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Attendees Eye Motorhomes at Midwest RV Show

August 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Large Class A motorhomes greet visitors as soon as they enter the grounds of the Midwest RV Super Show. And they can be found further down the aisle amid the 300 RVs at this weekend’s show at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind.

As reported by the South Bend Tribune, prices run as high as nearly $300,000, but it seems proportional to the vehicles that stretch as long as 40 feet.

Nationally, people are having no trouble taking the step into what many would consider the finest of the RVs. So far this year, sales are up 32%  for Class A motorhomes over last year.

Whether because of the leather sectional and recliner, large refrigerator, three flat-screen TVs or 1 1/2 baths, it’s fair to say many people wished the inside of their house looked as nice as the 2013 Dutch Star by Newmar Corp.

John and Janet Lipscomb, of Punta Gorda, Fla., were studying the offerings closely Thursday (Aug. 8). They are on their third Class A motorhome since 1997 and were looking at purchasing their fourth.

“The best part is you can have your things with you,” said Janet, citing closets for clothes. “Plus we can make a long trip out of it and tour.”

To read the entire article click here.

 

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Baird: May Coach Sales Show Strong Demand

July 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Editor’s Note: The investment firm of Robert W. Baird & Co. issued a client newsletter after this week’s release by Statistical Surveys Inc. of the summary of retail sales of motorhomes in May. Excerpts from the Baird newsletter follow.

U.S. motorhome retail up 28%. According to data from Statistical Surveys, motorhome (Class A & C) retail increased 28% in May. Class A sales jumped 29% while Class C retail improved 27%. Thor motorhome retail demand increased 35% in May, the first month of the company’s fiscal Q4. Winnebago reported results for its May quarter on June 27.

Motorhome retail registrations in the U.S. increased 28% in May. Class A registrations improved 29% while Class C reported registrations increased 27% in May. The robust growth is consistent with the strong retail trends reported in our recent dealer survey. According to SSI, year-to-date Class A retail improved 28% while Class C demand jumped 31% through May. Industry comparisons become more difficult in June.

Thor retail up 35% in May. Thor U.S. motorhome retail demand jumped 35% in May, which represents the first month of Thor’s fiscal Q4. The growth was driven by robust demand for Class A models (+47%) and strong growth in Class C (+25%). We model Thor North American motorhome retail growth of 35% in fiscal Q4, consistent with the early-quarter trends.

Winnebago. Winnebago already reported fiscal Q3 results on June 27, so the data are not incremental. Winnebago results implied North America motorhome retail improved 23% in the May quarter.

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SSI: Motorhome Sales Surge in May, Gain 28%

July 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Year-over-year motorhome registrations jumped 28% in May while sales for the five months increased 29%, according to the latest report from Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI).

Thor Industries Inc. held the No. 1 spot in year-to-date motorhome registrations with a 25.5% market share followed by Winnebago Industries Inc. (18%), Forest River Inc. (12.5%) and Forest River’s Coachmen RV division (12.1%).

In the Class A category, May sales climbed 28.8% compared with 2012 and were up 27.6% for the five months. Thor led the sector through May, posting a 21.9% market share, edging Winnebago (20.5%). Tiffin Motorhomes Inc. was No. 3, capturing a 20.7% share.

Class C sales gained 27.2% for the month and 30.6% year-to-date. Thor led the category for the five months with a 29.5% market share, followed by Coachmen RV (19.2%), Forest River (17.5%) and Winnebago (15.2%).

Rental registrations, primarily Class C sales, declined 18% in May.

To subscribe to this or other SSI reports, contact Scott Stropkai, national RV sales manager, at (616) 281-9898 ext 128, or (616) 446-8179 (cell).

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Motorhomes Power Winnebago to Stellar Sales

June 27, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

In a conference call today (June 27) with media and investors, Winnebago Industries Inc. expounded on a stellar fiscal third quarter that included a 94% increase in year-over-year earnings, a 40% rise in sales and the highest shipment total in five years.

