Report: RV Sales are ‘Picking Up Speed Again’
You might stay entertained on a long road trip playing Punch Buggy, a game in which passengers slug each other in the shoulder whenever a Volkswagen Beetle goes by.
But, according to a report by CNBC, to learn something about economy trends while out on the highway, watch for a different type of vehicle.
“I’m starting to see a lot more RV products on the road. And it’s not just because it’s summer,” Kathryn Thompson, CEO of Nashville, Tennessee-based Thompson Research Group, told CNBC.
“An RV is as discretionary a purchase as you can think of,” she said. “So if someone is buying an RV, something must be working.”
According to Thompson, sales of recreational vehicles in the United States hit a low point during the recession, bottoming out in the spring of 2009 with the bankruptcy of two large motor home manufacturers—Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. and Monaco Coach.
Yet these days, RV sales have improved along with the economy. Lower priced towables and trailers, with price tags that can start at around $10,000, led the recovery. Sales of the more expensive motorized RVs, including motor homes that can have price tags well over $500,000, caught up later.
“In North America sales were was running over 300,000 units a year until 2008,” said Tom Walworth, president of Statistical Surveys Inc. in Grand Rapids, Mich. “In 2009, sales dropped to 206,000 units. By 2013, they went back to 303,000 units. So in four years it came back 47% from the bottom, which is very impressive as an economic indicator.”
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