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 .
Tue Sep 13, 2016
After several years of a partnership between Little Guy Worldwide and Pleasant Valley Teardrops, the two companies announced their imminent split set for April 2017, when the present contract expires.
The two companies were negotiating a contract where the two would merge into one on a long-term agreement, Little Guy Chief Operating Officer Chris Baum says.
“We had been working on a contract basis. There were multiple contracts where they were going to be the manufacturers and we were going to be the distributor,” Baum says. “With that agreement expiring, it was always in our vision with that success to merge the two companies. In our mind, there was no reason for there to be a split. They didn’t share the same opinion.”
During the contract talks about consolidation, the objectives the two companies had for the future couldn’t be agreed upon, Pleasant Valley CEO Scott Hubble said Thursday, according to a story on the Small Trailer Enthusiast.
“Frankly, I never envisioned a future without Little Guy, personally or professionally,” Hubble says. “However, given the situation, we wish our friends at Little Guy Worldwide nothing but the greatest success both now, as partners, and in the future, as they embark on an exciting new path. We believe that this segment of the market will continue to grow, thereby offering both companies an opportunity to collaborate and create synergies with other niche OEMs.”
The companies’ split doesn’t mean that anything ends on either manufacturing front. In July, Little Guy Announced it had acquired the Serro Scotty brand name, an iconic camper line that started a small trailer craze in the 1960s and ‘70s.
“We debuted one (Serro Scotty Trailer) last week and we’re doing one at the Hershey RV Show (this) week and we will have two to three different evolutions,” Baum says. “Then, we will continue to develop other products and continue to be a leader in the lightweight camper.”
In 2002, Joe Kicos founded the company and sold 20 units that year. In the 14 years since, Little Guy Trailers have become one of the most identifiable and economical teardrop trailers on the market, selling thousands of trailers in the U.S. and internationally.
In 1957, John Serro founded the Serro Scotty Co. with a vision of manufacturing affordable family campers. Forty years after the founding in 1997, a fire destroyed the factory, ending the business. But Little Guy decided to take on the company name, which Gary Pirchl, Serro’s grandson, enthusiastically agreed.
“I could not have picked a better organization outside of Little Guy Worldwide to bring back the Serro Scotty,” Pirchl says. “They have built such a great community under the Little Guy brand and the Serro Scotty name will make a great addition.”
Additionally, Little Guy Worldwide announced its further expansion into the distribution of high-end campers and trailers, with a new 169,000 square-foot facility large enough to accommodate the current and new product line demands. Another 200,000 square feet of space is reserved for future expansion.
The expansion strategy includes instituting two PDI processes before shipping, a three-year structural warranty and brand-specific product managers. The full product line details will be available in the coming months, while the products themselves are expected to be available in spring 2017.
“As a leader in the teardrop landscape, we know exactly what our dealer base and clients are demanding and we have made a large investment into a product line that will be a true force to be reckoned with,” Kicos says. “We look forward to leveraging Little Guy’s expertise and knowledge of the dealer/customer base nationally to establish a more prominent, effective presence in the leisure camping market.”
Pleasant Valley Teardrops, now operating under the nuCamp RV brand name, is the owner of the T@B and T@G teardrop trailers. T@B was acquired from Dutchmen RV in 2011, while Pleasant Valley had been developing the T@Gs since 2013.
nuCamp RV will continue to manufacture those two popular lines of RVs even after the April split, while the company expects to produce more than 3,500 campers this year.
Even with the split inching its way closer – it’s about seven months away – both companies have unveiled their strategies, plans to continue manufacturing their individual lines and both will be a major player in RV manufacturing and distributing for years to come.