Tuesday, July 08, 2008

California RV Dealer Plans for Growth

ANTECA - After 10 years in business, Naiel Ammari quickly admits today's economy is the most challenging environment he's ever experienced. The housing meltdown, 9.5 percent unemployment in San Joaquin County, gas prices averaging $4.50 for regular and $5.10 for diesel - it paints a grim picture for most business owners.

Was it mentioned that Ammari is in the business of selling RVs - yes, gas-guzzling, big-ticket recreational vehicles - and also providing service and parts? And that he's planning a major expansion of his Best RV Center with the addition of a 10-acre super center in Turlock by the end of the summer? He will see his work force grow from 14 to 20.

"A lot of customers think there are no RV sales going on. All they hear about is Dan Gamel shutting down, but dealers like that are not adapting to the changes in the RV industry and the tough economy," said Ammari, referring to the recent announcement that Dan Gamel's RV Center - one of the nation's largest dealerships - is closing its six Central Valley locations.

"We are willing to change our rules and regulations in the sales process. We've eliminated the high overhead, the high margins. We work with low margins and rely on high sales volume, selling for less," said Ammari, sounding like he's giving a sales pitch. Except that his formula, with an emphasis on low- to midpriced RVs, is working.
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