The manner in which business is conducted in the RV industry could change significantly if an RV manufacturer agrees to supply motorhomes and/or towables to the REDEX buying group.
REDEX, also known as the Recreational Dealers Exchange Co., is an association of 48 RV dealerships operating from 87 locations across the country.
REDEX pools the buying power of the 48 dealers, which totals around $1.6 billion in annual sales – or about 15% of all U.S. retail RV sales – to get better prices from its vendors.
The largest single dealership is Florida’s Lazydays RV SuperCenter, which narrowly missed reaching the $700 million mark in annual sales last year.
Currently, individual dealers make their own supply arrangements with the RV manufacturers they represent.
REDEX is a 7-year-old organization and its vendors include retail loan sources U.S. Bank and Bank of the West, inventory finance source KeyBank and aftermarket products distributors NTP Distribution (formerly know as Northwest Trailer Parts) and Stag-Parkway, according to Paul Skogebo, president of REDEX and the Robert Crist and Co. dealership in Mesa, Ariz.
Though REDEX members benefit from lower vendor prices, the vendors also benefit by getting the large amount of business that is available from REDEX members, Skogebo said.
REDEX heard proposals from four RV manufacturers during its annual meeting last month and Skogebo believes the buying group will select an RV manufacturer-vendor before the end of this year.
The first REDEX manufacturer-vendor most likely will be a towables manufacturer, he speculated.
Eventually, Skogebo believes, REDEX will have one motorhome vendor and a separate towables vendor.
If REDEX reaches a vendor/supplier relationship with an RV manufacturer, then the RV industry will have followed the lead of the boating industry, in which there are three buying groups composed of independent boatbuilders who try to negotiate better prices from outboard engine manufacturers.