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Baird: Volatility, Gas Slow August Coach Sales

Robert W. Baird & Co. issued a client newsletter to investors following the motorhome sales report for August by Statistical Surveys Inc. The following offers a summary of the results.

U.S. motorhome retail flat in August. Motorhome sales were flat in August, according to Statistical Surveys Inc.. Elevated gas prices and weak consumer confidence continue to put pressure on results. Looking to the remainder of 2011, consumers seem less active and dealers are not looking to restock aggressively; however, promotions at recent manufacturer open houses could be causing dealers to order units earlier in the season.

Motorhome retail registrations in the U.S. were flat in August. Class A registrations fell 4%, while Class C registrations increased 7%. Low consumer confidence and a fear of debt continues to hurt demand.

Gas/Diesel. Class A cas units were weak in August, down 6% following over a year of significant outperformance. Class A diesel units were down just 1%, following six months of double-digit declines.

Retail SAAR. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of U.S. motorhome retail registrations for August before revisions, increased to 18.5K units, from 17.5K units in July. In 2010, U.S. dealers sold 19.5K motorhomes.

Dealer inventory. Motorhome dealer inventory bottomed a year ago, and in 2010 wholesale unit shipments outpaced retail sales by roughly 6%. Dealers held inventory relatively stable in August.

This summary of a Baird research report is not intended as investment advice. To participate in Baird surveys and receive research reports, contact Craig R. Kennison, CFA, at ckennison@rwbaird.com.


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