The 2012-2013 Michigan Association of Recreational Vehicles & Campgrounds (MARVAC) show season wrapped up this past weekend with all five shows posting the highest consumer attendance in years.
According to a press release, the show season began on a strong note with the Fall Detroit Camper & RV Show up 30% in visitors, and RV dealers optimistic for the upcoming year. This was followed in February by the Detroit Camper & RV Show which was up 13%, the highest in over 12 years.
MARVAC said that shows in Battle Creek, Flint and Traverse City continued the positive energy with excellent attendance and sales.
“Michigan residents continue to look at the recreation vehicle lifestyle as an increasingly popular way to travel and vacation with their family in a safe and efficient way,” said Bill Sheffer, MARVAC director. “This year’s show reflected an increase in attendance from both new RV enthusiasts and veteran RV owners looking to upgrade their recreation vehicle in 2013.”
Last year began this upward trend with motorhome sales rising 7.3% nationally from 2011, according to Statistical Surveys Inc. RV shipments are projected to grow 7.5% in 2013 to 307,300 units, according to economist Richard Curtin, director, Surveys of Consumers at the University of Michigan.
Continued industry growth in 2013 is evident by MARVAC’s shows, but many factors will contribute to this growth and interest in the RV industry in 2013. Economic growth, more expendable household income and greater availability for financing is expected to have a positive impact on consumers and sales well into the camping season.
The Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC) is a statewide, non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging growth in the recreation vehicle and private campground industries while contributing to the quality of Michigan tourism. For more information, visit www.marvac.org.
RV wholesale shipments to retailers continued to rise in February this year, growing 6% above last month and were 6% ahead of this same month last year on shipments of 26,120 units. This was the best February total since 2008 with nearly all vehicle categories participating in the improvement. February’s shipments pushed the year-to-date total to 50,499 units, a 16.6% gain over the first two months last year. On a seasonally adjusted basis, February shipments were at an annual rate of more than 300,000 units. Year-to-date, the seasonal rate represented more than 320,000 units annualized.
Lincolnshire, Ill.-based Camping World RV Sales today (March 20) reported 2012 revenue on rolling stock sales of $1.48 billion, a 28.8% increase over 2011.
According to a news release, income from operations for the year totaled $67.4 million, an increase of 74% over 2011 results.
The company noted that the results do not include revenue or income from operations of the company’s affiliate Good Sam Enterprises LLC.
RV enthusiasts turned out in high numbers, resulting in record sales at GS Media & Events’ RV Shows in January and early February, the company reported.
“GS Media and Events has access to vast resources of RV enthusiasts across the country, reaching qualified RV buyers nationwide through direct mail marketing as well as email campaigns to past show attendees, Good Sam Club members, as well as current or past Camping World customers,” said Barbara Ronning, marketing and project manager for GS Media and Events. “Through these avenues, GS Media and Events reaches those consumers most likely to be looking to upgrade to a new model, trade in their old units, or even buy their very first RV. By providing quality, feature-packed shows, attendees return to our shows year after year.”
Comments on specific shows follow:
• Regarding the Colorado RV Adventure Travel Show held Jan. 9-12, Jim Humble, of Windish RV Center in Lakewood, Colo., said, “The January show was very good. Traffic was very solid even with cold weather and a Bronco game on Saturday. Sales were similar to 2012 show, a record year for Windish RV Center. We saw great traffic in the weeks after the show as well, and we will continue to do shows with GS Media and events as they are a huge part of our yearly success.”
• The Mid-America RV Show was held Jan. 17-20 in Kansas City, Mo. Daryn Anderson, general manager of Olathe Ford RV Center in Kansas City noted, “This was probably the best show as far as sales that we have had in many years. The show attendance seemed very large and the quality of the folks looking to purchase was also very encouraging for us. We are starting to plan for our attendance next year and definitely look forward to being a part of the Mid-America RV Show for many years to come.”
