Marty Shea, owner of Madison RV in Alabama and past chairman of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association Board, was recently profiled in the Huntsville Times, offering insight into his career with Harley Davidson and subsequent success as an RV retailer.
Shea is in the process of expanding the dealership he purchased eight years ago, moving to a larger, more prominent location.
“This was a very small operation when I bought it ,” he said, noting that he settled in Madison, Ala., after an 18-year run as a sales representative for Harley Davidson. “We’ve enhanced the business with a corporate philosophy that has a familial attitude. We are partners with our customers.”
“We are here to provide them with advice about their RV needs, and to develop a long-term relationship with them that will carry them through all their RV needs as their family changes. We focus very much on the long-term relationship. Anyone can sell one vehicle. Ours is repeat business.”
Shea’s commitment to promote professional RV sales, service and repair has changed the dynamics of the business, which has grown from 12 to 40 full-time employees in eight years.
One of his requirements is that all employees at Madison RV Center be familiar with the RV experience.
“Everybody here is successful because we all understand the needs of the RVing customer,” Shea said. “Because of that success, we’ve expanded our sales, service and parts departments. The only thing we haven’t been able to expand is our physical environment.”
Shea is moving the dealership to a site just off I-565 near the Huntsville International Airport, offering easier accessibility and additional room.
“The main reason we are making the move to I-565 is so that we have more space to showcase our line of RVs and RV products,” Shea said.
“The other main reason is that the future of this kind of business is in a location with Interstate access. With the size of some of today’s RVs, our current location can be difficult to get to for some of our customers. Our reach will be 300 miles out from our new location.”