Airstream Inc. has increased production by 30% over the last six weeks to meet a growing wholesale and retail demand for its trailers, the company announced in a press release.

Over the last 18 months, the RV industry has taken a major hit because of the economy, and the Jackson Center, Ohio-based subsidiary of Thor Industries Inc. has not been immune from the downturn, said CEO Bob Wheeler. However, in recent weeks the company has seen a strong uptick in retail and wholesale demand.

According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), overall RV sales in July ran at the strongest annual rate since October 2008, signaling an overall industry turnaround.

Wheeler said Airstream has grown its production backlog from an all-time low of three weeks to a high of 11 weeks, and as a result is expanding its staffing to support the production boost, something that the company has not done since late 2006.

“The RV industry tends to lead the general economy both in and out of recessions, so our growth spells good things for the economy as a whole,” said Wheeler. “In the course of 78 years, Airstream has encountered numerous ups and downs, and as a result we feel that we are well-positioned to recover quickly. We are prepared to embrace what will hopefully be a very successful 2010.”

Airstream also reports that sales in its primary European markets of England, Germany and Holland are also experiencing a marked recovery.