February '19

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22 • RV PRO • February 2019 rv-pro.com D E A L E R S market turned – and it turned quickly – we couldn't get product fast enough to meet the demands of the consumer." In hindsight, as tough as it was to go through at the time, the Friesens say the Recession was good for the industry in a way, because it eliminated some weaker players and reinforced the fundamen- tals of running a business. Ernie Friesen says some of the lessons his northern California dealership learned include securing back-up flooring, taking a conservative approach to inventory and keeping adequate cash in reserves to weather future economic cycles. Dodd RV Scrutinizes Costs, Focuses on Winning Floorplans The Recession brought many sleepless nights for Jamie Dodd, owner of Dodd RV in Yorktown and Portsmouth, Va. "As the head coach, when you're not scoring any points, it's extremely frus- trating – especially when we came off a great year in 2007," says Dodd, who manages the family-owned dealership with assistance from Dodd RV Oper- ations Manager Brian Doss and Mike McNeil, general manager of RV of the Peninsula. "2008 was a great year for us until the end of the year – when the banks and automotive manufacturers were filing for bankruptcy." On the other hand, 2009 was when Dodd says he and his team began to see the writing on the wall. Dodd says the dealership had the best team it had ever assembled and its best brand lineup ever. "Suddenly, we would go to RV shows, and we hardly sold anything, versus a year or two earlier, when we would walk away with a large stack of buyers' orders," Dodd says, adding, "It was stressful." When Dodd and his team returned t o t h e d e a l e r s h i p a n d k i c k e d o f f Jamie Dodd, owner of Dodd RV in Virginia, says the Great Recession resulted in many sleepless nights for him as he struggled to determine the best course of action for his dealership as consumer financing dried up and sales declined. For Dodd, part of the solution came from turning to credit unions for financing and focusing on inventory that offered good turns.

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