About 120 dealer and supplier personnel attended Canada-based RV Care Network’s 2nd Annual Dealer Meeting April 3-4 at the Westin Hotel in Toronto.
”The main topic of discussion was the future direction with our programs and initiatives,” said Earl Manning, vice president and CEO of the 53-dealer organization headquartered in Langley, British Columbia. ”We want to strengthen our dealer’s operations and competitive positions in the local markets and build our RV Care and RV Traveler’s Choice parts and accessory brands.”
RV Care is one of North America’s three independent RV dealer groups outside of the trade associations.
Attendance at the annual meeting included representatives from 48 dealerships and 14 suppliers. The keynote speaker was Wells Fargo’s Jim Quinlan, an economist with the major floorplan-finance company who spoke to the general session on Monday afternoon.
”He was helping us understand the international economic activity going on with the new president of the United States,” Manning said. ”His honest answer to questions about President Trump’s policies was that he doesn’t know what his effect will be.
”He told us that nobody knows what’s happening — that everybody is learning.”
Nonetheless, Manning reported, ”From a dealer’s perspective, it’s helpful to hear a different outlook. He definitely was timely and informative.”
Manning said that Canadian dealers generally had a good year in 2016, despite Canada being on the short end of the U.S.-Canadian exchange rate.
”The exchange rate didn’t seem to matter,” he said. ”Other variables played into Canadian sales more than the exchange rate. We had a weak dollar as well, but right now the oil industry and economy are getting somewhat better.
”Everyone is excited about 2017.”