December '17

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DEALER TRENDS: 28 • RV PRO • December 2017 rv-pro.com D E A L E R S Dealers Report a Good 2017 By Lisa Napell Dicksteen Each year has its own rhythm. The state of the nation's economy, the housing and job markets, and other macro-economic factors are always important, but in different parts of the country – and even within different parts of the same state – consumers react to those changes differently. And each dealership responds in ways that reflect the eccentricities of their local community and the personalities and business strategies of their owners. Recently, RV PRO talked to dealers across the country about how 2017 has shaped up, the changes they've made, and what they're expecting in 2018. Here's what they had to say: Kim Sturdevant, manager Leisure Days Travel Trailer Clio, Mich. "This has been a year of growth and change for us. The owners of the dealership, Dale and Sandy Vuillemot, retired after 45 years, and the 'kids' – daughter Kim and son-in-law Tony – have been at the helm this year as managers. With them overseeing things, there have been many changes in the tempo and rhythm of the dealership, bringing exciting new marketing strategies and other improvements, as well as some growing pains, as you can imagine. "This year we added the new Gulf Stream GEO to our trailer lineup, giving us a fiberglass unit with higher-end features in a smaller package. This unit is geared toward experienced campers who want a particular construction and a higher-end product. "We've also added some new team members, including a full-time salesman, who is happy to concentrate on sales and not to doing six other jobs at the same time, and we plan on adding two full-time employees next year, so our team is growing and bonding into an even more cohesive family dealership. "Smaller changes include streamlining our parts store and cleaning and updating our parts displays. "In the larger arena, we've noticed an improvement in the housing market in the Flint/Saginaw,

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