• At the Minneapolis/St. Paul RV Vacation & Camping Show earlier in February, Coates RV Center of Forest Lake, Minn., reported record sales. Sarah Lange, owner of Coates RV, said, “This was our best show on record for sales, and we are very pleased with the results. Saturday traffic was heaviest I have seen, and we have had great follow-up with qualified leads in the weeks following the show. This is the best show to reach our potential customers.”
• At the New Jersey RV & Camping Show in January, record attendance was set, explained Anthony Tedesco, show manager. “We had very strong reports of show sales from dealers. Crossroads Trailers reported the strongest level of sales since 2004, which was the height of the RV industry boom. In Greenville, S.C., strong attendance was reported with more than 100 units sold at the South Carolina RV and Camping Show. This year, we doubled the size of the show and quadrupled dealer participation.”
• Record attendance was also set at the Atlantic City RV Show in February with dealers reporting excellent sales, said Ronning.
Upcoming RV shows for GS Media and Events include events in Providence, R.I., El Paso, Texas, and Milwaukee, Wis. All of these shows are part of the Progressive Insurance RV and Outdoor Show Series and will feature a variety of RVs, campground information and accessories along with expert advice and entertainment.
For more information about upcoming consumer shows, exhibitor lists and discounted online tickets to the shows, visit www.GSEvents.com.
The Battle Creek Camper & RV Show, sponsored by the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles & Campgrounds (MARVAC), experienced a 20% increase in attendance over the 2012 show, according to a press release.
The show ran March 7-10 at the Kellogg Arena in downtown Battle Creek. MARVAC reported that it was a later starting date – the show normally runs in January – and early spring type weather may have accounted for a higher number of visitors purchasing RVs and also showing greater interest in the campground and accessory displays.
This was the second spring show sponsored by the association with two more events scheduled for Flint and Traverse City over the next two weeks. This year’s Detroit Camper & RV Show experienced record attendance at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi in mid-February. MARVAC member dealers are reporting strong show sales and higher than usual lot traffic in the first two and half months of 2013.
MARVAC is a statewide, non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging growth in the recreation vehicle and private campground industries while contributing to Michigan tourism. For more information, visit www.marvac.org.
Thor Industries Inc. announced double-digit gains in revenue and earnings for its fiscal second quarter, ended Jan. 31.
Sales for the second quarter totaled $741.6 million, up 24% from $597 million in the second quarter last year, while net income was $19.9 million, up 45% from $13.7 million in the prior-year second quarter. Diluted earnings per share (EPS) for the second quarter were 37 cents, up 48% from 25 cents in the second quarter last year.
For the six months, sales totaled $1.617 billion, up 27% from $1.270 billion in the prior-year period. Net income during the period was $50.9 million, up 41% compared to $36 million in the first six months of fiscal 2012. Diluted EPS were 96 cents versus 66 cents in the prior-year period.
The overall effective tax rate for the second quarter of fiscal 2013 was 22.1% compared to 36.4% for the second quarter last year and was favorably impacted by the settlement of certain state uncertain tax benefits and the retroactive reinstatement of various tax credits.
“We are pleased with the continued growth in revenues we were able to achieve in the second quarter,” said Bob Martin, Thor president and COO. “As we have said in our recent press releases, the RV and bus markets remain very competitive, with elevated levels of discounting on certain products. In the first and second quarters, we made the decision to defend our RV shelf space on dealer lots and maintain momentum with our dealers. Similarly, in our bus business we decided to strategically pursue and win certain bus contracts which required more aggressive pricing, including contracts for entry into new markets.”
Highlights from the report included:
• Total RV segment sales were $636.6 million, up 27% from $501.0 million in the second quarter last year. RV segment income before tax was $31 million, up 35% from $22.9 million in the prior-year period. As a percent of revenues, total RV income before tax rose to 4.9% from 4.6% in the prior year as an increase in sales of higher priced units was partially offset by increased discounts and incentives.
