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Conversion-vehicle industry executives are meeting in Elkhart, Ind., today (June 3) to work on a plan to revive their businesses, and new data from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) appears reinforce the fact that there is a need to do something.
While RV shipments increased 21.8% in April, conversion-vehicle shipments from factories to auto dealers fell by 19.6% the same month, the RVIA reports.
There were 4,100 conversion vehicles shipped in April, compared with 5,100 in April 2003.
After the first four months of this year, conversion-vehicle shipments were down 27.6% to 15,200 units, compared with 21,000 in the first four months of 2003.
Van-conversion shipments fell by 25% in April to 2,700 units, compared with 3,600 in April 2003.
After the first four months of this year, van-conversion shipments were down 24.4% to 10,200 units, compared with 13,500 a year earlier.
Pickup conversions bucked the trend somewhat, increasing 9.1% in April to 1,200 units, compared with 1,100 a year earlier. But after the first four months of this year, shipments of converted pickups were down 29.8% to 4,000 units, compared with 5,700 in the same period a year earlier.
Meanwhile, shipments of converted sport utility vehicles (SUVs) fell 50% in April to 200 units, compared with 400 a year earlier. After the first four months of this year, shipments of converted SUVs declined 44.4% to 1,000 units, versus 1,800 a year earlier.