General RV plans sites out of state

By Eric Pope / Special to The Detroit News

Company: General RV Centers is the top seller of travel trailers and motor homes in Michigan and one of the top five dealers in the country. Abe Baidas founded the family business in 1965, and now it is run by his sons, Dick and Rob, and a grandson, Loren. Sales reached $200 million in 2004. The Wixom-based company employs 375.

What's new: In March, General RV opened its sixth Michigan sales location in Birch Run. Rob Baidas said he expects sales to increase 5 percent in 2005 even though sales have been flat nationwide and down in Michigan during the first half of the year.

Market trends: General RV has doubled its sales volume in the past five years. September 11 helped the $14 billion industry because many people feel safer taking trips in their own vehicle. The upward sales trend should pick up again as baby boomers begin to retire.

The future: Rob Baidas said General RV wants to stay in a growth mode by opening sales centers in other states, beginning with one next year.

On the Web: <a href="http://www.generalrv">www.generalrv</a>;.


Final word: &quot;We sell more than a product and service. We're selling a lifestyle,&quot; Rob Baidas said.

Eric Pope

RV News Daily