The Forest City, Iowa-based company enjoyed higher profits due to a heightened demand for motorhomes coupled with lower discounting and an improved product mix. Winnebago Chairman, CEO and President Randy Potts noted that the company’s motorhome backlog had grown in each of the last six consecutive quarters.

“At the end of the third quarter, backlog had grown in every motorized category and was up 130% year-over-year,” Potts said. “This is a reflection of our dealer networks’ confidence in our motorhome products, as well as our confidence in the overall industry as they prepare for the summer season.”

Potts revealed that in line with demand Winnebago also continued to increase production levels.

“We’ve been increasing our production throughout the past 9 months,” he said. “When measured as units produced per production day, our production in the third quarter of fiscal ’13 increased nearly 48% compared to the units produced per production day in the same quarter last year.”

While the still evolving towable division incurred a $764,000 operating loss during the quarter, Potts said the unit was making progress.

“We had good response to new products that were introduced at our Dealer Days event in late April, as evidenced by the increase in sales order backlog compared to the second quarter of fiscal ’13,” he said.

To read the entire transcript from today’s conference call click here.

 

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Winnebago 3Q Profit Soars 94%; Sales up 40%

June 27, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Winnebago Industries Inc.’s fiscal third-quarter earnings soared 94.4%, boosted by improved margins and heightened demand for motorhomes.

“We worked extremely hard to deliver significant improvement in the third quarter as compared to the prior year,” said Winnebago Industries Chairman, CEO and President Randy Potts.  “We again increased our shipment volume in nearly every sector of our business due to the continued rise in customer demand.”

Revenues for the third quarter, ended June 1, increased 40.1% to $218.2 million versus $155.7 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2012.  The Forest City, Iowa-based company. Net income for the period rose 94.4% to $7.7 million, or 27 cents per diluted share, from $3.9 million, or 13 cents per diluted share, a year ago. Winnebago reported operating income of $10.2 million for the quarter, an increase of 190.6%, versus $3.5 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2012.

Earnings in the third quarter were positively impacted by increased motorhome volumes, driven by higher dealer and retail consumer demand.  The increased volumes, along with lower incentives, provided fixed cost leverage, higher operating margins, net income and earnings per share as compared to the same quarter last year.  Net cash generated from operations was $19.2 million in the third quarter.

Revenues for the first 40 weeks of fiscal 2013 grew 40.5% to $588.9 million compared to $419.1 million for the first 39 weeks of fiscal 2012. Net income for the first nine months soared 425% to $21.3 million, or 76 cents per diluted share, versus $4.1 million, or 14 cents per diluted share, the year prior. Winnebago reported operating income of $29.1 million for the first nine months versus $3 million for the same period in fiscal 2012.

Potts noted, “We are very pleased with the marketplace response to our new 2014 motorhome and towable products, including the new Winnebago Forza and Itasca Solei. These products provide our dealers and retail customers with a new price point targeted at the largest growth component of the Class A diesel category. We are focused on bringing these exciting new products and others to market.

“Since the initial introduction to our dealer partners in late April at our Dealer Days event, we have moved forward with our planned staggered retail product rollouts which will continue throughout the coming months. We have had exceptional growth throughout fiscal 2013, experiencing the best shipment quarter in over five years, while still increasing our sales order backlog.”

 

 

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SSI: Motorhome Sales See 30% Growth in April

June 13, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Year-over-year motorhome registrations jumped 29.8% in April while sales for the four months increased 27.3%, according to the latest report from Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI).

Thor Industries Inc. held the No. 1 spot in year-to-date motorhome registrations with a 26% market share followed by Winnebago Industries Inc. (18.4%). Forest River Inc.’s and its Coachmen RV division tied for the No. 3 position with a 12% share.

