The diesel pusher motorhome market has “begun to rebound slowly,” according to John Sztykiel, president and CEO of chassis supplier Spartan Motors Inc.
“The company’s order intake for motorhome chassis started slowly in 2003, but has picked-up in March and April,” said Sztykiel, whose company also builds fire truck chassis and ambulances. “We expect the motorhome market will continue to recover for the next few quarters, and then begin growing more quickly in the fourth quarter of 2003.”
Although Spartan’s motorhome chassis sales revenue declined during the first quarter, Sztykiel said sales of the company’s highline chassis, which include engines with at least 400-horsepower, were higher this year than during the first three months of 2002.
In total, Spartan saw its net earnings decline 22% during the three months ended March 31 to $2.6 million, compared with $3.3 million a year earlier. The Nasdaq Stock Market-traded company’s first quarter sales revenue also declined 9% to $60.4 million.
“While 2003 will be a challenge, it is similar to past challenges in the markets we know best: motorhomes and emergency-rescue,” Sztykiel said. “We are focused on executing more effectively in order to win market share and grow with our markets. Regardless of short-term market dynamics, we are continuing to focus on the business basics of making great products, generating cash flow and achieving a proper return on invested capital.”