Gulf Stream Coach Inc.’s sales volume at the recently completed Florida RV Supershow was “nearly double,” in terms of units, when compared with the 2001 Supershow, according to Brian Shea, president of the Indiana company’s Motorhome Division.

“We had our best show ever,” said Shea about the retail show in Tampa, which ended Sunday (Jan. 20). “We sold 40 motorhomes, and three more motorhome sales are pending. And we sold eight towables.”

Gulf Stream, Nappanee, Ind., was represented at the Supershow by three dealerships: Harberson Swanson Inc. of Holiday, Fla.; Long View RV Superstores, a dealership with locations in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and Leesburg, Fla.; and Sun RV Superstore of New Port Richey, Fla.

Gulf Stream’s sales during the five-day retail show in Tampa were strong across all price ranges, Shea said. Last year, the company’s higher priced units were most in demand. That explains why Gulf Stream’s sales revenue during the 2002 Supershow was up 33% versus 2001, while its unit volume nearly doubled, Shea said.

“We think 2002 will be an excellent year,” Shea said. “The dealer attitudes are positive, they are bringing on more inventory.”

The motorhome sector’s recession began during the second quarter of 2000 and the towable sector lapsed into recession during the third quarter of that year. However, the first quarter of 2000 was strong, and Shea believes the retail demand for RVs during 2002 will approach that of the first quarter of 2000.

“The (RV industry’s) cycle was exaggerated by dealers drawing down their inventory,” Shea believes. “But now, some manufacturers will have trouble shipping enough product during the next three months to satisfy the demand.”

Gulf Stream kept its production at a steady rate during the industry downturn, so Shea believes the company will be able to keep up with wholesale demand in the coming months.