Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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November 25, 2012

National RV Trade Show reaches half-century mark

GOSHEN — Business friendships will be renewed this week when the makers of recreational vehicles and the dealers who sell them gather together in Louisville, Ky.

Bringing them together, along with dozens of suppliers to the industry, will be the National RV Trade Show at the Kentucky Exposition Center. This year’s show will be special because it is the 50th anniversary for the show.

The anniversary recognition will be brief at the show, according to Bill Baker, senior director of communications for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, the trade group that hosts the show.

“It will be something brief. We want people to get back to the business of selling RVs,” he said.

Leading up to the show the industry is in its fourth straight year of growth, with product shipments through the third quarter up 11 percent from 2011. Also, the withering recession and its consolidations and bankruptcies have been left behind.

“We are excited,” said David Boggs, marketing director for KZRV in Shipshewana.”We have had a good fall selling season and we want to capitalize on it as the Louisville show.”

Industry Association, the trade group that hosts the show.

“It will be something brief. We want people to get back to the business of selling RVs,” he said.

On Wednesday afternoon there will be a brief ceremony involving the cutting of a special RV-shaped cake, but other than that, the show will be about selling.

Leading up to the show the industry is in its fourth straight year of growth, with product shipments through the third quarter up 11 percent from 2011. Also, the withering recession and its consolidations and bankruptcies have been left behind.

“We are excited,” said David Boggs, marketing director for KZRV in Shipshewana.”We have had a good fall selling season and we want to capitalize on it as the Louisville show.”

KZRV will be showcasing its Sport Trek travel tailer. And there will be hundreds of other RVs made in LaGrange and Elkhart counties represented.

When he looks at the industry as a whole during the show’s 50th year, Boggs said, “Ever since the downturn the manufacturers have been more innovative.”

He said that innovation is the result of companies working with their customers and dealers and getting feedback on what they want in an RV product.

“The overall feeling is that the industry is doing pretty well heading into Louisville,” Baker said. “The industry is up (about) 10 percent and there is a lot of good feelings about the market.”

And, the show will go on in Louisville at least through 2015. The RVIA has signed an agreement with the Kentucky Exposition Center to host the show through that year.

This year’s show attendance is expected to be on par with last year’s, according to Baker. And many of those attending know each other.

“It is one event where you have the whole industry come together. you have the dealers, the supplier exhibits, the manufacturing exhibits, the whole industry is together,” Baker said.

What will attendees see at this year’s show? “In general terms, I think you will see the continued technological innovations we have seen over the past decade continue,” Baker said.

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