RV industry rebounds after recession

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Great Recession was the significant component in the RV industry losing out on sales and jobs. RV sellers and manufactures said there’s an uptick in sales, which is leading to job opportunities in the RV business.

John Lowry, Chief Operating Officer of Allied Recreation Group out of Decatur, Ind., said with the industry selling a discretionary product, RVs and recreational activities were first on families’ list to come back when the 2008 recession hit.

“In general, it was about a 40 percent reduction across the board to the industry,” Lowry said.

In recent years, Lowry said there’s been an increase in sales. ARG is a part of the motorized part of the RV industry. He said in that part of the industry, there’s been a 14 percent increase in sales this year alone. He claims there are three reasons for the spike.

“Great products, some pent up demand being released, people getting their consumer confidence back, that all adds up to a great growth story,” he said.

Michael Kurtz, sales manager for Sullivan RV Supercenter on US 27 near Decatur, said he felt the effects of the recession on his business when people weren’t buying RVs. He said on Tuesday that sales are much better than they’ve ever been.

“2010, we really started taking off and the business’ just been incredible since,” Kurtz said. “It’s actually beyond what it was back in the ’04 to ’08 time period when we thought it could never be better.”

In LaGrange County, the parent company of KZ Recreational Vehicles is investing up to $4.8 million to build and equip a new facility in Shipshewana. It should be fully operational by next spring and will create up to 125 jobs by 2017.

Lowry said recent sales have led to job openings at ARG right now.

“We’re looking today for wielders, assemblers, painters, engineers, CAD drafters,” said Lowry. “If you have any of those skill sets, we would love to talk to you. We anticipate that we’ll be growing into the future.”

For job openings with Allied Recreation Group, click here.

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