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The recreational vehicle market showed sharp declines in July, down nearly 40% as all vehicle sectors except Class B motorhomes incurred double-digit drops in year-over-year comparisons.
According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), overall July shipments fell 38.7% to 17,100 units from 27,900 in 2007. For the seven months, deliveries were down 19.8% to 179,600 units compared with 223,900 a year ago.
Craig Kennison, analyst for Robert W. Baird and Co., termed the conditions in the RV sector “dreadful,” noting: “Lower shipments reflect reduced industry capacity and reduced dealer orders amid falling retail demand and an uncertain outlook. Making matters worse, dealer exits and consumer foreclosures may provide alternative sources of inventory for dealers, putting more pressure on manufacturers.”
July travel trailer shipments decreased 35.8% to 9,500 units versus 14,800 the year prior while deliveries fell 15.9% to 96,300 units from 114,500 for the seven months.
The Class A wholesale market continued its slide in July, representing the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year declines above 30%. Deliveries for the month were down 55% to 900 units compared with 2,000 last year. Through July, shipments retreated 43.7% with 11,200 units shipped versus 19,900 in 2007.
Other highlights from the report include:
• Overall July towable shipments decreased 36.2% to 15,500 units from 24,300 a year ago and the motorized sector declined 55.6% to 1,600 units compared with 3,600. Year-to-date, towable deliveries dropped 17% to 157,700 units from 189,900 a year ago while motorized deliveries declined 35.6% to 21,900 units versus 34,000.
• July Class C shipments were down 60% with 600 units delivered compared with 1,500 in 2007. Year-to-date the sector dropped 23.8% to 9,300 units from 12,200.
• For the month, fifth-wheel shipments fell 25.4% to 4,400 units from 5,900 in 2007. Year-to-date, the segment was down 14.7% with 43,100 units shipped compared with 50,500 the previous year.
• July Class B deliveries were flat with 100 units shipped and dropped 500 units to 1,400 for the seven months.
• July folding camping trailer shipments declined 28.6% to 500 units from 700 a year ago and were down 22.9% through July with 14,600 units shipped versus 20,100.
• Truck camper shipments fell 200 units to 500 in July and declined 22.9% to 3,700 units from 4,800 year-to-date.