The recreational vehicle industry continues to experience strong and steady growth, according to performance data from GE Capital, Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF), a major provider of financing to the industry.
According to a news release, early headwinds this year, including the unusually cold weather that impacted manufacturing and transportation issues that slowed down shipments, haven’t derailed the positive trajectory of the industry.
This upbeat sentiment is expected to be on display at the 7th Annual Elkhart County RV Open House, a major industry gathering for dealers and manufacturers, Sept. 16-18 in Elkhart, Ind.
“This is a busy time of year for both dealers and manufacturers as new models are introduced and orders are placed for next year,” said Tim Hyland, president of CDF’s RV group. “Dealers should feel confident in continued consumer interest and a relatively healthy economy as they plan their inventory needs for next year.”
Through June, CDF data is showing dealer inventory turnover running at a strong annual rate of over 2X and aging rates, reflecting inventory over one year old, remains healthy at under 10%. Additionally, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) is predicting that the industry should expect to grow almost 9% in shipments for the full year, up from just under 6% projected earlier in the year.
“While the industry is growing at a slightly slower pace than 2013’s record year, it is still growing, and just as importantly, dealers are doing an excellent job in managing inventory,” said Hyland. “While weather and shipment delays contributed to a slower start to the year, the industry is in good position to meet or exceed RVIA’s full-year shipment projection.”
The RV industry’s resurgence after a tough period following the downturn five years ago is helping to fuel the broader U.S. middle market’s performance.
Seventy percent of middle market companies, representing approximately 200,000 firms with revenues of $10 million to $1 billion, project revenue grow this year, according to the National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM)’s latest poll. The NCMM, a partnership between GE Capital and The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, also reported in its second quarter Middle Market Indicator that 63% of middle market companies will make capital investments that add jobs, equipment, enable acquisitions or train employees.
“The RV industry, like many recreational industries, is closely aligned with consumer confidence,” said Hyland. “With the NCMM reporting record high confidence in the U.S. economy and manufacturing experiencing strong growth, the RV industry will benefit from this positive trend.”
CDF has supported the RV industry with flexible inventory financing products for more than 30 years. Inventory financing, also known as floorplan financing, allows dealers to stock, market and sell a wide variety of products from RV manufacturers.