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Unlike automobile manufacturers, who release new vehicle model year entries during the late summer, the RV industry has long held no such standard. RV model year changes currently take place throughout the calendar year, varying from manufacturer to manufacturer and even from model to model, making it difficult for consumers to make clear comparisons when shopping for new or used RVs.
Last week, the RV Industry Association Board of Directors approved a recommended best practice on RV model year changeover in an effort to improve the RV buying experience. Going forward, annual model year and major product design changes will be released during the summer—between July 1 and August 31 each year.
The move is also expected to add efficiency into the sales and supply chain. RV dealerships will be able to manage their inventory better, and component part suppliers will be able to more efficiently produce and stock the changing needs of manufacturers. RV manufacturers and suppliers will be better able to provide dealer service centers with current parts for consumer repairs, and the ability of financial institutions to establish RV valuations will be improved.
The adoption of this “best practice” is entirely voluntary, so we may not see all manufacturers adopt it. The new model year changeover will be phased in from 2021 to 2023.