• Towable RV sales were $522.8 million, up 18% from $444.2 million in the prior-year period. Income before tax was $24.1 million, up 14% from $21.2 million in the second quarter last year. Towable RV income before tax fell to 4.6% of revenues from 4.8% a year ago, as increasing unit volumes were more than offset by increased discounts and incentives.
• Motorized RV sales were $113.8 million, more than double the $56.8 million in the prior-year second quarter. Income before tax was $6.9 million, up from $1.7 million last year. As a percent of revenues, motorized RV income before tax rose to 6.1% of revenues from 3.1% a year ago, as increased unit volumes resulted in improved operating leverage.
• Bus segment sales were $105.0 million, up 9% from $96.0 million in the second quarter last year. Income before tax was $1.3 million, compared to $2.6 million in the second quarter last year. Bus segment income before tax fell to 1.3% of revenues from 2.7% a year ago as a result of more aggressive pricing on certain contracts.
“Thor generated strong gains in both revenues and net income during the second quarter, driven primarily by continued strength in the RV market,” said Peter B. Orthwein, Thor chairman and CEO. “Our results for the second quarter reflect the dealer optimism that has been building over the past several months, which is now supported by improving retail traffic and sales at the early spring shows. Based on current market trends, we expect continued sales growth and second half operating margins consistent with the second half of fiscal 2012.”
To view the entire report click here.
Camping World Inc., the nation’s largest RV and outdoor retailer, today (March 7) announced that it has arranged for additional land on the heels of another successful year at its Harrisburg, Pa., location.
According to a press release, the RV dealership is currently transitioning from Grumbine’s RV to Camping World Super Center of Harrisburg. Grumbine’s RV has been part of the Camping World nationwide chain for almost nine years and seen exceptional growth.
“With a significant presence in Harrisburg, we know from first-hand experience that the city of Harrisburg and the state of Pennsylvania have a business-friendly environment that encourages investment,” said Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Camping World. “Expanding in Harrisburg allows us to bring additional jobs and significant tax revenue into the Harrisburg economy. With the continued support of city officials and land owners, Camping World is in final stages of expanding the new location. We look forward to extending our commitment to the Harrisburg metropolitan area and the great of state of Pennsylvania for future growth.”
“Camping World has a long-standing relationship with the city of Harrisburg and the state of Pennsylvania. We are very excited to be expanding our location in Harrisburg after many years of discussions and planning,” continued Lemonis. “Shoppers can expect to see a wide selection of RV, parts and accessories at competitive prices, along with top-notch customer service from our knowledgeable sales team. The renovation of this location demonstrates our commitment to the South Central Pennsylvania region and will give the Harrisburg-area residents a convenient place to shop for all of their RV needs. Early discussions have shown strong support and interest from multiple manufacturers, suppliers and vendors looking for additional expansion into this growing market.”
The new Camping World facility is supported by a nearby location in Hanover, Pa.
Jeff and Dorenda Bell threaded their way through a majestic fleet of Berkshires and Charlestons, as well as the more modest Ever-Lites and Grey Wolfs during last weekend’s 56th annual Colorado RV, Sports, Boat and Travel Show at the National Western Complex in Denver, Colo.
As reported by the Denver Post, they’re not in the market for a high-end recreational vehicle but wanted to fantasize just a bit about tooling around the country in a $600,000 McMansion on wheels.
“We just like to look at everything and dream,” said Dorenda Bell as they checked out the newest models displayed at the
The Bells are in good company. Last year’s RV show drew more than 30,000 people, and more were expected at the show this year.
Most will also be merely looky-loos. But others will arrive with intent to buy one of the 150 motorhomes, fifth-wheels and travel trailers off the lot. After all, financing is available.
“There really is a price range for everyone,” show spokeswoman Laurie Hallowell said.
