Longer term agreements between RV manufacturers and dealers would be very helpful in enhancing the value of RV dealerships, Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association President Mike Molino told an industry gathering in Florida earlier this month.
Molino told Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) Annual Convention attendees that “the Industry Vision Working Group” formed earlier this year is working to address the issue. The working group is comprised “of representatives of the members of both national and state associations that are trying to look ahead to where the industry needs to be in the future,” he said.
For years, “franchises” has been the term used to describe the issue of enhancing RV dealership value, but Molino told the FRVTA gathering that he believes franchises is a term that should be deleted from the working group’s vocabulary. The word “franchises gets people all kinds of nervous in the RV business, so we (the working group) said, ‘We’re not going to call it that. We’re not going to use the f-word unless someone else uses it.’
“I’ve heard more manufacturers use that word lately than dealers,” Molino added.
Instead of a franchise, which implies that a dealer is allowed to inventory only one manufacturer’s products, Molino believes manufacturer/dealer agreements lasting more than one year would help enhance dealership value.
With a longer term agreement, Molino said it would be possible for a dealer to “pass that relationship on and say, ‘I’m a Coachmen dealer and you can buy the right to sell Coachmen in this territory.’ And that’s worth a lot more than just the inventory and the land (where the dealership is located).”
Molino added that developing a solution to the issue of enhancing dealership value “is going to take some time because it a very, very touchy and sensitive subject.
“Industry unity is working and the best way to work industry unity is to emphasize those things that we agree on and de-emphasize that we have problems with and work those out,” Molino added.