May '21

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96 • RV PRO • May 2021 rv-pro.com Breaking news exclusives from RV PRO's website In Case You Missed it RV I N S I G H T Dealer M&A Activity Increasingly Mirroring Automotive Market Many of the factors that are con- tributing to increased consolidation among automobile dealerships also are spurring merger and acquisition activity at the RV dealership level. That's the assessment of Kevin Nill, a partner with Haig Partners, a leading buy-sell advisory firm to auto and RV dealers in the U.S. The company recently released a detailed report on the state of trends in auto retail and their impact upon retail values, which can be accessed here. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Haig Partners touts that it has been a party to 516-plus auto, RV and heavy truck dealership transactions representing $7.7 billion in value since 1996. The company's involvement in RV dealership transactions is more limited simply because there are fewer RV dealerships compared to car dealerships, but Nill said the company has represented some notable RV play- ers, including Dallas area-based Motor Home Specialist – the No. 1 volume-selling motorhome dealership in the country – which was acquired by rapidly growing dealer group RV Retailer in July 2018 for an undisclosed sum. Nill said the RV and automotive markets do share a number of common characteristics and impacting trends. For example, good-sized dealerships that carry desirable brands and that are located in appealing retail markets are generally desirable acquisition targets whether they are automotive or RV businesses, he noted. Meanwhile, Nill added that the RV market is starting to mirror the automotive market with the emergence of "con- solidators" – dealer groups focused on growing market share through strategic acquisitions. "You're starting to see the emergence of consolidators in the RV space," he said, pointing to Camping World, Campers Inn, Lazydays and RV Retailer as examples. The difference between the RV and the automotive segments is that the number of consolidators is not as "robust" in the RV sector, but because the RV market is so desirable currently it may attract still more competitors, according to Nill. And that, in turn, may prompt the existing consolidators to step up their acquisition activity to avoid getting shut out of desirable markets, Nill added. He noted in exam- ple that Camping World has become much more active in acquiring dealerships in the past 12 months after other consolidators made several acquisitions in 2020 and ear- lier this year. Read more: http://rvpro.link/hd4y5 General RV Center Opens Indiana PDI Facility General RV Center has opened a new inspection facility in Bristol, Ind. The facility, dedicated for PDI – pre-delivery inspections – and testing, is an industry-first among all RV dealers, according to the company. Troy Becktel, an RV industry veteran, is leading the team and operations at the inspection facility. He was hired as GM in November and brings more than 30 years of indus- try knowledge and experience from his previous roles at Spartan Motors, Erwin Hymer Group North America and Tiffin Motorhomes. Located at 20597 CR 6 in Bristol, just minutes away from the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum, the General RV Inspection Facility serves as a checkpoint where new units are received from manufacturers, the company said. Each RV undergoes rigorous testing and a comprehensive quality check before it is shipped to General RV dealerships across the country. "General RV is committed to providing customers with a premier experience, and that experience begins with a great product," said Loren Baidas, president of General RV Center. Kerry Porter, VP of operations, added, "The team members at our inspection facility play a crucial role in our operations and help us exceed our customers' expectations." The complex spans 77 acres and includes two large build- ings totaling more than 150,000 square feet. Inspections will be conducted in a production line environment with six stages covering every major system of the RV. If quality concerns are identified during this process, the facility has 20 service bays where warranty work can be completed immediately. "Because our inspection facility is located very close to manufacturers, we can partner with them to resolve major issues before RVs continue on to our dealerships," Porter explained. "This will enable us to provide a better day-of- delivery experience for our guests." Read more: http://rvpro.link/6g-9o. This rendering provides a sense of the size of General RV's pre-delivery inspection facility located in Goshen, Ind. The facility is capable of performing a multitude of tests on new units purchased by the dealership and it has 20 service bays where any warranty work can be performed immediately.

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