Forest River Inc. Seizes Motorized Leadership
Forest River Inc. has unofficially taken over the No. 1 position in retail sales of motorized RVs.
The Elkhart, Ind.-based manufacturer quietly took over the top spot from perennial leader Winnebago Industries Inc. based on recent retail sales reports from Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI).
SSI reports separate retail sales figures for Forest River and its subsidiary, Coachmen RV, which it acquired from Coachmen Industries Inc. late in 2008.
However, when combined, the Forest River sales for April as well as for 2010 year-to-date clearly exceed Winnebago and other leaders, Thor Industries Inc., Fleetwood RV Inc. and Monaco RV Inc. Forest River Inc./Coachmen had a 21.5% market share year-to-date through April to Winnebago’s 19.5%.
However, the change at the top won’t necessarily be recognized by SSI.
“Forest River has requested that these companies remain separate in our reports,” Tom Walworth, SSI president, told RVBUSINESS.com. “This is not unusual in that we have done this in the past for other companies.”
Will SSI consider combining them at some future date as well, or do you prefer to keep them separate?
“This would be up to Forest River; in some cases it would cause problems to the dealer body. If Forest River has a dealer in the area and a Coachmen dealer in the area, they will compete with each other. If you put them under the same parent company, there may be state franchise laws that would not allow this. This would be similar to the auto side of the business that Chevy and Buick having separate Identify.”
Walworth said in the final analysis, it’s “up to the parent company to decide how they would like to treat this. I do not think that Forest River is driven on market share; they would monitor the improvement in market share as a sign of improvement for a brand or a division. In the motorhome industry there are rental contracts that will spike the market share of a manufacturer from time to time; since we do not track rentals, it would be difficult to identify this. You would want to monitor the year-to-date number to see if this will hold in the future months.”