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. The $104K to CRC would go toward debts service on $486M of existing debt they already have from other things outside this project. Keystone buys the bonds for 3.8M from CRC, and CRC in turn pays for the parking and site work, and some time later CRC buys them back (with interest) from the projected annual property tax revenue from the entire TIF district (est. $415K / yr. from just this property, plus more from all the other property in the TIF district), which in theory would be about a 10-year term, give-or-take. CRC is basically betting on the future, that property values will increase, driving up the tax revenue to the limit of the annual increase cap on commercial property (I think that's 3%). It should be noted that Keystone can't print money (unlike the Federal Treasury) so commercial property tax can only come from consumers, in this case the apartment renters and consumers of the goods and services offered by the ground floor retailers, and employees in the form of lower non-mandatory compensation items, such as bonuses, benefits, 401K match, etc.

  2. $3B would hurt Lilly's bottom line if there were no insurance or Indemnity Agreement, but there is no way that large an award will be upheld on appeal. What's surprising is that the trial judge refused to reduce it. She must have thought there was evidence of a flagrant, unconscionable coverup and wanted to send a message.

  3. As a self-employed individual, I always saw outrageous price increases every year in a health insurance plan with preexisting condition costs -- something most employed groups never had to worry about. With spouse, I saw ALL Indiana "free market answer" plans' premiums raise 25%-45% each year.

  4. It's not who you chose to build it's how they build it. Architects and engineers decide how and what to use to build. builders just do the work. Architects & engineers still think the tarp over the escalators out at airport will hold for third time when it snows, ice storms.

  5. http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/duke-energy-customers-angry-about-money-for-nothing

ADVERTISEMENT