The Conversion Vehicle Committee of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) will provide the RVIA Board with “possible different scenarios” of how the conversion sector will be represented within the industry association later this month, according to LA West Inc. President Vern Kauffman, chairman of the committee.
The converters will appear during the RVIA Board’s meeting on Feb. 28 at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale, Ariz. The board meeting will follow the RVIA Executive Committee meeting in Scottsdale on Feb. 27.
Kauffman declined to provide details about the scenarios prior to the board meeting.
Because van conversions and converted pickups and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are marketed by franchise new car dealers, the RVIA, as a part of its long-range strategic planning process, is uncertain whether it should continue representing the conversion vehicle segment.
However, during the RVIA Annual Meeting in September, President Dave Humphreys said, the RVIA Board decided to continue representing the conversion vehicle segment, although the board wants the sector to develop a separate structure within the RVIA that specializes in the representation of conversion vehicles.
Representation by an association is important to the conversion vehicle companies because domestic auto manufacturers, who provide them with chassis, insist that they belong to an industry association because of the self-regulation that association membership requires.
Meanwhile, the conversion vehicle segment has struggled since the auto companies began producing their own SUVs in the 1990s. As a result, van conversion shipments plunged from the 192,400 units shipped in 1993 to 38,800 shipped to car dealers in 2003, the RVIA reported.
The total conversion vehicle wholesale market, including converted vans, pickups and SUVs, shrunk by 15.8% in 2003, compared to 2002, according to the RVIA.