The concern for the RV industry is out touch with reality, RVBusiness Magazine partner Gregg Fore said Monday (Sept.23).
As reported by the Elkhart Truth, Fore’s remarks came at an RV-themed Elkhart Rotary Club meeting on the first day of the Elkhart RV Open House.
Local Rotarians eager to understand what is going on in the bellwether of the local, if not national, economy gathered at the Matterhorn Conference Center to listen to Fore, who packs half a century of RV-related experience.
In addition to his role at RVBusiness, Fore is a partner at G&G Media, Woodalls Campground Management and Mill Race Partners. He is the retired president of Dicor Corp. and former chairman of the RV Industry Association.
RV shipments so far this year have been down 20.6% compared to 2018, which was down 4 percent from the record high in 2017 when the industry shipped 504,600 units. A recent report from RV industry analyst Richard Curtin, director of surveys of consumers at the University of Michigan, projected that the fall would be better than the rest of the year and that 401,200 units would be shipped for the year, down 17.1% rather than 20.6%.
Though Fore is generally optimistic on behalf of the industry, he thinks the fall won’t be that good.
“My personal opinion is it won’t be that high. I think it will be in the 390,000s somewhere, only because we’re eight months through the year in reports, and I don’t see how they’re going to get to 400,000,” Fore said. “But I could be wrong. I hope I am.”
Fore said the number of units at RV dealerships in the U.S. went up by 75,000 over the course of 2017 and 2018.
That was partly because, for a time, dealers struggled to get RVs to their lots as fast as they could be sold. That led to dealers buying earlier in an attempt to anticipate demand. At the same time, transportation of units had been slow, sometimes taking six to eight weeks. As demand rose, manufacturers put up new plants, and transportation companies found solutions to their problems, and then suddenly dealers had too many units.
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