Ford Motor Corp. has regained its status as the RV industry’s top supplier of gas-powered motorhome chassis.
The Dearborn, Mich.-based manufacturer’s share of the gas chassis market through June of this year was 55.2%, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., Grand Rapids, Mich. Workhorse Custom Chassis Inc., Union City, Ind., Ford’s only competitor, was No. 2 at 45.6%.
Dick Mooney, Ford’s manager of recreation and specialty vehicle sales, commercial truck sales and marketing, said Ford began gaining market share in January 2005 after coupling the F-53 Class A chassis with a 362-hp engine — the highest horsepower gas engine available.
“We think we have the right price and the right product at the right time,” Mooney said. “Our orders are strong for the remainder of the year, despite everything you are hearing about the RV (motorhome) business in general. We are strong.”
Mooney predicted that stabilizing gas prices and the potential for falling interest rates will return equilibrium to the recreational vehicle sector — particularly the motorhome segment. “All those things will lend themselves to a good market,” Mooney said. “When those things happen, consumer confidence will come back up and we’ll probably be fine. As long as they stabilize, people will get used to whatever the price of fuel is, whether it’s $2.50 or $3 a gallon.”
While sales of Ford Class A chassis are relatively strong, Ford’s Class C cutaway chassis business isn’t as brisk as it could be. “The C business is a little bit soft,” said Mooney. “Our ’06 orders for rentals (chassis used in motorhomes built for rental purposes) were off a little bit.”