Higher interest rates have cooled-off the motorhome market, but Elkhart, Ind.-based Damon Corp. reports, “retail has been stronger the last few weeks, it’s outpacing our production,” said Gary Groom, president.
With interest rates as high as they have been since 1991, many dealers – fearing high finance charges – have become reluctant to order as many units – particularly motorhomes – as the manufacturers would like.
However, Groom said dealers are continuing to order “units that move off the lot. If a unit sells fairly rapidly, that cuts down on your floorplan costs.”
The closely held Damon, which ranked No. 9 in motorhome retail sales last year, cut its work week to four days “a couple of months ago,” so it did not over-build model year 2000 units, Groom said.
Now, Damon is building model year 2001 units, he said.
Damon has not laid-off any workers, Groom added.
“There’s been a little pull-back, a little dip that in a lot of regards is good for the market,” Groom said. “It’s taken out a lot of the excesses and put things in better alignment.
“Dealers have been cautious but the retail demand is continuing on,” he said.
Motorhome purchases may have been postponed, but they have not been canceled, Groom added.