Wausau, Wis.-based King’s Campers ranked as the state’s top selling motorhome dealer for 2011, according to year-end data from Statistical Surveys Inc.
In a press release, King’s Campers reported that it marked the sixth time that the retailer was No. 1 in Class A sales in Wisconsin. It also represented the second time as the overall motorhome sales leader and first ranking as No. 1 in Class C sales.
“It is truly a proud moment for King’s Campers service, sales, parts, warranty and finance teams because it brings recognition to their hard work and dedication,” said John Gajewski, sales manager. “A comment we hear repeatedly from our customers is how much they appreciate the amount of time we spend assisting them; be it with financing, the answering of questions and concerns long after a purchase, or assisting with towing needs.
“Another compliment we get from our customers is how amazed they are at the way we stand behind products we’ve sold. Our employees work tirelessly to ensure our customers are as satisfied as possible and are always willing to add extra touches – which sometimes means a cost other dealerships don’t want to incur.”
Gajewski noted that the company instituted a one-year warranty program on all pre-owned motorhomes this year called “Royal Protection.” For more information visit www.kingscampers.com.
Camping World RV Sales announced today (March 28) that its Oakwood, Ga., location was recognized by Statistical Surveys Inc. as the No. 1 seller of overall motorized RVs in the state in addition to ranking as top seller of Class A motorhomes.
Joel Cline, general manager of Camping World RV of Oakwood, noted, “For the last year, we’ve put tremendous effort in growing market share in the state of Georgia to where we are today. We are delighted to be recognized as the No. 1 motorized seller of the year and honored to serve the Georgia community.”
“We want to thank all of our Oakwood team members for their commitment to excellence and customer service” said Roger Nuttall, president of Camping World RV Sales. “Our goal is to be an RV dealership committed to quality customer service so to be recognized as number one is a great accomplishment and we look forward to increased growth next year.”
Statistical Surveys’ awards are based solely on unit volume according to independent data gathered annually.
Thor Industries Inc., headquartered in Jackson Center, Ohio, was the top U.S. retailer of towable and motorized RVs combined in 2011, according to Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Statistical Surveys Inc. Forest River Inc.’s combined subsidiaries placed first in motorhomes and second in total RVs.
In towables, Thor posted a 36.6% market share for 2011 followed by Forest River, occupying 31.1% of the market, Jayco Inc., Middlebury, Ind. (12.1%), KZRV LP, Shipshewana, Ind., (3.1%) and Nappanee, Ind.-based Gulf Stream Coach Inc. (2.0%).
The total number of towable RVs retailed in the U.S. in 2011: 172,617 units.
Elkhart, Ind.-based Forest River’s aggregate share for all motorhomes (including Class B’s) was 21.6%, while Thor’s combined divisional share was 19.8%, followed by Winnebago Industries Inc., Forest City, Iowa, (18.3%), Tiffin Motorhomes Inc., Red Bay, Ala. (11.3%) and Fleetwood RV Inc., Decatur, Ind. (10.3%).
Total 2011 motorized retail volume: 21,088 units.
As for a categorical breakdown:
• The travel trailer sector finished the year up 8%.
• Fifth-wheel registrations edged up 2.9% for the 12 months.
• Folding camping trailer sales declined 7.9% for 2011.
• Park model sales fell 5% through December.
• Class A overall sales grew 1.6%.
• Class C sales increased 2.3% for the full year.
• Class B motorhomes ended the year with a 15.3% decline vs. 2010.
Last year, Statistical Surveys also began tracking units sold for rental fleets, which reflected a 27% increase for the year.
Editor’s Note: Robert W. Baird & Co. issued a client newsletter to investors following the January motorhome sales report from Statistical Surveys Inc. The following offers a summary of the results.
U.S. motorhome retail declined in January. Motorhome retail sales fell 7%, according to Statistical Surveys. The drop in demand follows two consecutive months of double-digit growth, but keep in mind the November-January period is the seasonally weakest period for motorhome retail. Shipments have been down in recent months, and we believe inventories are lean. Demand during the more significant spring season should determine the shipment outlook for 2012.
• Motorhome retail registrations in the U.S. fell 7% in January. Class A registrations dropped 11%, while Class C registrations grew 1%. Recall that SSI data are frequently revised upward.
