RVIA Weighs in on January Wholesale Shipments
The wholesale shipment of recreational vehicles is continuing to climb and that’s a positive sign for the industry as well as the overall economy, according to seasoned observers.
Total shipments in January were 15,800 for an overall increase of 116.4%.
“It’s very encouraging to see the shipment numbers increase so steadily,” Kevin Broom, director of media relations for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) told the South Bend Tribune. “And it’s an indicator of what we had been seeing all along throughout the recession — which is every sign that we had pointed to continued consumer interest.
“People were still coming to the RV shows. People were still coming to the websites. People were still going to RV dealers. But because of credit and consumer confidence they just weren’t able to make the purchase. But now what we are seeing is people starting to get back into purchasing.”
Robert M. “Mac” Bryan, vice president of administration for the RVIA, said the seasonally adjusted annual rate totals have been above 200,000 for the last three to four months.
“That was a real important mark to cross,” he said. “I think at that point that’s where many of our players in the market place are making a profit.”
Sales of 200,000 for a year may be far from the 390,500 shipments in the robust days of 2006, but it’s also quite a step up from 2009 where actual shipments totaled 165,000.
Reaching 250,000 in shipments would be the next big step. “It would be real important to us,” Bryan said.
It could be real important to the U.S. economy, too.
“Historically, (the RV industry) leads into the recession and leads out of it,” said Broom. “So seeing some recovering in industry shipments is an encouraging sign for the overall economy.”
Considering that January shipments are usually not a big month compared to spring and early summer months, the industry is projecting sales for 2010 of 215,000 units.
“There’s a lot of reason for optimism,” Broom said. “The core message is we are very encouraged, but there is still a ways to go.”