Wholesale shipments sank in August, down 44.4%, as all sectors showed sharp declines in year-over-year comparisons.
The report marked the fourth straight month that deliveries incurred 25-plus percent dropoffs. Shipments have lagged behind 2007 totals every month this year.
According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), overall August shipments totaled 16,900 units compared with 30,400 a year ago. For the eight months, deliveries fell 22.7% to 196,500 units from 254,300 the year prior.
August travel trailer shipments decreased 41.4% to 9,200 units versus 15,700 last year while deliveries dropped 19% to 105,500 units from 130,200 year-to-date.
The Class A wholesale market showed its largest dropoff this year in August, down 69% with 900 units shipped versus 2,900 in 2007. For the eight months, the sector retreated 46.9% with 12,100 units delivered versus 22,800 a year ago.
Kathryn Thompson, analyst with Avondale Partners LLC, noted: “August’s 69% decrease in Class A shipments likely marks the death rattle for any motorhome manufacturers on the ropes. We anticipate additional manufacturer and dealer failures, as we enter the seasonally slow fall period.”
Other highlights from the report include:
• Overall August towable shipments decreased 40.4% to 15,200 units from 25,500 the previous year and the motorized sector declined 65.3% to 1,700 units compared with 4,900. Year-to-date, towable deliveries dropped 19.7% to 172,900 units from 215,400 a year ago while motorized deliveries declined 39.3% to 23,600 units versus 38,900.
• August Class C shipments were down 64.7% with 600 units delivered compared with 1,700 in 2007. Year-to-date the sector dropped 28.8% to 9,900 units from 13,900.
• For the month, fifth-wheel shipments fell 40.8% to 4,200 units from 7,100 in 2007. Year-to-date, the segment was down 17.9% with 47,300 units shipped compared with 57,600 the previous year.
• August Class B deliveries fell 100 units to 200 and dropped 600 units to 1,600 for the eight months.
• August folding camping trailer shipments declined 28.6% to 1,500 units from 2,100 a year ago and were down 27.5% through August with 16,100 units shipped versus 22,200.
• Truck camper shipments fell 300 units to 5300 in August and declined 25.9% to 4,000 units from 5,400 year-to-date.