• Retail SAAR. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of U.S. motorhome retail registrations for January before revisions, fell to 17.1K units, from 21.5K units in December. In 2011, U.S. dealers sold 19.8K motorhomes (before revisions).
• Dealer inventory. Motorhome dealer inventory bottomed a year ago, inventory built in 2010, and in 2011 wholesale unit shipments roughly matched retail sales. Channel inventory increased again in January, as dealers stock units ahead of the spring season.
This summary of a Baird research report is not intended as investment advice. To participate in Baird surveys and receive research reports, contact Craig R. Kennison, CFA, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winnebago Industries Inc. reported a net loss for its fiscal second quarter, as profit margins were driven down by heavy discounting coupled with a rise in raw material costs.
Interestingly, Wall Street seemed to focus on Winnebago’s healthy order backlog. In a conference call today (March 15) following the Forest City, Iowa-based company’s earnings release, Winnebago’s President, Chairman and CEO Randy Potts noted that “we are better positioned with the model year changeover, which occurs in the third quarter, being essentially sold out of current model year products.” Winnebago shares were up significantly in yesterday’s trading.
Regarding Winnebago’s discounting, Potts explained that it implemented cost-cutting to “secure additional volume in the quarter and minimize production shutdowns, which would have resulted in additional unabsorbed overheads and higher inventory.”
He added, “A winter seasonal slowdown in conjunction with the excess motorized industry capacity created a competitive environment that negatively impacted earnings.”
A rise in raw material costs also dented Winnebago’s bottom line. Potts noted that the company opted not to pass on those costs, again pointing to the “competitive nature of the marketplace.”
As a result, Winnebago reported that gross profit margins shrank to 5.2% from 10.6% in the same period last year.
While admitting the quarter was “disappointing,” Potts said there are reasons to be positive about the remainder of the fiscal year. “We are cautiously optimistic about growth in the general economy, given the improvement in consumer confidence, employment and housing starts,” he said.
Winnebago also will be resurrecting its Dealer Days in May after a four-year absence, according to Potts. “This gives us the opportunity to showcase all of our redesigned products for dealers,” he said.
While profits were down, Winnebago posted 23.5% growth in revenue during the second quarter, in part driven by its towable division. The company purchased Sunnybrook RV Inc. in late 2010 then followed with the launch of its Winnebago towable brand last summer.
Winnebago delivered 562 towable units, up from 85 units in the previous year. The company is expecting continued improvement in travel trailer and fifth-wheel sales, particularly heading into the prime selling season.
Motorhome deliveries also increased, up 10.1% in the quarter to 1,001 units compared with 909 the year prior. All categories outpaced the previous year.
Thor Motor Coach has been recognized as 2011’s top retailing brand of motorhomes in North America, according to Statistical Surveys Inc.
The company’s Class C motorhomes captured the No. 1 position in 2011 with a 24% market share while posting a 17.5% year-over-year increase. In addition, Thor Motor Coach’s gas-powered Class A sales held a 23.7% market share.
The company attributed its success to a “talented dealer network.”
“Reines RV and Thor Motor Coach have been partners for over 12 years,” said Lindsey Reines, owner of Reines RV in Manassa, Va. “Finding the right motorhome manufacturer was an important factor for our long term success as an RV dealership. Thor Motor Coach’s products have always been known as ‘the best value’ with a solid reputation for standing behind their motorhomes.”
Thor Motor Coach said that consumer focused programs such as “Gold Star Inspections” and “Concierge Connection” emphasize a commitment to quality driven products.
“You cannot be the top single brand retailer of motorhomes without partnering with great dealers,” said Jeff Kime, president of Thor Motor Coach. “These alliances are essential, allowing us to provide our customers a superior ownership experience.”
For more information on Thor Motor Coach motorhomes, visit http://ThorMotorCoach.com.
Year-over-year motorhome sales began 2012 with moderate change, down 6.7% in January.
According to the latest report from Statistical Surveys Inc., Winnebago Industries Inc. was the overall motorhome sales leader for the month with a 20.2% market share followed by Thor Industries Inc. (18.8%) and Tiffin Motorhomes Inc. (14.6%).
In the Class A category, overall sales in January declined 10.7% compared with 2011. Tiffin held the No. 1 position posting a 23.1% market share, edging out Winnebago with a 20% share. Fleetwood RV Inc. was No. 3, capturing a 15.6% market share.
