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Gasoline prices increased sharply during the past month and diesel fuel prices are at record levels, but sales at mega dealership Lazydays RV SuperCenter, Seffner, Fla., have, so far, been unaffected, said Ken Scolaro, general sales manager.
Scolaro does not believe RV sales will be affected until fuel prices go well above $2 a gallon.
Currently, in the Tampa, Fla., area, where Lazydays is located, regular unleaded gas costs $1.716 a gallon, which is above the national average of $1.663 a gallon, according to Fuelgaugereport.com, a service of the American Automobile Association (AAA).
Diesel fuel in the Tampa area now costs $1.836 a gallon which also is above the national average of $1.754 a gallon, according to Fuelgaugereport.com.
The all-time high price for diesel fuel, on a national average basis, is $1.755 a gallon, which was established Tuesday (Feb. 18).
However, Scolaro said concerns about the availability of fuel have a greater impact on RV sales than the price of fuel, at least at current levels. That is because the cost of fuel is a relatively small component of the total cost of an RV vacation, he said.
In fact, Lazydays’ sales of gas-engine motorhomes in the $75,000 to $125,000 retail price range are up 15% when compared with the same time a year-ago, even though that is one of the most price-sensitive segments of the RV market, according to Scolaro.
And because currently there are no concerns about fuel supplies being depleted, Lazydays’ sales-lot traffic and the number of phone calls from consumers have not declined, Scolaro said. If lot traffic and the number of phone calls declines, then sales declines can be expected two or three months later, he said.
Lazydays, which achieved a record $696.5 million in sales revenue in 2002, is conservative in its outlook for 2003, Scolaro added. The dealership sold around 7,000 new motorhomes and towable RVs in 2002, and it has targeted new unit sales of around 7,200 units for 2003, including around 1,500 towables, he said.
Lazydays accounts for around 38% of the Florida retail market for motorhomes, Scolaro said.