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 .
Wed Apr 5, 2017
A new RV manufacturer has started production on some new type B models.
While the company and its owner are new to the motorized side of the RV industry, some of the brands it will be manufacturing are not.
Grand Coach RV went into production this week at its facility in Elkhart, Indiana, producing a few lines of type B Sprinter and type B Ram ProMaster. It will be reviving the Dolphin, Sea View and Cape Cod brands of RVs, along with several other product lines, yet to be unveiled.
Grand Coach President and CEO Darryl Connors came out of retirement in Florida to get into the RV industry at a time where the consumer and industry excitement are both at an all-time high. Connors was in the automotive industry for many years and has extensive van conversion business experience, so the launching point with the type B market was a logical first step.
“The class B is the fastest growing segment of the RV industry,” Connors says. “One of the reasons it’s become that is the new entries into the market like the Ram ProMaster. The Sprinter and Mercedes were a little out of reach for some people. So, this is getting consumers looking at the market and it’s growing tremendously. We feel it is the perfect timing for us. Eventually, we want to come out with a class C and a class A using the brands that we acquire.”
The company has been working on these plans to launch for two years. It was incorporated at the beginning of the year and started all the prototypes Feb. 1. Connors says the goal is to be producing one motorhome per day.
The manufacturing facility in Elkhart was already prepared for RV manufacturing and was owned by one of the equity partners of the new business. Grand Coach currently has close to 20 employees and Connors says the company’s appeal is a different, faith-based culture and it already has attracted some key members to its vision.
“We’re a faith-based company and we have a different environment and the way in which we do things,” Connors says. “We express that from how we recruit. Paul Sailor has left Explorer Van Company to run our company as vice president of operations and as an equity partner. If you know anything about the van industry, Explorer was the best company that was ever in the industry, bar none. That tells us the vision of our company.”
Entering the proverbial RV pot while it’s hotter than it’s ever been comes with its blessings and its challenges. There is no shortage of excitement among consumers and potential first time buyers, but the competition also is as fierce as it’s been.
Connors says the brand recognition and the right partnerships will put the company in a great position moving forward and is excited about the future.
“What makes a particular dealer successful is the brand,” Connors says. “Dolphin, Cape Cod and Sea View are a highly recognizable and high-profile brand that will make a dealer successful. We’re just like everything else in the world – we sell brands that have good products. We’re trying to change the industry in a positive way that brings value to the dealer and to the consumer. We feel if we do all those things right, we’ll be successful.”
The company will have a website (www.grand-coach.com) live within the next five days. For more information about the company, call 574-264-3951.