The RV industry is not alone in experiencing relatively good retail sales after the start of the war in Iraq on March 19.
J.D. Power and Associates reports U.S. light-vehicle sales declined nearly 3% during the first week after the war began, a much smaller amount than the sharp plunge that occurred during the ground phase of the first Gulf War in 1991 and immediately after the Sept. 11 attacks, according to AutoNews.com, the website for Automotive News magazine.
“Auto sales remained sloppy in March but have not collapsed in the aftermath of the start of the Iraqi war,” said John Casesa, an analyst with Merrill Lynch Automotive Research.
The RV dealers interviewed by RVBUSINESS.COM in recent days generally said their sales since March 19 were better than they expected and, in some cases, were better than their late March sales during several previous years.
Low interest rates, the desire to be more in control while traveling on vacation and the aging of the Baby Boom Generation were cited as explanations for the RV retail market’s resiliency so far, according to the dealers who were interviewed.