Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: The Collapse Of The RV industry

j0182280 mature market campers and RVs

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – The collapse of the RV industry– According to the Warranty Week, no segment seems to have been harder hit by the recent recession than recreational vehicles with the virtual collapse of the RV (recreational vehicles) industry. The report states the accruals made by manufacturers in the RV industry over the past six years increased in the second quarter of 2005 to $79 million, whereas in the final quarter of 2008 they were barely over $41 million.

The industry’s current problems stem from consumer loss of income, fluctuating interest rates, increase in fuel prices and diminished home equity financings over the last two years.

Despite being among one of the cheapest ways for Americans to vacation, Mark Schone, attributes the industry’s sudden breakdown to recession. In addition the industry has also experienced a unique and painful credit crunch, which makes it difficult to arrange loans for those who still have hopes. The two major RV manufacturers, Country Coach and Monaco Coach are on the verge of bankruptcy (by the way, if your company faces bankruptcy -regardless of industry- my brother’s firm, Equity Partners, may be able to help you).

A study conducted by the University of Michigan’s Survey Research Center outlines the main reason for the growth in the numbers of RVs owned by Americans. RVs had reached record levels in the past couple of years. By the end of the decade, the number of consumers aged 50 to 64 will total 57 million or 38 percent which is higher than in 2000, as noted by Dr. Richard Curtin, director of surveys at the University of Michigan. Today there are around 8.5 million functioning RVs, which has led to a drastic growth of 58% since 1980 and one-in-12 vehicle-owning households in the above age group own at least one RV.

Even though there was a sudden decrease in the value of manufacturers’ sales of RVs in 2001, the RV market has shown immense growth in the following years. In 2004, the sales had increased by 6.7% to reach $11.4 billion, which was higher than the $7.4 billion in 2001.

Since 70% of RV production is located in Indiana and 15% in Oregon and California, these states are currently experiencing wild unemployment. Indiana currently has the highest unemployment rate in the United States.

My parters and I, at TR Mann Consulting, believe is that the industry association needs to make an aggressive advertising move. This recession is actually an opportunity for them to gain market position by positioning themselves as a vacation value. But they need to do so, by making a move to mainstream media . . . something they have been historically reluctant to do.

References

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30066873
http://www.rvindustrynews.com/News/tabid/16941/ctl/ArticleView/mid/38805/articleId/3657/RV-warranty-costs-skyrocket.aspx
http://www.rvnews.com/acover.cfm
http://www.nmma.org/lib/docs/nmma/gr/policy/Obama_letter_final.pdf
http://www.manufacturing.net/News-RV-Industry-Struggles-As-Pension-Funds-Dry-Up-030509.aspx?menuid=248
http://www.rvtradedigest.com/web/online/Industry-Business-News/CNBC-reports-that-RV-industry-is-ready-to-signal-a-turn/1$5189
http://www.rv-n-motorhomes.com/RV-Facts-Statistics.html

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: How Economies Are Effected By The Boomer Tsunami and Immigration

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often- The Boomer Tsunami, Economies and Immigration – History shows us that in tough economies struggling “natives” often turn immigrants into villains. As I’ve blogged before, this country cannot survive the coming age wave without immigration.

Now, before I start get started, let me start off by stating that we MUST tighten our security measures and admission standards. Illegal entry into our country cannot be rewarded. If you are working in this country you must be a contributing member (meaning you’re paying your fair share of taxes AND you have committed no crimes). In addition to the financial ramifications of illegal aliens, we now have to worry about the security issues.

Now that being said, we face some serious challenges in the near future. By 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that our economy will support 168 million jobs, but the workforce will be only 158 million to fill those jobs. Therefore, a shortfall of 10 million is predicted (Herman, R. E., T. G. Olivo, and J. L. Gioia. 2003. Impending crisis. Winchester, VA: Oakhill Press.).