Class C sales were flat for the month, up just 1%. Thor was the leader in January, holding a 24.5% market share, followed by Winnebago (20.7%) and Forest River Inc. (16.1%).
Statistical Surveys also includes rental units sold for the month, which reflected a 400% increase in January from a year ago. All of the rental units sold were Class C motorhomes.
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).
Tiffin Motorhomes Inc. finished 2011 as the nation’s leader for unit sales of Class A motorhomes, according to the latest report from Statistical Surveys Inc.
The Red Bay, Ala.-based builder held the No. 1 position for the year, holding a 21.1% market share, just edging out Winnebago with a 20.2% share. Thor was No. 3, owning a 17.3% market share. That was up from Tiffin’s 17.9 percent share in 2010.
“We appreciate the collaborative effort of our dealers and manufacturing team, and our loyal following from the Tiffin Motorhomes family of coach owners,” said General Manager Tim Tiffin in a press release. “As we look ahead to 2012, we’ll continue our commitment to customer service, supporting our dealers and doing what’s right for our customers.”
A family-owned business, Tiffin is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Its brands include the Allegro, Allegro RED, Allegro Breeze, Phaeton, Allegro Bus and Zephyr, available through a network of dealers throughout the U.S. and Canada.
In addition to the No. 1 overall position, Tiffin’s Phaeton ranked as the top-selling diesel pusher for the sixth consecutive year.
For more information, visit www.tiffinmotorhomes.com.
Year-over-year motorhome sales ended 2011 on a strong note, up 12.8% for December, but were flat for the full year with a 1.9% gain.
According to the latest report from Statistical Surveys Inc., Thor Industries Inc. was the overall motorhome sales leader for the 12 months with a 20% market share followed by Winnebago Industries Inc. (19%) and Forest River Inc. (12%).
In the Class A category, overall sales in December rose 7.9% compared with 2010 and edged up 1.6% year-to-date. Tiffin Motorhomes Inc. held the No. 1 position for the year, holding a 21.1% market share, just edging out Winnebago with a 20.2% share. Thor was No. 3, owning a 17.3% market share.
Class C sales soared 23% for the month and increased 2.3% for the full year. Thor was the leader for 2011, holding a 23.6% market share, followed by Forest River’s Coachmen division (18.2%) and Winnebago (17.5%).
Last year, Statistical Surveys also began tracking units sold for rental fleets, which reflected a 520% increase for the year. All but one of the rental units sold was a Class C motorhome.
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).
Thor Motor Coach (TMC) showcased a host of new motorhomes and features at the Jan. 10-15 Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa, providing a strong kickoff for the 2012 show circuit as the Elkhart, Ind.-based builder reported a 40% increase in retail sales compared to last year’s show.
“The Florida Super Show always gives us some indication of how the spring show season will go and it looks like it’s going to be a great year. The consumer reaction to our 2012 line-up was very positive,” Dana Simon, vice president of sales and marketing, said in a press release.
TMC said that the all-new 2013 Palazzo rear diesel “stole the show,” drawing crowds throughout the event. The industry received its first look at the Palazzo when it was unveiled in November at the RV National Trade show in Louisville, Ky. The Palazzo’s compact low-profile design makes it easy to drive while providing the amenities a premium motorhome shopper expects – as well as several they might not, according to TMC.
“The Palazzo, like the A.C.E., is a game changer creating a new segment in the market – attracting many buyers who thought a full-featured rear diesel coach was out of reach. While talking with new potential Palazzo owners at the show, it was clear the market has been waiting for this coach,” stated Adam Gudger, national sales manager for the Thor Motor Coach’s diesel division.
The A.C.E. continues its success as a crossover Class A motorhome. Recent additions include the 29.2 and all-new 30.1 floorplans. The 30-foot, 10 inch 30.1 model adds a second slideout, larger shower and more bedroom storage, in addition to the already well-equipped offerings of the entire A.C.E. lineup.
Making its debut, the 45-foot, 450-hp tag axle 45LT Tuscany also was well received. The 45LT offers a full-wall slide, expandable sofa, half bath with washer dryer option, dual vanity master bath, fireplace, and Sony electronics at a price point far less than its competitors.
For more information on Thor Motor Coach motorhomes, call (800)860-5658, or visit http://ThorMotorCoach.com.