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Returning from a recent trip to Shanghai and Beijing, representatives of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) had great things to say about the potential for U.S. RV manufacturers in the growth and development in the Chinese RV industry. RVIA’s trip to China June 19 to July 1 was the association’s fourth trade mission to the country.
The U.S. RV industry believes there is great potential for RVs in China. RVs and RV camping are becoming increasingly popular in the country, and U.S. exports of RVs to China are growing. In 2011, U.S. RV exports to China exceeded $24 million, an increase of 78 percent since 2009. China is the third largest market of U.S. RV exports, following Canada and Mexico.
An important issue towards advancing the growth of the RV industry in China is the development of Chinese standards that are compatible with U.S. standards. Among the key achievements during its recent trip was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between RVIA and the China Automotive Technology and Resource Center (CATARC) to work together on RV standards issues.
“This Memorandum of Understanding with CATARC is a significant step toward developing a more formal RV standard for China that is harmonized with our North American standards, which would be a boost to U.S. RV manufacturers and suppliers interested in doing business in the Chinese RV market” RVIA President Richard Coon said in a recent press release.
Among the other organizations and agencies RVIA met with during the trip included the China Ministry of Transportation, to discuss road use regulations affecting RVs, and the Shanghai Tourism Administration to talk about RV and campground projects.
RVIA also met with officials from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers to discuss the association’s role on a new RV committee formed by the organization, as well as China Travel Services to talk about how the company can work with RVIA and its members.
RVIA also met with officials and staff from the U.S. Commercial Service at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, who are assisting U.S. industry’s efforts in the country.
In addition to RVIA’s achievements during the recent trip, ITA recently announced that the association has been selected to receive a Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) award from ITA for its programs and initiatives in China, as well as Japan. The RVIA initiative financial award is $300,000 over a three year period.
Under the award, RVIA will work with ITA to accomplish the following objectives:
- Establish an office in Beijing;
- Pursue adoption of RV and campground industry standards compatible with U.S. standards;
- Pursue the inclusion of RV definitions in the China motor vehicle code and removal of regulatory obstacles;
- Pursue adoption of China Compulsory Certification (CCC) requirements that take into account the unique issues faced by RV manufacturers;
- Pursue reduction of RV import duties and tariffs;
Establish a website in Chinese and use social media and trade shows to promote RVing in China with an emphasis on U. S. products;
- Serve as a resource for growing the RV market and campground development in China;
- Demonstrate how to operate an RV and tow a trailer; and
- Pursue opportunities to provide Japan with RVs for the country’s post-disaster assistance efforts.
Through this collaborative effort between the U.S. Department of Commerce and the RVIA, more U.S. made recreation vehicles will find their way to the highways and byways of China.
(This article was edited on May 8, 2013 to correct the title of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association.)