Sales have picked up for Newmar Corp.’s towable and core diesel and gas products, according to company executives attending the 8nd Annual Family Motor Coach Association Convention (FMCA) in Bowling Green, Ohio, which ended Thursday.
”We’ve been in production either four or five days a week for the last 12 weeks,” said Kyle McCrary, director of luxury products and product design for the Nappanee, Ind., manufacturer. ”Our towables and our core diesels and gas (motorhomes) are doing extremely well. The high-end is still a little slow, a little challenging.”
Newmar Chairman Matt Miller also said that Newmar’s recently announced program of providing maintenance and repairs for non-Newmar products has gone well. ”We see a need for disenfranchised owners who perhaps don’t have a place to go to get service,” Miller said.
About 2,600 coaches pre-registered for the FMCA convention on the grounds of Bowling Green State University and Wood County Fairgrounds about 25 miles south of Toledo.
While not suggesting that things have turned around completely, McCrary said that Newmar expects business to pick up in 2010, primarily agreeing with Richard Curtin of the University of Michigan for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) who estimates that wholesale shipments will increase by 24% next year.
”We are gaining market with our gas products,” McCrary said. ”Some of that has to do with changes that we made in our products, but it also has to do with some of the economic issues that our competitors have faced.”
He said some prospective high-end buyers are concerned about the tax policies that are being discussed in Congress and by the Obama administration.
McCrary noted that ”financial issues” are continuing to vex the industry, on both the wholesale and retail sides of the equation but not to the degree they did earlier in the year.
”We are seeing a definite turn, a trend,” McCrary said. ”We are seeing us start to move out of this bottleneck that was created by the lack of banks’ lending money, whether it was on the wholesale or retail end of it.
”But the (lack of credit) has created a huge pent up demand,” he said. ”When this thing does finally move, we are ready for it. We see that it is happening. It is definitely coming.”