The “end of the model year blues” was a big reason why retail sales, by all indications, were down during May, according to two RV dealers interviewed recently by the Elkhart Truth in Indiana.
However, retail sales rebounded in June, although the dealers said that was largely because of marking down prices on 2003 model year units as the 2004s started to arrive, the newspaper reported.
Retail sales figures for May are not yet available but the factory-to-dealer shipments report for May was released Wednesday (July 2) by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
The RVIA reported that shipments of all categories of RVs declined 7.7% in May, when compared with May 2002, although there was a 4.1% increase in shipments of travel trailers, the largest single category.
Lenny Martynowicz, general manager of Michiana RV in Elkhart, said he stopped ordering 2003s in May but the dealership’s clearance sale in June went very well.
“We’ve had a great, great June and we’ve had a good start in July,” Martynowicz said. “There is no recession here.”
Michiana RV is No. 5 or No. 6 nationally in sales of units built by Coachmen Industries Inc. and Coachmen’s Georgie Boy Manufacturing subsidiary, he added.
Meanwhile, at Hart City RV, a major Newmar Corp. dealer, the 2003s are marked down because Newmar introduced its 2004s late in May, and Hart City, which is located 20 miles from Newmar’s factories, has some 2004s on its lot now.
“I think we’ll get caught up next month,” said Chris Hufer, vice president of sales at Hart City.