RVIA Chairman Gregg Fore

Editor’s Note: The following is a column penned by Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) Chairman Gregg Fore and published in the latest issue of RVIA Today outlining the highlights Committee Week June 10-14 in Washington, D.C.

Summer is nearly here and the RV season is in full swing! Our customers are out in force across North America using their vehicles, enjoying the lifestyle, making new friends, and living life to the fullest.

Meanwhile, the RV industry steadily continues to gain ground with shipments up nearly 10% through the first quarter of 2011. Buoyed by this momentum, our manufacturing members are in the process of introducing their new model year lineups; our dealer partners are trying to manage the process of selling down inventories and restocking with new models; and, suppliers are seeing their new products being used in new model year vehicles and working to maintain volumes.

As we approach mid-year, RVIA is readying for this year’s Committee Week to be held at the Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, D.C., from June 10–14. Without question, Committee Week is one of the most important weeks on the RVIA calendar every year. The association’s committees meet to review information, set agendas and begin preparations for the next fiscal year so that budgets and priorities can be reviewed and approved. This one event includes more member personnel working on industry issues
that any other RVIA event except the National RV Trade Show.

While the activity level is always intense at Committee Week, it promises to be especially busy this year as we have newly-formed committees and added issues to contend with at the event. Formed last year, the Canadian Coalition Committee continues its work toward a more unified North American RV industry by finding ways to ease the export/import of RVs to our Canadian counterparts. From transportation, import and standards issues, this has proved to be a complex problem requiring attention from both U.S. and Canadian members and associations.

With RVIA’s ongoing interest in developing the Chinese RV market and the recent announcement that the association plans to open an office in China, it will be important that our involved committees
and members give careful consideration to this issue during Committee Week to insure that this landmark venture gets off to a solid start.

The recent addition of park trailer manufacturers to RVIA’s membership will result in a new focus by the entire association on a myriad of issues important to this manufacturing segment, including destination camping initiatives. This includes the formation of the Park Trailer Committee and Destination Camping
Committee to help guide these activities. Additionally, Matt Wald was recently appointed park trailer executive director and will be instrumental in leading our efforts in this area.

While on the topic of park trailers, I want to welcome all park trailer manufactures who have chosen to join RVIA. Over recent years both the traditional RV and the park trailer industries have changed as has the market for our combined products. For the health of all vehicle manufacturers and dealers, it only makes sense today that we are all working together under one umbrella to further strengthen our businesses.

Lastly, I want to comment on the 2nd World RV Conference, being hosted by RVIA in conjunction with the Florida RV SuperShow from January 17-20 in Tampa, Fla. With the RV industry continuing to become much more globally focused, this will be a significant event that is important not only for U.S. based companies, but for RV manufacturers and suppliers across the world.

In late April, RVIA started taking electronic registration for the World RV Conference. I encourage you to be on hand for this valuable event and to complete your registration as soon as possible.

As always, I want to thank all of you who continue to volunteer your time and the time of your staff to work with others in the association. Your involvement is what makes RVIA successful and what helps make our industry strong.

I hope to see you at Committee Week! Feel free to contact me at any time if I can be of any assistance relative to RVIA matters.