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Walworth Sees Trouble Ahead in Stocking Disparity

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September 3, 2009 by   Leave a Comment

The RV market has good news and potential future problems, according to Tom Walworth of Statistical Surveys Inc., Grand Rapids, Mich.

Walworth, whose company tracks retail sales of motorized and towable RVs nationwide, noted that between January and June motorized dealers sold 5,651 more units than they wholesale ordered and on the towable side 8,854 more units were sold than wholesale shipped for a total reduction in inventory of 13,505 units.

During the same period last year motorized and towable inventories increased by more than 22,000 units as compared to retail sales.

“This year is very unusual,” Walworth told RVBUSINESS.COM, “primarily because spring is when dealers stock their lots in anticipation of moving them during the prime selling season.  This year we did not see the traditional build of inventory which has caused the inventory decline. RV retail sales declined but the wholesale market decline was greater than the retail.”

The potential future problem is that, due to the change in floorplanning policy, he said, the dealer may not stock in the fall to meet spring retail demand.  The dealers may choose to stock later in the year or early next year.

“The delay in inventory replacement will cause the manufacturers and suppliers to shorten their build cycle to meet demand,” he said. “This could cause shortages by suppliers to manufacturers and manufacturers to dealers.”

A solution would be for the dealers, manufacturers and lenders to come up with a plan to address this looming supply problem.

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