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Opinion: Elkhart Open House Suspension is the Right Call

With confirmation that THOR Industries, Forest River and Winnebago would be cancelling their Dealer Expos due to coronavirus, it all but ends hope for a major RV industry sales event in the fall.

Though one media outlet published just last week that the event would go on, it didn’t make much sense. That same day, reports rolled out that a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention team from Atlanta was headed to Elkhart to help the Indiana State Health Department trace the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

According to The Goshen News, yesterday, June 13, there were another 65 reported cases of COVID-19 in Elkhart County, bringing the case total to 3,720.

Despite the fluctuations of coronavirus cases, the RV industry has seen unprecedented popularity over the last two months. Dealers across the country are reporting all-time records for sales in the month of June. Some dealers are even reporting sales of units that have yet to hit their lots. In April, many would have thought of this as a dream.

In about 10 days, the June shipment numbers will be announced, and the numbers should be really, really good; like Tom Cruise shouting, “Show me the money!” good.

Dealers are already struggling to keep up their inventory levels and OEM parts suppliers are also struggling to keep up with the OEM demand to build new units.

Based on the recent sales boom, dealer orders for new units are going to keep coming. Not only is there at least another solid six weeks of summer for sales, RV dealers will still have to replenish inventory for what will hopefully be a busy beginning to 2021.

The Expo is a special event and it will be back, but it doesn’t make much sense this year.

 

Chris Cieto

Chris Cieto is the publisher of RV PRO magazine.

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