The sentiment of Wednesday’s RV Industry Association (RVIA) Annual Meeting was realistic, but also hopeful.
In the video presentation open to members only, RVIA Chair Kevin McArt summed it up by saying that 2023 wasn’t his favorite year, but it was “far from the worst.”
“All of us knew going into 2023 that the year was going to be a challenge. The good news is, we were right. The bad news, we were probably more right than we thought,” said McArt, who is general manager of Forest River. “Obviously, the industry on the whole was a bit too optimistic around shipments and the retail for 2023. The economic headwinds we have all faced have proved more challenging and more enduring than most of us had planned. But together we are persevering and we are grinding things out together – OEMS, suppliers and dealers.”
The association’s own financial challenges were tougher than they’d expected, McArt explained. However, cuts were made in order to minimize shortfalls without impacting major programs.
RVIA President and CEO Craig Kirby mentioned major initiatives in 2024 around decreasing RECT (repair event cycle time), and continuing to offer educational sessions on safety. RV Technical Institute (RVTI) Executive Director Curtis Hemmeler spoke on the importance of the RVTI and how they have reached new audiences to educate them on the careers of becoming an RV tech.
“Our past successes come from the industry uniting and working together to overcome obstacles and our future successes will as well,” Kirby said. “From self-regulation to consumer marketing to industry training and advocacy, we’re stronger together than apart.”
To hear more from the annual meeting, including a report on Go RVing and more, visit this link.