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. birthrate has fallen to about a breakeven level (from 3.3 births per couple in 1960 to 2.2 in 2000), while at the same time the dependency level of our growing population of aging citizens is increasing. By dependency, I mean that as we age we require more services: health care, maintenance, etc). In other words, who will mow my lawn or take care of me when I have Alzheimer’s?

“The soaring number of elderly people will affect the dependency ratio, which describes the impact of a nonworking population on a working population. In the United States, where there will be 246 elderly people for every 1,000 workers in 2010, there are projected to be 411 elderly per 1,000 workers in 2030.”

-D’Vera Cohn, The Divergent Paths of Baby Boomers and Immigrants

What makes the issue even more serious is that so many of us are choosing to retire at 62 (60%) rather than 65, robbing our economy of valuable workers and experience. In fact, in my humble opinion, we would be less dependent on immigration if our economy was better equipped to allow us to work well into our late 70s/early 80s . . . which would require some restructuring of social security and tax laws (in other words, don’t punish people for working).

In this video, Economist Robert Shapiro projects how economies around the world may respond to the aging of the Baby Boom generation.

Thoughts?

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Nursing shortage partially due to lack of teachers

j0438630 mature market experts nursing

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – Nursing shortage partially due to lack of teachers – “An estimated 116,000 registered nurse positions are unfilled at U.S. hospitals and nearly 100,000 jobs go vacant in nursing homes, experts said.

The shortage is expected to worsen in coming years as the 78 million people in the post-World War Two baby boom generation begin to hit retirement age. An aging population requires more care for chronic illnesses and at nursing homes. “The nursing shortage is not driven by a lack of interest in nursing careers. The bottleneck is at the schools of nursing because there’s not a large enough pool of faculty,” Robert Rosseter of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing said in a telephone interview.

Nursing colleges have been unable to expand enrollment levels to meet the rising demand, and some U.S. lawmakers blame years of weak federal financial help for the schools. Almost 50,000 qualified applicants to professional nursing programs were turned away in 2008, including nearly 6,000 people seeking to earn masters and doctoral degrees, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing said. Pay differences One reason for the faculty squeeze is that a nurse with a graduate degree needed to teach can earn more as a practicing nurse, about $82,000, than teaching, about $68,000.”

Source: MSNBC

Mature Market Experts Gem Of The Day: Boomers and the Wii Fit

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – Boomers and the Wii Fit – My wife and I just got a “Nintendo Wii for the kids.” According to the Wii’s virtual fitness trainers on the Wii Fit game, the first time I stepped on the Wii pad, I was 15 years older than my actual age. Pretty disheartening for a guy who’s active and regularly runs marathons. I blame it on my poor balance which the game tends to penalize. Anyway, this morning I tried it again, and knocked it down to just 4 years over my actual age so I’m making progress.

No one should confuse the Wii Fit program for real science or a real cardiovascular workout but there is definitely something to be had with the concept. For example, for someone who has never had anything to do with Yoga or stretching, the Fit introduces some worthwhile drills. Most importantly, it introduces some areas to work on to improve key deficiencies (i.e. falls are the number one cause of hospitalizations among seniors, so balance is definitely worth working on). The Wii is not there yet, but it doesn’t take a genius to see where this technology is headed.

In the meantime, Nintendo … by incorporating the mature market … continues to trounce their competition.

Source: SeattlePI.com

Source: SeattlePI.com

As I’ve mentioned before, When I was at Erickson, heading up the advertising team, the brilliantly creative interactive team produced a series of incredibly cool/funny videos centered around Wii bowling at their retirement communities. Definitely worth watching!

Note: The Washington Post did an excellent review on Wii Fit.

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Electronic Tracking and Care Coordination Tools Save Lives

Electronic tracking combined with patient centered-care management can reduce hospitalizations and deaths.

Electronic tracking combined with patient centered-care management can reduce hospitalizations and deaths.

