RV PRO

May '19

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62 • RV PRO • May 2019 rv-pro.com D E A L E R S then more often than not down the road they will come back for the other." "I'm constantly going to the trade shows and looking for new product information on everything we carry and for every manufacturer that we have. We make sure that we're staying up on the latest technology and features. One meeting that I miss could be crucial. "You have to make sure that you are allocating equally. You can't be 20 percent on one and 80 percent on the other – everything has got to be 100 percent focus. Everything has to be watched, tracked and marketed correctly. If you sit back and don't pay enough attention to a product line, it's not going to be profitable. "We have seven different lines of boats and five lines of campers. Our parts department is twice as big than if we just had a single product. We carry all the parts you need for boats and RVs and we have a 12-bay shop for service. As far as accessories, we carry camping equipment along- side wakeboards and tubing. We sell a lot of the water sport accessories. "The vision I'd like people to leave here with is that there is a little bit of summer inside this building. It's not just strictly boats and campers, it's more of a family con- nection. It's what America is about – freedom and family, having fun and enjoying your summer while you can. It's an environment where there are boats and there are campers, but really we're just trying to find out how you would like to enjoy your summer." Terry Roberts, general manager Rocky Mountain RV & Marine Albuquerque, N.M. "We started as a family-owned RV business in 1985. A few years later, we added boats. We're 2.5 hours away from water, so there weren't too many people who were going to start carrying boats in the middle of the desert. There's not much competition. "It expands our demographics more than if we were just an RV place. We get the marine customers who want to go out on the lake in a pontoon boat with their family. The pontoon boat is by far the most popular marine product we sell. We have more of an opportunity to sell a recreational vehicle since we offer a bigger selection with the marine. "Marine is about 15 percent of our business and the rest is RV. We sell Tracker and Bayliner – they're the two most affordable boat lines that you can probably carry. And someone doesn't want to spend a lot of money on a boat when they are that far away from a lake. "Our season winds down dramatically in November and starts picking up in March/ April. We get pretty mild weather here. We don't get a lot of snow or excessive heat temperatures. And no humidity, because we're so freakin' far away from a lake. "Our salespeople have to sell both lines, but we have sep- arate techs: we've got marine mechanics and RV mechanics. Marine requires a lot more training for the techs to be able to work on the engines. It was quite an investment to get tooled up to work on marine. They have special tools for getting in there and getting to the motor and testing the motor. We have to send them to school just as much, if not more, than the RV techs. We've got a couple of RV mechanics that want to cross-train but that hasn't happened yet. "When we first started selling boats, we didn't sell a lot of accessories, just some basics you would need, like tow ropes, buckets, horns, and anchors. Now, 30 percent of our accessory department is marine. We've expanded into the toys – tubes, the wakeboards, life jackets and all that sort of stuff. "As we get bigger, we tend to have more in all departments. More technicians. More stock in all the accessories in RV and marine. But the RVs didn't suffer when we took on marine. We had the space to expand. "If someone was in an RV dealership and wanted to start marine, I think the biggest challenge would be knowing how much tooling, the amount of expense for the specialty tools and the training it will take, to be able to fully service the units and make sure that it's going to run when the customer gets out there (on the water). "Treat people right when they buy an RV and they'll come back. We have more of an opportunity to sell a recreational vehicle since we offer marine." Todd Totzke, general manager Florida RV & Marine Jacksonville, Fla. "We've been in business about 12 years and I've been here for three. We started out strictly refurbishing used RVs. The owner has been boating his whole life and so have I. There was a line of boats that was available, so we picked it up. Now we sell used RVs and new boats. "We sell RVs all year long. Boat sales fall in the winter time and pick up in the spring. "RVs are 65 percent of the business and boats are 35 per- cent. ... It just kind of makes a complete dealership. The same salespeople sell both lines. "We took off with the boats pretty good. We've got a good boat brand between Wellcraft, Four Winns and Glastron. On the marine side, it's protected territory. It's a very well-known brand with Wellcraft. Twice in three years we've had someone buy a boat and an RV at the same time. "Knowing the marine side of the business is a challenge.

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