Auto Dealers Eye RV Business

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With RV production rebounding to near pre-recession levels, smatterings of new RV dealerships are being created and others are expanding.

In Elkhart County, where 80 percent of North American RVs are made, a new dealership has appeared for the first time since retail outlets were driven out of business by the 2008 economic downturn, the Goshen News reports.

“We saw an opportunity, given that this area is full of RV manufacturers and in Goshen in particular we did not have any RV dealers,” said Dzung Nguyen. “We had the land and the facilities and we had relationships with a lot of RV manufacturers.”

Nguyen opened Goshen RV Supercenter in January adjacent to his Goshen Motors car dealership along Elkhart Road on the city’s northwest side.

He is selling an extended line of RVs, from entry-level towables to motorcoaches. He carries Forest River, EverGreen, Sunseeker, Reactor, Ever Lite, Bay Hill, Fleetwood, Dynamax, Trail Runner and Heartland products.

Ahead of this week’s National RV Trade Show in Louisville, he explained he wanted to diversify his auto dealership and thought RVs would be a good fit.

“The RV is really a house on wheels,” Nguyen said. “It is very different, per se, than the automobile business.”

At the RV show, Chris Ostby, who operates a car sales business in Louisville, spent time Tuesday looking over the hundreds of RVs on display. He too is thinking about getting into the RV business.

“We have a lot of land and I am thinking we could use some RVs,” he said while studying a park trailer display.

In the past he has sold a few used RVs, but was never an RV dealer.

Ostby said if he makes the jump into the RV industry, it will be in the spring.

“We are kind of scouting,” he said of his show attendance. “We don’t know which we will add, but we will add something.”


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