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – Electronic Tracking and Care Coordination Tools Save Lives – As I have often posted before, I think technology is key to bridging the shortage of healthcare workers needed to care for the world’s booming senior population. Recent research is beginning to show the difference it can make. According to an article by Saher Selod of Mather Lifeways’ Aging In Action, “Researchers at the Oregon Health & Science University conducted an evaluation of the Care Management Plus (CMP) program. The results of the study indicate that the CMP program, an intervention tool that combines electronic tracking with patient centered-care management, reduced the number of deaths and hospitalizations for older adults suffering from several chronic illnesses.

The study was conducted in Seven Intermountain clinics where 1,144 patients received the CMP and 2,288 patients, in the control group, did not. According to the results, 6.5% of the CMP patients died in the first year compared to 9.2% from the control group. In the second year, 13.1% of CMP patients died in the second year compared to 16.6% in the control group. The difference in hospitalization rates was not as high as the death rates, except for those patients who suffered from diabetes.The researchers argued that this computerized care management system worked in conjunction with extra training for nurses to improve the health care outcomes for older adults.

CMP uses data regarding the patients’ condition that is logged into a care management tracking database. This tool is then used by the care plan teams of chronically ill older adults to access patient information quickly and address patient medical needs efficiently.

This new system would require the restructuring of primary care for those who are chronically ill. Researchers from the study recommend this restructuring in order to improve the quality of care for chronically ill patients in the long term.”

Additional source: Door, David, Wilcox, A., Brunker, C., Burdon, R. Donnelly, S. 2008. The effect of technology-supported multi-disease care management on the mortality of hospitalization of seniors. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 56(12): 2203-2210.

I also recommend reading The John A Hartford Foundation’s annual report.

Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Scientists Discover What Makes Your Hair Go Gray

CB048359 mature market experts gray

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – Scientists Discover What Makes Your Hair Go Gray – In a nation obsessed with staying young, hair products and hiding your gray is big business. In fact, the hair-care industry that will be worth about $42.5 billion worldwide by 2010, according to a market report published last year by Global Industry Analysts. And now that business is about to get a new twist. According to British researchers our hair turns gray as a result of our bodies building up too much hydrogen peroxide, a chemical our bodies naturally produce. “Hydrogen peroxide, which is produced naturally in the human body, interferes with melanin, the pigment that colors our hair and skin.

The body also produces the enzyme catalase, which breaks down hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. Or at least it does for a while. As we age, catalase production tails off, leaving nothing to transform the hydrogen peroxide into chemicals the body can release. So, as hydrogen peroxide builds up, we go gray, concluded researchers at the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom, who last week published the results of a study in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology’s online journal.”

Source: MSNBC

Interestingly, some people are bucking the trend. The Today Show has posted a photo gallery where gray and proud can post their photos with comments.

Mature Market Experts Gem of The Day: Hearing Aids Get Stylish For Baby Boomers

The new Lyric hearing aid is a good example of how far hear aid design has come.

The new Lyric hearing aid is a good example of how far hearing aid design has come.

Mature Market Experts: more mature market news and stats more often – Hearing Aids Get Stylish For Baby Boomers – This past October I lost most of my hearing in my right ear to a relatively rare condition called Sudden Sensory Neurological Hearing Loss, so I suddenly find myself in the market for a hearing aid. Fortunately, hearing aids have become much more stylish. Once again, boomers are on the forefront of pushing for improvements . . . and it makes sense . . . 16 percent, one in six, of the 78 million boomers have some loss of hearing.

One company that certainly seems to have their product design approaching something more tolerable to the bulk of us is Lyric. The Lyric hearing aid is placed deep in the ear canal, so it is 100% invisible to other people. And the Lyric can be worn while you sweat or get wet – which is perfect for boomers who want to stay active.

I’ll be doing my research on the various hearing aid options and I’ll get back to you. In the meantime, Lyric listen up (pun intended), TR Mann Consulting can help you market your wonderfully designed product.

PS    I would be remiss if I didn’t mention two wonderful organizations that have been extremely helpful to me during this ordeal: Johns Hopkins Department of Otolaryngology, in particular, Dr. John Carey and the Hearing Loss Association of America.