Shipments Up; Dealers Also Seeing Sales Grow
As far as RV shipments go, the national numbers are borderline robust for September in the recently released survey by the Reston, Va.-based Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
The South Bend (Ind.) Tribune reported that not only is the number of shipments up 18.6% over September of 2012, it was the best September in the last six years. It also marks the 21st straight month that shipments have topped the corresponding month from the previous year.
The news is especially important to Elkhart County and nearby areas that account for 83% of all new RVs made in the United States. About 24,000 people in Elkhart County and northern Indiana work in the industry.
“We continue to be impressed with the resilience of our industry,” said Matt Rose, director of recreation vehicles for Indiana Manufactured Housing Association-Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council (IMHA-RVIC). “Consistently strong shipments mean more people than ever are making an investment in their leisure time and their families. Increased shipments of RVs equates to more jobs for northern Indiana families.”
At Great Lakes RV Center in Elkhart, the shipment numbers were not a surprise. The dealership is experiencing great business like the rest of the industry, said Rob Reid, president of Great Lakes RV Center.
Nationally, towable RVs rose nearly 2,500 units or 14.8% in September compared to the same month last year. Motorhome shipments were up 46.3% with a total of 3,317 units shipped.
In addition to some used motorhomes, Great Lakes RV Center sells towables, mainly from the Heartland brand.
“It’s been a good array from entry-level lightweight travel trailers all the way up to the $80,000 to $90,000 fifth-wheels,” said Reid, whose dealership also sells some Keystone products.
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