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 .
Mon Dec 11, 2017
Author: Scott Hansen
It’s been just more than three months since NeXus RV announced it would establish a dealer network and the company has been working with about 15 dealers in about 22 locations since then.
NeXus Vice President of Sales Steve Jacobs says the dealers’ response to the company, which for the last seven years had been selling factory direct, was even better than he thought it would be.
“It’s been phenomenal. Quite honestly, it’s a breath of fresh air when you get a dealer on the phone and you express what you’re doing, keeping everyone on an even playing field and they whole heartedly sign up with you,” Jacobs says. “Everyone’s on the same program. We have very large territories, MAP pricing, they’re liking the old-time model of how privately held manufacturers did business.”
To prepare for selling through dealers, NeXus RV opened up another location shortly after announcing it would again sell through dealers. Then, the company started going after its dealers and got a few major dealerships to sign on, including Poulsbo RV in Washington State, Lazydays RV and Midway RV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, among others. A few of the estimated 15 dealers have several dealership locations throughout the United States, and NeXus has established dealership locations throughout most of the regions of the United States.
“We’re still in negotations, but we’re spread in Washington, California, Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, Maryland, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Illinois and Ohio, and next week, we’ll be in Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas,” Jacobs says. “We also foresee us moving into the Canadian market in the next 90-120 days.”
One of NeXus RV’s newest dealers is Sunny Island RV in Rockford, Illinois, which recently got the inventory from the company to begin selling. Sunny Island General Manager Jeff Tegnor says the new line has already proven valuable to the dealership.
“We had been looking for an ‘A’ class for a while,” Tegnor says. “We’re sandwiched between a lot of dealers and they had a lot of the lines tied up. So, when we saw they were going to a dealer network, we called them up and secured a territory. We sold a Super C diesel pretty much right when we got it, so it’s good to sell one right out of the gate and instill that confidence in the product.”
Helping its former customers to adapt to a dealer network has also gone smoothly, Jacobs says. Bringing a customer base that was working exclusively with the manufacturer into the industry by way of the dealers is adding even more customers to that side of the business.
“We’re placing these customers with a dealer and walking them through that process,” Jacobs says. “Because of previously being factory direct, we have the floorplans dialed in to what 90 percent of our customers wanted. They’re being very acceptable to it. Actually our first sales to a dealer network were our retail model customers.
“It’s a different relationship. We had a guy from a dealer call us and said ‘A customer asked us 15 questions that we didn’t know all the answers.’ I told him I was on the phone with the customer for 45 minutes and they’re already answered. We are touching all these customers with the dealers. We want the salespeople involved with us. We’re going to be right there alongside the dealer.”
Tegnor says the dealership saw the way the market was going, with quite a bit more customers interested in motorized. With a manufacturer line that was previously untouchable by dealers starting to sell through them, it opened up a way to sell the types of coaches that others in the area didn’t have.
“Consumer confidence is up, and I would say there’s more of a heavier emphasis in motorized right now,” Tegnor says. “It’s been a real good extended seasons, one of the best we’ve ever seen.”
NeXus RV knows the reach it has. It knows it’s not going to be a giant manufacturer that produces hundreds if not thousands of units per day, like a few others in the industry. But Jacobs says the company doesn’t want to be one of those giants.
“The biggest thing is to be profitable,” he says. “We feel that we want to be able to supply our dealer base. We definitely have chassis availability. We are building structural facilities to handle increased production. There will be news in the next few weeks of acquisitions of properties that will help us handle that production. We foresee us doing 1,000 to 1,200 units next year.”