The economic outlook remains bleak for the coming months, but the Recreational Vehicle Aftermarket Association (RVAA) believes that now is the time for action, and an opportunity for dealers to re-examine their aftermarket/parts and accessories operations to maximize profits.
In February 2009, the association initiated its “Aftermarket NOW” outreach campaign to provide the RV dealership community with additional tools and support for improving their aftermarket sales.
“We feel that today’s economic environment is creating some opportunities for dealerships that they may be overlooking,” notes RVAA President Piar Adams from Carefree of Colorado. “It is certainly true that customers are not driving new units off the lots like they used to, but they still have a certain amount of their discretionary income targeted towards their RV lifestyle. Now is the time when dealers have to focus on making certain they return to the dealership to spend those aftermarket dollars.”
The RVAA Education Committee – chaired by Aaron Engberg of Winegard Co. and Kevin Phillips of Thetford Corp. – will oversee the campaign to present dealers with tangible tips and education on how to improve their aftermarket operations.
“We want to give the dealership community the tools they need to maximize their aftermarket operations,” said Engberg. “The name ‘Aftermarket NOW’ was chosen for a very simple reason – in this economy it is absolutely imperative for every dealer to get the most out of their aftermarket store.”
The campaign will feature targeted emails, media exposure and a dedicated website where dealers can find an archive of information and useful quick tips for improving their aftermarket operations. Additionally, dealers will be able to quickly browse new products available in the aftermarket to keep on top of the latest offerings for their customers.
The campaign kicked off in mid-February and will continue throughout the year. “RVAA will be celebrating its 40th Anniversary in August,” said Phillips. “We know this is a challenging time for the industry, and we feel that our association has the depth of knowledge in its membership to help our dealer partners strengthen their aftermarket operations. We believe in the entire 40 years of RVAA’s existence, this might be one of our most significant missions as an organization. Working together, our members have the depth of knowledge and capabilities to help make this effort a success.”