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Was it the impact of the terrorist attacks on auto dealer psychology, or dealers’ reluctance to order year 2001 units at the end of the car industry’s model year?

Either way, conversion vehicle shipments plunged during September, according to data gathered by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).

Van conversion deliveries fell 50.8% in September to 3,100 units, the RVIA reported. After the first nine months of this year, van conversion shipments were down 44.8% to 34,100 units.

Meanwhile, shipments of converted pickups plunged 81.8% in September to only 400 units. After the first nine months of this year, converted pickup deliveries were down 54.3% to 12,700 units.

There were only 100 converted sport utility vehicles (SUVs) shipped to car dealers in September, an 83.3% decline from September 2000, the RVIA reported.

After the first nine months of this year, shipments of converted SUVs were down 33.3% to 3,600 units.