This weekend’s offerings range from simple pop-up camping trailers for $4,000 to 44-foot-long Class A motorhomes with bedrooms outfitted with queen size beds, satellite, 32-inch LCD TVs and three-burner ranges with an oven. The base retail price for a Class A starts at about $120,000 and runs to $550,000 — or more.
And people are buying them, despite a massive hit delivered by the Great Recession of 2008. In that year, RV sales plummeted by 32.9%t with only 237,000 shipments. Another bad year followed in 2009, but in 2010, the industry rebounded with a 46.2% hike in RV shipments, followed by 4% growth in 2011 and a 13 percent increase in 2012, industry officials said.
In Colorado, sales of fifth-wheel campers and other recreational trailers were up 14% in 2012, said Windish RV Center manager Jim Humble.
To read the entire article click here.
Bigger, better and newer was the focus at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds E-Plex in Springfield, Mo., where people were dreaming of spring and summer camping trips.
Vendors said crowds were good for the weekend Springfield RV Megashow, where those who attended were able to see dozens of new recreational vehicles and trailers on display. Some of those visiting said the vehicles seem to be getting larger, the Springfield News-Leader reported.
Kenneth and Jessica Dawn, of Republic, said they would prefer to stick with something not so large, such as their current 26-foot camper.
“There’s a trend, everything is getting bigger and lighter,” Kenneth Dawn said. “I’m not sure I like that. Not everyone wants to have to pull behind a one-ton truck. It’s getting harder to find the smaller ones.”
Dawn also said he, his wife and 2-year-old daughter like to camp in an area where low tree limbs would make it hard to park a large vehicle.
Maurice Guerin, of Columbia, on the other hand, has a 39-foot fifth-wheel he’s considering trading in for something at least that size. He said he started with a pop-up trailer 20 years ago and keeps upgrading every few years.
“They’re light and they pull better,” he said of the new models. “Like anything else, they keep getting better.”
He said the vendors at the event were competing with each other in price. He thought he could replace his RV for somewhere in the mid-$40,000 range.
Rodney Sullins, of Sullins RV near Branson, said this year’s Megashow was the busiest he has seen in the last seven or eight years.
“The traffic is great,” he said. “The economy for RVs seems to be fine.”
He said there does seem to be a trend toward what he called “bigger and fancier” RVs and trailers. He said customers like many new features, such as self-leveling, that have come out in the last year or two.
He also said the large pickups needed for hauling the trailers get better gas mileage now, making it more feasible for customers to pull a large trailer.
“The same truck is now getting 20 miles to the gallon instead of 13,” he said. “GM and Ford have really stepped up there.”
Melissa Adams, business manager for Mid-America RV of Carthage, agreed that the crowds were good. She said the company brought 14 units to the event and had sold seven of them by Sunday afternoon.
The name of the game in the world of recreational vehicle sales is consumer confidence.
As reported by the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune, things appear to be heading consistently in the right direction there, based on the latest numbers from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
January numbers — 24,379 shipments — are up by 30.5% over January of 2012. And that comes on the heels of a 2012 that saw each and every month beat the corresponding month in 2011 when it comes to shipments.
In fact, 2012 RV shipments were up 13.2% over 2011, totaling 285,749. And 2011 was 4.1% higher than 2010.
Mark Bowersox, the executive director of the Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council (RVIC), was pleased with the January shipment news while also offering a unique perspective on the sequester and how it could affect consumer confidence and spending.
Bowersox thinks the sequester that’s poised to cut $85 billion in federal spending from March through September and with it thousands of government jobs might have very little effect.
“I think on March 2 the sun is still going to rise,” Bowersox said. “The interesting thing to me over the last couple years as the country has grown out of this recession is the fact that the American public seems to be getting more and more comfortable with the idea that they’re not going to be totally comfortable anymore.
“It used to be any little blip in the stock market, fuel prices or unemployment numbers … or whatever, it would have people stop and tighten the screws a little bit and wait until everything settled down.
“Those kinds of things that would have gotten an emotional reaction are more easily accepted these days.”
To read the entire story click here.