Bob Martin, president and CEO of Elkhart, Ind.-based Thor Industries Inc., kept using the word “amazing” Tuesday (March 24) afternoon as he spoke about the state of the RV industry.
The South Bend Tribune reported that February shipment numbers reported Tuesday by the Reston, Va.-based Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) showed the best February wholesale shipment totals since 2006 with 32,045 units. That’s a 4% gain over last year’s February total and 12.5% over January of this year. Additionally, the industry has now gone 38 straight months showing month-over-month increases from the previous year.
In a phone interview with the The Tribune, Martin was hard-pressed to find a negative.
Demographics continue to show younger buyers, which he noted bodes well for the industry. “Probably the most encouraging thing is when you go out and attend the shows, you just see new customers come to the industry,” he said. And the industry is already known for its high retention rate, he said. “Once people start in the lifestyle, they typically own multiple units over many years.”
Many new customers turn into the industry’s best customers, he said. “So with the new people coming in, that just gives us that feeling that it can go on for many years.”
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