Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Another California RV dealer closing

Hansel RV Center in Petaluma is closing after 35 years in business, the latest victim of an economic slump that has consumers shunning big-ticket toys.

The dealership, which employs 18 people, hopes to liquidate its inventory of trailers and luxury motor homes by the end of the month, said Henry Hansel, owner of the Hansel Auto Group, the county’s largest car dealer.

“It’s just been a very, very challenging market and we just sort of came to the conclusion that it’s going to be quite some time before the market returns to a level where it can be profitable,” Hansel said Wednesday.

During the boom times of the late 1990s through mid-2000s when home values surged and credit flowed freely, the dealership at the north end of Petaluma was selling 60 to 70 RVs a month, Hansel said.

But as the housing market tanked and gas prices rose, consumers dramatically pulled back on their spending.

“The high-dollar discretionary items such as RVs really took a big hit,” Hansel said.
Full Story...
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