In the Class A category, April sales climbed 30.7% compared with 2012 and were up 25.2% for the four months. Thor led the sector through April, posting a 21.8% market share, edging Winnebago who captured a 21.1% share. Tiffin Motorhomes Inc. was No. 3 with a 17.8% share.

Class C sales gained 28.8% for the month and 29.7% year-to-date. Thor led the category for the four months with a 30.6% market share, followed by Coachmen RV (19.1%), Forest River (17.2%) and Winnebago (15.5%).

April rental registrations, primarily Class C sales, were up 9% in April.

To subscribe to this or other SSI reports, contact Scott Stropkai, national RV sales manager, at (616) 281-9898 ext 128, or (616) 446-8179 (cell).

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Baird: Rentals Boost March Motorhome Sales

May 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Editor’s Note: The investment firm of Robert W. Baird & Co. issued a client newsletter after this week’s release by Statistical Surveys Inc. of the summary of retail sales of motorhomes in the month of March. Excerpts from the Baird newsletter follow.

U.S. Motorhome retail +25%. According to data from Statistical Surveys, motorhome (Class A & C) retail increased 25% in March. Class A sales improved 11% while Class C retail jumped 43%. We believe timing of rental units may be creating monthly volatility. Thor motorhome retail grew 31% through two months of the company’s fiscal Q3 (+69% in March, +1.5% in February). Thor reported Q3 preliminary sales May 2. Winnebago motorhome retail improved 1% in its first month of fiscal Q3.

Motorhome retail registrations in the U.S. increased 25% in March. Class A registrations improved 11% while Class C reported registrations rebounded to +43% growth in March after declining 1% in February. We note that the timing of rental fleet sales may be skewing March Class C data higher (after skewing it lower in February). Year-to-date Class C retail improved 27% while Class A demand improved 21%. Industry comparisons become easier in April and May before picking up in the summer.

Solid QTD results for Thor. Thor motorhome retail increased 69% in March after a stagnant February (+1.5%) – we believe the timing of rental fleet units may have contributed to the monthly volatility. Through the first two months of Thor’s fiscal Q3, the company’s U.S. motorhome demand improved 31% – a result that may dampen fears of an excessive inventory build after the weak February retail report and Thor’s solid preliminary sales report. We model Thor North American retail growth of 20% in fiscal Q3.

Winnebago. Winnebago U.S. motorhome retail increased just 1% in March. We model Winnebago North American retail growth at 20% for the May quarter. We remain comfortable with our forecast, noting the early stage of the quarter, frequent upward data revisions, and expectation for additional retail reports prior to Winnebago’s quarterly report.

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SSI: March Motorhome Sales Post 25.5% Rise

May 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Year-over-year motorhome registrations jumped 25.5% in March while sales for the first quarter increased 23.5%, according to the latest report from Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI).

Thor Industries Inc. held the No. 1 spot in year-to-date motorhome registrations with a 25.9% market share followed by Winnebago Industries Inc. (17.4%), Forest River Inc.’s Coachmen RV division (13%) and Forest River (11.5%).

In the Class A category, March sales climbed 10.8% compared with 2012 and were up 20.6% for the three months. Thor led the sector through March, posting a 21.4% market share, while Winnebago held a 21% share and Tiffin Motorhomes Inc. was No. 3 with an 18.6% share.

Class C sales soared 43.4% for the month and 27.1% year-to-date. Thor led the category for the three months with a 31.2% market share, followed by Coachmen RV (21.6%), Forest River (16.8%) and Winnebago (13.1%).

March rental registrations, primarily Class C sales, were up 96% in March.

To subscribe to this or other SSI reports, contact Scott Stropkai, national RV sales manager, at (616) 281-9898 ext 128, or (616) 446-8179 (cell).

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SSI: A’s Drive Feb. Coach Sales to 8% Growth

April 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Year-over-year motorhome registrations rose 7.9% in February while sales for the two months increased 15.6%, according to the latest report from Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI).

