Dickey Riegel

Dickey Riegel

Recreational vehicle maker Thor Industries Inc. is partnering with an organization of credit unions to offer RV discounts of up to $1,000 for credit union members.

CUcorp, a credit union marketing group, said today (Aug. 26) that credit union members are eligible for discounts of $300 to $1,000 on the RVs purchased through Thor’s Airstream, Breckenridge, CrossRoads, Damon Motor Coach, Dutchmen, Four Winds and Komfort brands, according to the Washington Examiner.

Thor Chief Operating Officer Dicky Riegel said the discounts will help the company bring in more business from credit unions, which are member-owned financial institutions that often offer better retail financing terms than banks.

“Credit has been a little bit difficult over the past several months and has contributed to the difficulties we’ve faced as an industry,” Riegel said during a conference call. “To help credit unions gain share of RV loans – which are historically high-performing loans – that is an excellent goal of this program’

The program is the latest expansion of CUcorp’s “Invest in America” program, which has offered discounts to credit union members buying vehicles made by Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC. CUCorp CEO Dave Adams said the program has helped to sell 180,000 vehicles so far this year. More than 1,900 credit unions around the country are part of the program, he said.

The RV industry has been among the hardest hit in the economic recession as the market for financing grew tighter and consumer spending declined. RV sales are down 55% for the first six months of the year compared with the year-ago period, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).

In addition, several companies in the RV industry have filed for bankruptcy protection over the last year. But the industry group is expecting sales to rebound 24% next year compared to 2009 levels.