Chapter 20: Competitive Forces in the US Recreational Vehicle Industry
Mark Fox, David Lane and Grant Black INTRODUCTION Michael Porter’s Five Forces model is the most frequently used framework for analysing industries. The most recent formulation of his framework appears in a Harvard Business Review article (Porter, 2008). Porter’s model reconceptualizes the strategy–conduct–performance (SCP) framework that was commonly used by industrial organization economists from the 1950s to the early 1980s (Lee, 2007). In this chapter we show how Porter’s framework can be applied to a leisure industry, namely the recreational vehicle (RV) industry in the United States. Before progressing, we should note that the term ‘recreational vehicle’ can be used to describe various types of motorhomes, travel trailers and caravans. There are five major types of RVs: ● ● ● ● ● Class A motorhomes are motorized units, built on a bus chassis. Type A and Type C motorhomes feature a kitchen, private master bedroom, bathroom, eating and living areas. Type A motorhomes are the largest and most luxurious, sleeping up to six people. These motorhomes often feature a diesel engine. Class B motorhomes are essentially conversions of vans and are not commonplace. Typically featuring high-end craftsmanship, they are no larger than a typical van and are designed to sleep two. Class C motorhomes are motorized units built on a van frame, with a bed over the cab. Trailers are larger trailers or pop-up camper trailers. Generally, travel trailers are similar to Type C motorhomes, but as they are not self-propelled they often have more interior space. Folding tent trailers have traditionally been...
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