IBJNews

Northern Indiana benefitting from resurgence of RVs

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The recreational vehicle business that's a major part of northern Indiana's economy is going strong this year.

A Recreation Vehicle Industry Association report shows that RV shipments to retailers last month were up 29 percent from September and nearly 17 percent more than during October 2012.

That goes along with what Thor Industries President Bob Martin has seen with his Elkhart-based company, which employs about 7,600 workers in Indiana.

"Things have been positive for Thor over the last year. It's good to see (similar numbers) for the industry as a whole," Martin told the South Bend Tribune.

Most RV manufacturers have operations in northern Indiana. Elkhart County, just east of South Bend, saw thousands of layoffs from RV factories early in the recession, leading it to have one of the state's highest unemployment rates for a couple years.

The county's jobless rate peaked in 2009 at 18.9 percent. It was 7.4 percent for last month.

Industry leaders are optimistic about the rebound continuing.

"Strong trading and significant milestones within the stock market continue to bolster the economy and consumer confidence," said Matt Rose, director of recreational vehicles for Indiana Manufactured Housing Association, Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council Inc.

The industry's 10-month total for this year is only about 8,000 shipments behind the year-end total for 2012. And 2012 was the third straight year of beating previous-year shipment numbers.

Martin said he believed RV sales were expanding beyond the industry's base among baby boomers, with younger generations becoming more frequent buyers.

"We are still looking at an industry that the economics have improved every year since the recession," he said.

Martin said he doesn't expect big sales spikes coming other than in motor homes. But sales of towable trailers have been returning to prerecession levels and could still have incremental growth.

"We are all very thankful for the recovery," he said. "It was a trying time for everybody and we are blessed that the customers are loyal to the RV industry and the lifestyle."

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I am a Lyft driver who is a licensed CDL professional driver. ALL Lyft drivers take pride in providing quality service to the Indianapolis and surrounding areas, and we take the safety of our passengers and the public seriously.(passengers are required to put seat belts on when they get in our cars) We do go through background checks, driving records are checked as are the personal cars we drive, (these are OUR private cars we use) Unlike taxi cabs and their drivers Lyft (and yes Uber) provide passengers with a clean car inside and out, a friendly and courteous driver, and who is dressed appropriately and is groomed appropriately. I go so far as to offer mints, candy and/or small bottle of water to the my customers. It's a mutual respect between driver and passenger. With Best Regards

  2. to be the big fish in the little pond of IRL midwest racin' when yer up against Racin' Gardner

  3. In the first sentance "As a resident of one of these new Carmel Apartments the issue the local governments need to discuss are build quality & price." need a way to edit

  4. As a resident of one of these new Carmel Apartments the issue the local governments need to discuss is build quality & price. First none of these places is worth $1100 for a one bedroom. Downtown Carmel or Keystone at the Crossing in Indy. It doesn't matter. All require you to get in your car to get just about anywhere you need to go. I'm in one of the Carmel apartments now where after just 2.5 short years one of the kitchen cabinet doors is crooked and lawn and property maintenance seems to be lacking my old Indianapolis apartment which cost $300 less. This is one of the new star apartments. As they keep building throughout the area "deals" will start popping up creating shoppers. If your property is falling apart after year 3 what will it look like after year 5 or 10??? Why would one stay here if they could move to a new Broad Ripple in 2 to 3 years or another part of the Far Northside?? The complexes aren't going to let the "poor" move in without local permission so that's not that problem, but it the occupancy rate drops suddenly because the "Young" people moved back to Indy then look out.

  5. Why are you so concerned about Ace hardware? I don't understand why anyone goes there! Every time ive gone in the past, they don't have what I need and I end up going to the big box stores. I understand the service aspect and that they try to be helpful but if they are going to survive I think they might need to carry more specialty parts.

ADVERTISEMENT