By Chuck Woodbury
The RV Industry Association just announced that RV shipments were down in August by 15 percent, and 20 percent for the year. If you are in the RV industry that is not good news. It would be a challenge to spin it otherwise. But, as evidenced below, that can happen.
Total RV shipments in August were 33,674. That included all types of RVs.
Of those shipments, a mere 390 — one percent — were park model RVs, which finished the month up 27.5 percent from a year ago, about 100 additional shipments. That’s two per state. To me that’s like, “What’s the big deal?”
And so I had to laugh at the headline in today’s online edition of the RV trade publication Woodall’s Campground Management, which serves owners of RV parks and its suppliers. It read:
Park Model RV Shipments Up 27.5% in August
Are you kidding me? Shipments of 99 percent of all RVs are down for yet another month but one minuscule segment is up — and that’s the big news?
Once again, an RV industry cheerleader publication has put lipstick on a pig and tried to pass it off as more attractive!
It reminds me of last year when the RV Industry debuted its national RVX convention. Oh my goodness, the pre-event hoopla! There was nothing like it ever before and there never would be again. Well, at least half that statement proved true. It bombed! It will never be repeated because it was such a huge disaster! The guy who spearheaded it, RV Industry Association president Frank Hugelmeyer, was praised beforehand by the RV industry media for his brilliance. Well, he jumped ship right after the event for his “dream job” (he actually said that) in the boating industry.
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I REMEMBER a similar situation to today’s headline when I was in college when liberal, anti-war candidate George McGovern ran against Richard Nixon for President. Nixon won by a landslide, taking 49 of the 50 states.
I have never forgotten the huge (tongue-in-cheek) banner headline the next day in the liberal U.C. Davis student newsletter. It read:
MCGOVERN WINS MASSACHUSETTS!
Clever and funny, I thought — putting a little lipstick on the pig, for sure, but just for fun!