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Old 07-12-2016, 02:17 PM   #1
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Death Sprial Part 2 Suppliers

RV Death Spiral — Suppliers in a tough spot | RV Daily Report
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Old 07-12-2016, 03:21 PM   #2
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Sadly, this article makes no attempt to suggest fixes for these issues. In fact, it might not be possible for anyone to fix these issues unless consumers stop buying based on price alone. So far consumers have been unwilling to do that.
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Old 07-16-2016, 10:37 PM   #3
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The article basically described every industry. Everyone complains about nothing being quality anymore or nothing made in the USA anymore- then they go buy the cheapest thing they can find. It will keep spiraling- since almost nobody is willing to pony up the money to end it.
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:56 AM   #4
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This is not simply the symptom of the RV industry. It's how a lot of industries have gone. I take serious issue with the final statement in the article, which states this is the way of American Free Enterprise. THis is anything BUT free enterprise. One of the hallmarks of American free enterprise is robust competition with multiple suppliers competing for business. THis illistrates an emerging monopoly, or at least an oligopoly, where suppliers are all slowly becoming one single entity. Would be nice if we could neatly demand highest quality at the lowest prices. But it doesn't work that way. A robust competitive market offers a range of choices, where the highest quality often appears at a higher cost, but the consumer at least has a choice. Instead, when there are few choices, suppliers have no incentive to deliver anything more than the buyer is demanding, which is a lower price while meeting minimum requirements. It is when those minimum requirements are not sufficient to the expectations of the market that new suppliers emerge with new ideas and innovative designs which address those deficiencies. A new supplier emerges with a better mousetrap, albeit at often a higher price. But consumers pay that price when the existing alternative does not meet the minimum requirement.

There is a long list of industries which have gone through this evolution, and continue to do so periodically. THe industry in which I am employed is among the more mature and commoditized industries in existence. We are an American manufacturer producing durable goods at the highest cost in the industry. Our products are dimensionally interchangeable with all competitors, and all are manufactured to the same minimum standards. We are the highest cost producer, and yet we occupy roughly 50% market share against competitors who often manufacture in China. WHy? Because we do the hard work of marketing the differences we build into our product which make it higher quality than others, and go to great lengths to eliminate obstacles to consistent delivery and technical assistance. We don't win them all by a long shot, but we certainly give consumers a choice. We aren't in the RV industry, which admittedly is somewhat fickle, being a consumer product. But ours resembles the free market system far more closely than the RV industry, which is slowly becoming a monopoly. That is the cause of a lack of quality and responsiveness in that industry, not the free market system.
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:34 AM   #5
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As an engineer and one who had to produce quality products that worked right the first time I look at almost the entire RV industry, be it Class A all the way to a truck camper and yes I have owned them. The RV industry as a whole comes to us right out of the 70's. I remember looking at RV's in the early 70 for a Drilling company in the oil industry. They wanted some vehicles to take investors around to their sites. What I saw then is what I see today in terms of engineering, materials and application. Sure they want the mfg to reduce the costs of their products, but they don't take into account its a better products than what they bought many years ago.

There are a few emerging companies that are starting to take advantage of what is being offered in the 21st century and I have seen some that have impressed me. So far most has been in the smaller companies that make Truck Campers.

Most RV's are still stick built, weight is out of control and quality control is nonexistent, leave that to the consumer and dealer to sort out...which is the old auto mfg model which was based upon how many cars rolled off the assembly line per shift. If the car would not start, too bad, the dealer can fix that. The old auto dealers, when they sold you a car they prayed you could just drive it off the lot, if you did then it was your problem and yes you had just bought a brand new car. The RV industry is based upon the OLD auto sales and mfg model, until they change your RV will spend more time at the shop than it will in your driveway.

I bought JAYCO 5th wheel because I believe its one of the better and more advanced units out there, I think they are trying to bring their products into 2016...
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:37 AM   #6
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The article basically described every industry. Everyone complains about nothing being quality anymore or nothing made in the USA anymore- then they go buy the cheapest thing they can find. It will keep spiraling- since almost nobody is willing to pony up the money to end it.
I would love to buy a travel trailer That's quality built, designed properly, and assembled by people that really care. where are you going to find it it, doesn't exist anymore. Even if you wanted to you couldn't find one.
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Old 07-17-2016, 10:35 AM   #7
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The article basically described every industry. Everyone complains about nothing being quality anymore or nothing made in the USA anymore- then they go buy the cheapest thing they can find. It will keep spiraling- since almost nobody is willing to pony up the money to end it.
You hit the nail right on the head... cheap don't last.. but you always hear people trying to get the price down lower.. just look on here at buying a new RV "don't buy unless you get the price down 30%."
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Old 07-17-2016, 10:45 AM   #8
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Unfortunately the majority of people couldn't or wouldn't spend the money it would cost to do so. I remember reading the article and the quote about building a fully functioning, rolling home that gets beat to death on the road and expected to work 100% of the time is a daunting task. Add to that that people want it for as cheap as possible and it's no question a recipe for failure. Either it's "bulletproof" and the majority can't afford it or it's affordable and the quality drops to keep cost down.
I tell myself I'd love to find a strong built, mechanically perfect, fit and finish fantastic TT....but reality is I couldn't afford it. I went with what I could afford knowing I had the skill to improve upon the base design. In a world where a modest room addition on a house done right will cost you 15-20k people want to be able to take an entire miniature house and put it on wheels and expect it to work for the same cost. Not happening....
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I would love to buy a travel trailer That's quality built, designed properly, and assembled by people that really care. where are you going to find it it, doesn't exist anymore. Even if you wanted to you couldn't find one.
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Old 07-17-2016, 10:49 AM   #9
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You hit the nail right on the head... cheap don't last.. but you always hear people trying to get the price down lower.. just look on here at buying a new RV "don't buy unless you get the price down 30%."
Agreed 1000%

The American Motto of late "More for less and replace when it breaks"
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Old 07-17-2016, 10:54 AM   #10
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People do buy quality, I own a mfg company, we make and sell a high end product and while I have good margins, the folks that sell less quality have much better. We are working at near 100% capacity so why not expand, why not develop the wholesale end, which I have not touched.

The reality is in today's America that have changed for guys and companies like us. Our cost of business is soaring, if I add people the Feds will all but tell me the color of my product, the overhead to hire is out of control. The mandated benefits are starting to cost more than what we pay the employee.

We have faceless and nameless bureaucrats in DC makes laws, dreaming up Regs that fail the common sense test. Agencies such as the EPA with its iron fist regulations can bring you to a halt and bankrupt your business. I am not past 25 FTE and will not go there, the costs is just not worth it.
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