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RV Industry Optimistic Stimulus Plan Will Help Industry Rebound

RESTON, Va., Feb.17 /PRNewswire/ -- The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association expressed optimism today that the federal economic credit and stimulus packages, which include provisions to stimulate lending, and friendly tax treatment for new motorhome purchases, will help promote sales and aid in the industry's economic recovery.

Like many of the nation's manufacturing sectors, the RV industry has experienced a sharp decline in sales. As a result, plants have closed and workers have been laid off. The industry anticipates that the stimulus package may help to restore consumer confidence by staunching job losses.

"We're hopeful that the stimulus will work as planned," says RVIA President Richard Coon. "It contains favorable elements that we hope will help improve the economic environment for our industry and stimulate RV sales."

One provision in the stimulus bill provides a deduction for sales or excise taxes on the first $49,500 of new motorhome purchases.

"This is the kind of consumer incentive that also will stimulate demand in what is already an RV buyer's market with great bargains for consumers," says Coon.

In addition, the inclusion of RV consumer loans and dealer floor plan loans in the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) could ease credit and stimulate RV lending.

"Getting RV consumer and dealer business loans added to the TALF program is a big step forward for the industry," says Coon. "TALF will help allow qualified dealers to purchase RVs from manufacturers, and consumers to borrow money to buy RVs. As credit frees up, RV sales will increase and the industry will rebound.

"Core demand for RVs remains robust," says Coon. "Attendance at RV retail shows throughout the country has exceeded expectations, but even buyers with strong credit histories have not been getting approved for loans. In addition, RV dealers haven't been able to secure business loans to buy inventory."

Reports from RV retail shows indicate that shoppers are impressed with new RV products that are smaller, lighter, and more aerodynamic and fuel-efficient than previous models.

Coon is optimistic that when the economy improves, credit eases and consumer confidence increases, the industry will recover healthier than ever.

"RVing is a tremendously popular lifestyle that will endure despite these tough economic times because it's the most cost-effective way for families to have a great vacation," says Coon. "Encouraging retail traffic and the innovation going on within our industry are signs that the long-term outlook remains positive."

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