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‘More Normal Market’ Keys Louisville Optimism

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December 4, 2013 by   Leave a Comment

Dealers cruise product at Louisville Show

RV manufacturers expect to pass another milestone in their steady recovery from the recession that landed the industry in a deep ditch.

The Associated Press reported that led by sales growth for towable RVs and pricier stand-alone motorhomes, recreational vehicle makers expect to ship more than 300,000 units to dealers’ lots this year for the first time since the economic downturn battered the industry in 2008 and 2009.

Those grim days are now in the rear view mirror. Employment across the industry has rebounded, and consumers who once picked small, no-frills travel trailers – dubbed “recession trailers” – are now trading up or buying larger, pricier RVs.

“We’re back to a more normal market where people are stepping up and buying nicer equipped travel trailers,” said RV dealer Debbie Brunoforte, who has logged her best post-recession sales year at her lots in Phoenix and Mesa, Ariz.

Shipments from RV manufacturers to dealers – a key measure of consumer demand – are expected to reach 316,300 units in 2013, up nearly 11% from last year’s total of 285,749, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) said Tuesday (Dec. 3) on the first day of the industry’s trade show in Louisville, Ky. More gains are projected for next year.

“These are good times, you guys, really good times,” RVIA President Richard Coon said at the trade show’s kickoff event Tuesday. “Business is good.”

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