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 Jan 24, 2018
NTP-STAG’s “The Expo” show, billed the largest aftermarket distribution show in the RV industry concluded on Tuesday evening in Grapevine, Texas. The show was held at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center.
An estimated 2,200 people attended the show, with more than 200 aftermarket exhibitors set up to supply dealers with more than 200,000 SKUs for sale. While final numbers were not available, clearly tens of millions of dollars in orders were placed during the 2-day event.
This year, the show had an estimated 20 first-time exhibitors. As an example, Patrick Industries attended and, according to the company, this is the first aftermarket show at which it has ever exhibited. Other new suppliers included companies such as RV Intelligence, Trailer Valet and Curt Manufacturing.
In addition to numerous new companies, a vast majority of long-time vendors displayed all-new products for 2018. As an example, Horizon Global debuted a new 20,000-pound-rated fifth wheel hitch for Chevy called the M5. The hitch mounts on the OEM factory-installed under bed. Additionally, the company released two Reese Power A-frame jacks—one rated at 3,500 pounds and another at 4,000. Also, a Reese outboard frame bracket and rail kit, and a Tekonsha ZCI (zero contact interface) tow-vehicle-to-trailer lighting module were unveiled. The lighting module requires no cutting of vehicle wires, because it snaps around the wires instead of splicing into them. Horizon Global also released the Steady Flex weight distribution and sway control system, which uses automotive friction material on the weight distribution bars to prevent sway.
Horizon Global was one of 34 companies who held a technical training seminar on the first day of the show. More than 900 show attendees attended seminars, sponsored by Valterra Products.
Once training concluded, the show floor opened at 4 p.m. As dealers, retailers and repair shop employees entered the floor, they were greeted by NTP-STAG employees who lined up on either side of the aisle and wildly applauded the arrival of their customers. As attendees explored the Expo, appetizers and drinks were served.
While not new to “the Expo,” digital, online ordering was heavily emphasized. Many attendees filled out orders pre-show to ensure all products needed were entered. Product pricing and show discounts were only revealed once the show floor opened. Many attendees commented the ordering system significantly simplified the ordering process, helping them to maximize time on the show floor. Suppliers had mixed feelings about the online ordering system. Some suppliers felt it prevented them from gauging the volume of orders coming in and whether personal sales goals were being met by salespeople working exhibitor’s booths.
Other suppliers felt the online ordering was a big improvement, because it prevented “typos” and missing information that can sometimes take place when filling out paper order forms.
The show wrapped up Tuesday evening with a lively closing reception. A bountiful array of food and drink was offered, along with a band that provided entertainment.
Bill Rogers, general manager for NTP-STAG says he was pleased with the turnout this year. The company is focused on empowering its customers to be competitive in the ever-evolving retail environment, he says. The company has increased the amount of inventory in its warehouses to ensure it has product on hand when dealers need it. According to Rogers, the company is now holding an estimated $300 million in inventory. He also cites the numerous programs and exhibits at the show created to make attendees aware of new technology, programs and services that will help NTP-STAG customers be competitive.
Tom Romero, Horizon Global director of education and technical training says, “I think this is the biggest turn out I’ve ever seen. This was really great to educate dealers and I applaud NTP-STAG for allowing the comprehensive training at their venue. It really was the perfect setup and it allowed us to interact with the customer in a meaningful way. People came down after our seminar and looked at what we were talking about. I really thought it was great.”
Dave Steuk of Rock Tamers LLC says, “It’s nice to get together with customers who are currently buying the product and then being able to introduce it to new customers as well; to get some of these RV dealers to think outside the box and look at new product. I would say six out of 10 are people who have already bought the product, but four are probably people we are selling to for the first time.”