combined to be the perfect scenario.
“Interest rates are good, gas prices are good, financing is loosening up, the lenders are back aggressive again. It’s a perfect storm,” Siex says. “People are making money, unemployment is down, and people look favorably on RVs. It’s not a luxury item, it’s a family item.”
However, it’s the new kids on the block that are now making the rules. Dealers that are aware of the younger customers’ preferred way of shopping and catering to them have received the lion’s share of the business, while the more experienced dealers have remained set in their ways and have begun losing business as a result.
“It’s the way you finance, the way you advertise to the customer,” Siex says. “Newspaper or print, if it’s not dead, it’s dying. TV still seems to push people to online.”
Part of the new trend is simply that a younger generation has gotten a hold of RVs. Buyers in their 30s are now some of the most RV-centric buyers on the market and Siex says those millennials have a different way of shopping than those in the older generation.
“It’s definitely a market for a younger buyer,” Siex says. “At some point, the baby boomers will run out. We need to market to the millennials and the generations after the millennials. We need to pay attention to how they shop and wait on them on their terms.”