The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) intends to develop materials that will make the case for local banks and credit unions to become more involved in RV wholesale and retail lending in an era when national lenders are under stress.
That was among the recommendations made by the RVIA Strategic Planning Committee that met Jan. 12-13 in Tampa, Fla., prior to the Florida RV Supershow
“The top three priorities are finance, finance, finance,” RVIA President Richard Coon told RVBusiness. “We are working hard to figure out what we can do to help solve that problem.”
The association is putting together a program that will be available to dealerships to take to local lenders as they try to develop local wholesale and retail credit opportunities in a tight national credit market, Coon said.
“Wholesale financing is at the top of our list,” he said. “We’ll develop a video or Powerpoint presentation that will be something the president of a dealership will be very comfortable taking with him to these local bankers.”
RVIA also has set up a meeting with the Credit Union National Association next week for the same purpose. “We are going to learn more about what local credits union can do,” Coon said.
Coon said the industry hopes to benefit from the second half of the $700 million financial bailout package approved by Congress last year. The Obama Administration has promised that portion of the bailout money will be used to free up the automotive and consumer credit markets, which have been moribund since last fall. RVIA and congressional representatives from Indiana and Oregon are working to ensure that RVs are included in the mix, Coon said.
Coon said the committee recommended resetting some goals within specific priorities. “The challenge for the association is that the strategic plans in the past have been based on much larger budgets than we have today,” Coon said. “We have to be much more picky and choosy about our priorities and how we are going to go about doing them. We are trying to work as best we can without all the doom and gloom, but being very honest about where this industry will go in the next couple of years.”
Priorities continue to include increasing awareness of the RV lifestyle; reporting market information and trends, bringing new customers into the RV market, educating RV service technicians and impacting safety and environmental legislation and regulations.
Coon said the new plan, to be presented for approval to the RVIA board March 26-27 in Chicago, calls for more promotion of September’s 2009 California RV Show in Pomona, Calif., and at December’s 44th National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky.