The Keystone RV Co., a subsidiary of Thor Industries Inc., achieved record wholesale shipments in April.
The Goshen, Ind. company significantly increased its factory capacity last year and that was reflected in the April shipments total, according to Executive Vice President Bill Fenech.
During the first four months of this year, Keystone’s shipments increased 33% over the same portion of 2002, and April sales are up 35%, compared to April 2002.
Fenech said the record ais even more remarkable when compared to the industry as a whole. During the first three months of this year, the most current data available, travel-trailer shipments were up 28.5%, but fifth-wheel shipments were down 0.7% according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
Keystone only builds travel trailers and fifth-wheels.
“Wholesale shipments are important because they are an early indicator of retail market share, which is our true performance report card,” Fenech said. “Our retail market share is growing and we expect it to continue to grow. “Customers are showing an outstanding preference for Keystone brands and we have the production capacity to fill their orders,” Fenech added.
In terms of retail market share, Keystone builds three of the Top 10 travel-trailer brands and three of the Top 10 fifth-wheel brands, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm.
During the first two months of this year, the most current data available, Keystone’s Springdale was the No. 5 travel-trailer brand, its Outback was No. 9 and its Sprinter was the No. 10.
In the fifth-wheel retail market, Keystone’s Montana was the top-selling brand during the first two months of this year and the Cougar was No. 2. Keystone’s Laredo also was No. 5 in terms of retail market share for fifth-wheels.
Thor, the parent of Keystone and Dutchmen Manufacturing Co., another major travel-trailer/fifth-wheel producer, was the retail market-share leader in the combined travel trailer/fifth-wheel market by a wide margin during the first two months of this year.
Thor subsidiaries accounted for 29.7% of all travel trailers and fifth-wheels sold during the first two months, Statistical Surveys reported.
The No. 2 producer was Forest River Inc., Goshen, Ind., with a retail market share of 14.2% for all of its brands, according to Statistical Surveys.