RV industry hopes for minimal impact from virus

By The Associated Press

ELKHART — The RV industry in northern Indiana is watching what kind of impact the coronavirus may have on the market.

Wayne Kaylor, CEO of Way Interglobal Network in Elkhart, said there's been some disruptions due to COVID-19, and the industry should know in the next several weeks whether the coronavirus shock will leave lingering issues.

Elkhart County is the epicenter of the RV industry, the South Bend Tribune reported. Kaylor's company supplies consumer electronics, appliances and other items to the RV industries.

“By blind luck, we've been fairly unscathed,” said Kaylor.

Many of the factories in China that temporarily closed in the wake of the virus outbreak are starting production again. But even then, there are still concerns about transportation and whether finished products will make it to their destination.

“If the factories open up next week, there's still going to be some disruption,” said Michael Hicks, an economist at Ball State University who pointed out that the automotive industry is also dependent on various components made in China.

“Even a short supply disruption, couple with stock market declines, would hit manufacturing-dependent states such as Indiana particularly hard,” he said.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover from the virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.

Kaylor says this is a time for the industry to work together to avoid slowdowns for RV manufacturers.

“Let's help each other during this period to keep production rolling,” Kaylor said.

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