An annual event that attracts some 4,000 professionals in the recreational vehicle dealer industry is underway in Elkhart. The Elkhart RV Dealer Open House, which bills itself as the largest show of its kind in the world, runs through Thursday. Some 30 manufacturers will be showcasing their products at events in their own facilities or elsewhere throughout the area.
During an interview last month on a special Elkhart-focused edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Lippert Components Inc. President Scott Mereness and Furrion Director of Specialty Vehicle Sales Chase Healey discussed the industry’s continued growth. The industry was hit hard by the recession 10 years ago and Mereness says five years ago, his company was also affected by high turnover. Lippert, he says began working on employee retention. "One of the things we know is employees quit their boss," he said. "(Emphasizing) front-line leadership training to our team members is one of the things that we did a few years ago to really turn that around." The company now employs some 11,000 and has grown, in part, through more than 50 acquisitions over the years.
The Elkhart Open House’s profile has increased this year after the cancellation of the National RV Trade Show that was scheduled for November and has taken place in Louisville for more than 50 years. The RV Industry Association, which is based in Virginia, has an office in Elkhart, and organizes the events, also recently announced its 2018 World RV Conference was canceled in favor of a Trade Mission to Shanghai from October 17-19. You can connect to more about the industry-focused show by clicking here.