Friday, December 05, 2008

Poor economy is the nail in the RV industry's tire

NEW YORK (Associated Press) - Under the gloom of plunging motor home sales and with travel trailers stacking up on lots, recreational vehicle makers and dealers at their national trade show this week tried to lift their spirits by joining in song.

"You gotta have heart," they sang at the kickoff breakfast, trying to stay resilient in an industry that's hit a big speed bump. The swooning economy and a credit crisis that makes it tougher to finance a six-figure purchase are keeping potential RV buyers off the road.

"These are ugly times," said Richard Coon, president of the Virginia-based Recreation Vehicle Industry Association. "I've seen lots of downtrodden faces, and for good reason."

RV companies showcased their newest models at the industry event Tuesday through Thursday, including hybrids and slimmed-down motor homes touted as more energy friendly. Now the trick is to lure skittish customers to dealers' lots.
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