As a continued reflection of a tough marketplace, the upcoming 2009 Florida RV Supershow in Tampa has become the third major retail RV show to allow older, untitled 2008 units to be shown rather than 2009 models only.
The sponsoring Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) board voted during a special meeting to allow as many as 40% of the estimated 1,300 units expected to be displayed at the Jan. 13-18 show at the Florida State Fairgrounds to be untitled 2008 RVs.
“We felt the (change) appropriate for these economic times,” FRVTA President Donnie Davis said in a memo to members.
“We are following the lead of the manufacturers who called us and who were interested in the opportunity for their dealers to move some ’08 inventory,” FRVTA Executive Director Lance Wilson told RVBusiness. “Our board felt strongly that since it had been done recently in several places that to deny them the chance to do that would not be in the anyone’s best interests. “
Both the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show in September and the mid-October California RV Show changed their policies to allow previous model-year units to be displayed, and both cited the industry’s current slowdown for the temporary rules changes.
In Pennsylvania, however, where the Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Camping Association (PRVCA) decided to allow 20% of the some 1,200 units shown to be 2008 models, manufacturers brought only 45 ’08 units for display.
In California, where the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) Pomona Show currently is underway, organizers allowed 50% of units to be 2008 model-year, but it hasn’t been a big factor. “I don’t think we have 50% because some of the manufacturers I talked to said that they only had a few ’08 units and some didn’t have any,” said Mary “Mike” Hutya, RVIA vice president of meetings and shows.’
“A lot of our dealers felt that by January there will be a much-reduced supply of ’08’s,” Wilson said. “My guess is that we will probably mirror Hershey.”
FRVTA sponsors the Florida RV Supershow, which FRVTA bills as the largest retail show in the country, along with 10 regional shows, including the new Tampa Bay Summer RV Show scheduled for June 11-14 at the fairgrounds.