For the 14th consecutive month, recreational vehicle shipments are above what they were the same month the previous year. Not only that but February shipments of 26,120 units are the highest February total since 2008, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
Kevin Broom, a spokesman for the RVIA of Reston, Va., told the South Bend Tribune that the organization is not surprised by the continued rise in shipments. Wholesale RV shipments are expected to rise to 307,300 units in 2013, according to the latest forecast by University of Michigan professor Richard Curtin, representing a 7.5% increase over 2012.
“We knew throughout the downturn that there was still interest in RVs,” Broom said. “What we’re seeing is the return to long-term interest in RVs, people buying RVs and people wanting RVs. We expect we’re going to see continued growth throughout the year.”
A stabilized economy is one factor, Broom said. So is pent-up demand.
“It’s kind of like the downturn,” he said of the rebound. “There were so many factors that caused RV sales to dip. It’s kind of the same thing. There is pent-up demand and also the economy has stabilized. So people aren’t as concerned about losing their job.
“Home prices have largely stabilized throughout the country. So as the economy has gotten more stable, people have gotten more comfortable about stepping out and making an RV purchase.”
The continued rise in shipments is a very good thing for northern Indiana, where more than 82% of all of the nation’s RVs are produced. The industry employs 24,000 people in northern Indiana in both the manufacturing and supply sector.