January '21

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16 • RV PRO • January 2021 rv-pro.com "Some of you know I grew up camping and I remain an avid RVer," Andro said. "It's provided a great way of life for me and my family and that's why I want to give some- thing back working for you through RVDA." After touching on just a few of the issues facing the RV industry in 2020, Andro said he looked toward 2021 with optimism and challenged those in the audience to do the same. "The biggest opportunity I feel we have as an entire industry is in front of us now," he said. "Millions of Americans are des- perate to maintain some normalcy when it comes to everyday life. We all know the value that people place on their leisure time and I feel we have not only an opportunity but a duty to provide the best possible experience. "This is why I am challenging our industry to look at the 'Front of the House' message we are sending as dealers. What are we saying to our customers in our ser- vice departments, our parts departments and our sales departments? Is our mes- saging and nonverbal communication pre- sented in a manner worthy of this great opportunity?" Andro closed by thanking attendees for the honor of serving as incoming chairman and said, "and I hope to see you when we can be together again. "I really do miss that," he added. Spader Offers Dealer Advice on Planning for Post-COVID Among the many RVDA conven- tion speakers was John Spader, presi- dent of Spader Business Management, who hosted a "live-only" online event on Nov. 11. In his remarks to dealers, Spader said that when he looks back now on plans he had written down in late February they seem almost "unbelievable". Life in pre-COVID times seem that far away, he said. The fallout from the COVID-19 pan- demic continues to drive the RV industry today – and will likely continue well into 2021," said Spader. Titled, "How Do I Know I Have the Right Strategy for These Times," Spader's talk highlighted some of the major ways that COVID affected his RV dealer cli- ents. And he discussed recommendations for going forward, saying now is the time to plan for when the pandemic is in the rearview mirror. Spader demonstrated how big of an impact COVID has had by using some simple year-over-year revenue numbers. For dealerships in the $35 million-and- up-annual revenue range, "The bottom 20 percent this year are netting almost as much revenue as the top 20 percent did in 2019," Spader said. For that top 20 percent, he estimated that 29 percent of their net profit was a result of increased demand caused by COVID. For the bottom 20 percent in that sales category, 74 percent came because of COVID. "Call it a COVID gift, if you want to," Spader said. For dealerships in the $12 million to $35 million average revenue range, the top 20 percent of dealers could attribute 23 percent of their profit this year to COVID-related sales; for the bottom 20 percent in that category, a whopping 92 percent was fueled by COVID. But as crazy as it's been, it will not stay this way forever, according to Spader. That's why every dealership of any size should be examining every aspect of their business, so that when the business cycle levels off – which it inevitably will – they can continue to have success. "I challenge all of you: We've all got RVDA Convention speaker John Spader told dealers now is the time to plan for when the pandemic is in the rearview mirror. His online seminar was titled "How Do I Know I Have the Right Strategy for These Times."

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