Thor Industries Inc. held the No. 1 spot in year-to-date motorhome registrations with a 26.7% market share followed by Winnebago Industries Inc. (19.2%), Forest River Inc. (11.9%) and Tiffin Motorhomes Inc. (10.8%).

In the Class A category, November sales climbed 16.6% compared with 2012 and were up 22% for the two months. Winnebago led the category through February, posting a 22.6% market share, while Thor held a 21% share and Tiffin was No. 3 with an 18.4% share.

Class C sales edged down 0.8% for the month but grew 7.6% year-to-date. Thor led the category for the two months with a 34.7% market share, followed by Forest River (19.7%), Winnebago (14.4%) and Forest River’s Coachmen RV division (13.7%).

February rental registrations, primarily Class C sales, fell 23% in February.

To subscribe to this or other SSI reports, contact Scott Stropkai, national RV sales manager, at (616) 281-9898 ext 128, or (616) 446-8179 (cell).

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Winnebago 2Q Reflects Seniors are Confident

March 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Winnebago Industries Inc. reported surprisingly strong profit on Thursday (March 28), suggesting the growing confidence among U.S. consumers is shared by the 50 and older crowd, the prime demographic for the No. 1 U.S. maker of motorhomes.

Reuters reported that the company said renewed momentum in the broader economy – from surging stock prices to signs of recovery in the housing market – helped push its order backlog to pre-recession levels and its profit past market expectations for the third quarter in a row.

The company’s top executive said demand is still below the levels seen before the housing bubble burst – a collapse that sent recreational vehicle demand plummeting and half dozen of Winnebago’s rivals, including Fleetwood Enterprises and Monaco Coach, into bankruptcy.

Winnebago, known for its large touring vehicles that provide home-like comfort on the road, said its order backlog had nearly tripled from a year earlier to 2,752 units as of March 2, the fifth quarterly rise in a row.

The Forest City, Iowa-based company’s order backlog for motor homes is now at its highest level since the fourth quarter of 2004, said Kathryn Thompson, chief executive of equity research firm Thompson Research Group.

Winnebago said the buyers returning to RV showrooms are showing an appetite for products across its line, which range in price from about from $65,000 to more than $300,000. Most of Winnebago’s customers are either retired or semi-retired, the company said.

According to Reuters, the apparent rebound in the U.S. housing market may be the most important factor of all. Motorhome sales are sensitive to a lot of factors, but tend to be most strongly influenced by the housing market and energy prices.

Winnebago says its sales closely track the ups and downs of the market for new homes. Earlier this month, the Commerce Department reported that permits for future construction jumped 4.6% in February, the fastest pace since June 2008.

Randy Potts, the company’s chairman, president and CEO, cautioned that while retail trends are positive, consumer demand is still “not even close” to where it has been historically – before industry sales peaked in 2004 and began their long slide in 2005.

“What we’ve gone through in recent years wasn’t a cycle, it was a catastrophe,” Potts said in an interview with Reuters.

But pent-up demand from consumers who postponed purchases waiting for the economy to recover may change that.

Potts said that in the 25 years before 2004 and 2005, the RV industry would ship an average of 60,000 motorhomes annually. In 2013, even with the current rebound in demand, the industry expects to ship about 32,000 units.

“That’s still just 50 percent of what we want to say is a normal market,” Potts said.

“So if you believe that the RV lifestyle is alive and well and that normal hasn’t changed … there should be a real pent-up demand out there.”

Winnebago’s stock, which has risen about 30% since the start of the year, closed down 5.6% at $20.64 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. The stock hit a five-year high of $22.34 on March 14.

There has been some concern that the RV market might be hurt by cuts in federal spending as well as rising fuel prices.

But data released late last month showed that consumer confidence is rebounding.

Winnebago reported a profit of $6.3 million, or 22 cents per share, in the quarter ended March 2, compared with a loss of $9.1 million, or 3 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 35% to $177.2 million.

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