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Due to the retail market rebound that began late last year and continued into this year, Central California RV dealers were optimistic on the eve of the Big Valley RV and Boat Show, according to The Record of Stockton, Calif.
“We were down for three weeks after Sept. 11, but then sales in October and November were up at least by 30% from the year before,” said Jim Shields, president of Pan Pacific RV Center, a dealership with locations in French Camp and Sacramento, Calif.
Shields was interviewed just prior to the beginning of the Big Valley RV and Boat Show in Stockton, which opened Thursday (Feb. 21) and continues through Sunday (Feb. 24).
He added that Pan Pacific sales increased without the need for special discounts, rebates or other incentives to draw customers.
“We had a great year last year, the best our company ever had,” said Shields, who added that his company sold around 600 towable RVs and over 100 motorhomes last year.
Big Valley Show Manager Bob Hawkins anticipates attendance this year will range from 8,000 to 9,000 people, which is about average.
Last year’s attendance was between 6,000 and 7,000 people, but attendance was held down by heavy rain in the area during last year’s show, Hawkins told The Record.
Eleven dealers are displaying around 200 RV units at this year’s show, and, for the first time, dealers were allowed to bring used units, as long as they were not older than the 1995 model year, Hawkins added.
Meanwhile, Dick Crandall, sales representative from the Gilroy, Calif., location of Guaranty RV Centers, said, “We had the biggest month we ever had in November, and we had a great January after that.”
Guaranty RV sold a bus conversion for $1.26 million last year to a farmer from Southern California, Crandall told The Record. Otherwise, most of Guaranty RV’s highline motorhome sales are in the $150,000 to $175,000 retail price range, although Crandall said the dealership brought a coach priced at $450,000 to the show.