June '17

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48 • RV PRO • June 2017 rv-pro.com D E A L E R S January through April, we are busy with technician training programs. During May and June, we are focused on new member recruitment and renewals of our existing members. We have con- sumer initiatives in April (April is RV Month in New England), May (Making Memories in May) and June (National Camping Month) finds us focused on consumer outreach via social media and newsletters. July and August, I visit dealers for discussions on what is working, what isn't, and get their ideas on how we can improve their NERVDA experience. September and October, we are lining up new training programs that we run from October through April. RV PRO: What would you say are some of the biggest changes you've witnessed during your time in the industry? Zagami: Increased consolidation in all segments of the industry. The consolidation of manufacturers brings increased burdens for our dealers with product lines and territorial issues. The consolidation of dealers by Camping World and Campers Inn RV has reduced the number of independent deal- erships for RVDA and the state associations. The consolidation of suppliers reduces the number of options our dealers have for their parts and accessories. In most industries, when independents sell out, they sit out their non-compete clause then come back in. We are seeing it a little bit at the manufacturing level, but not at the dealer level. They are not willing to start up a new dealership from the ground up. We are approaching a time when a few entities will own all of the independent dealerships. We are fortunate in New England with over 20 multi-gen- erational independent, family-owned dealerships. Some are on their third generation of family members at the helm, but we also have three Camping World's here. RV PRO: What do you believe are the RV industry's big- gest hurdles? Zagami: Certified technicians: We have to find a way to have an onramp into our industry for skilled technicians that can meet the ever increasing demand by our dealers that is being fueled by record-breaking sales and a strong forecast for the next 10 to 15 years for the RV industry. We need to promote the industry as a career path. We pro- mote the fun of the industry and the family time, but we also need to promote the viability of this industry as a choice for a long-term career. Product quality: Building more and building them faster doesn't always equate to the product quality expected by today's RV buyer. The next generation of RV owners is not going to be as forgiving as the previous generations that came before them. Parts availability and warranty reimbursements: Dealers have been talking about these issues for decades, yet at last year's RVDA Convention the talk was all about getting the right parts quickly and fair warranty reimbursement from the manufacturers. … Zagami (left) is pictured with the staff of Macdonald's RV, which this year celebrated 70 years in business. Despite some dealer consolidation, Zagami notes New England is still home to several independent, family-owned dealerships.

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