After strong retail sales during the first quarter of 2000, last year turned out to be a big disappointment for the motorhome segment of the RV industry, according to data gathered by Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm.

Retail sales of new Class A motorhomes declined 9% in 2000 to 39,630 units and new Class C motorhome volume was down 8% to 16,237 units retailed, Statistical Surveys reports.

Last year got off to a promising start with Class A retail sales increasing 6% to 9,814 units sold during the first quarter. The Class C category also got 2000 started on an upbeat note with a 9% increase during the first three months of 2000 to 3,471 units retailed.

However, declines occurred the remaining three quarters of 2000, when compared with record levels of 1999.

For Class A’s, the fourth quarter was the worst with retail sales declining 22% to 7,882 units. Perhaps December was the low point. Class A retail sales were down 38% in December to 2,162 units, according to Statistical Surveys.

For Class C’s, the third quarter was the worst with retail sales declining 22% to 4,271 units. During the fourth quarter, Class C sales were down 11% to 2,707 units, and in December, retail volume was down 29% to 667 units.

For more details about the industry’s performance during 2000, and the outlook for 2001, see the April edition of RV Business magazine.