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RVIA Board Recommends Model Year Standardization

An aerial shot of Veurink's RV Center of Grand Rapids, Mich.

The RV Industry Association’s board of directors is recommending a voluntary change by manufacturers that the RVIA believes will “improve the RV buying experience by alleviating a common source of confusion that consumers currently experience when purchasing RVs.”

The board voted to approve a new best practice for RV manufacturers that they make their annual model year and major product design changes between July 1 to Aug. 31 each year.
“Unlike the automobile industry, which traditionally starts new vehicle model years during the late summer to early fall time-frame, the RV industry had no similar practice,” the RVIA said. “RV model year changes currently take place throughout the calendar year, variating from manufacturer to manufacturer and even from model to model by the same manufacturer, making it difficult for consumers to make clear ‘apples-to-apples’ product comparisons when shopping. Adoption of the recommended model year changeover period will assist consumers in distinguishing between model years and help in determining the value of used RVs when consumers want to trade in a currently owned RV for a new unit.”

The RVIA said it believes that in addition to making things clearer for consumers, adopting a model year changeover time-frame will also benefit the industry. Dealerships will be able to more efficiently manage inventory; component parts suppliers can more efficiently produce and stock the changing part needs of manufacturers; manufacturers and suppliers will be better able to provide dealer service centers with current parts for consumer repairs; and the ability of finance institutions to establish RV valuations will be enhanced, according to RVIA.

The board of directors emphasized that adoption of this best practice is entirely voluntary and encouraged RV manufacturers to exercise their individual, independent discretion in deciding whether to adopt the recommendation. The board said the practice will be implemented from 2021 to 2023 and will be reviewed on an annual basis during the suggested implementation period.

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