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RV dealers in the Detroit area are pleased with their sales volume so far this year, according to the Macomb Daily newspaper.
“Our first two shows have been better than any in the last three years,” said Bill Ladd, general sales manager at Roseville RV in Chesterfield Township.
“Normally, we’d generate sales leads on 10 to15 (Fleetwood Enterprises Inc.) Wilderness units, but this year at the (Pontiac) Silverdome show we made deals on 18 Wilderness units and 15 Pioneers.”
Ladd said part of the success for Roseville RV is a decision made by the dealership’s management last year to add an entry-level travel trailer to the showroom lineup. After investigating the options, the dealership decided to stick with the Fleetwood name, which it has been associated with for 30-plus years and bring the Pioneer on board, with options in the $10,000-and-less range.
Fleetwood introduced the Pioneer early in 2001. It is built exclusively at a relatively new Fleetwood plant in Campbellsville, Ky.
Lowery Travel Trailers in Warren, Mich., also is off to a good start in 2003, said Rick Lowery, owner.
“We’re doing better than we expected at the shows so far this year,” Lowery said. “It’s not something I can put my finger on as to what it is, but we’ve been very pleased by the response.”
Lowery said the biggest share of the interest his dealership is seeing is coming in the $10,000 to $25,000 price range. He said he thinks many towables in that price range appeal to families that don’t want to fly to go on vacation.
Class B motorhomes also are becoming popular with empty-nesters because they get better mileage than Class A’s or Class C’s and “you can use them around town for daily use,” Lowery said.
Lowery Trailers recently added the new Leisure Spirit Class B, which starts at $69,900 and features a Mercedes Benz diesel engine that gets about 22 miles per gallon. “It’s great for use for transporting, using it to drive to the condo in Florida because you can live out of it for a couple of days (while en route) very easily,” he said.
The Leisure Spirit is built by Canada’s Leisure Travel Vans 1999 Ltd. on Freightliner’s Sprinter commercial vehicle chassis.
Lower interest rates are continuing to help RV sales, according to Dennis Anderson, towables manager at General RV in Wixom and Brownsville.
“With 5% interest and 20-year financing, many RVs cost less than cars,” Anderson said. “People know RV travel is inexpensive compared to staying in hotels and traveling by air. There’s more comfort and security and no lines at ticket counters.”