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The retail market for RVs is strong in Michigan this year with motorhome sales increasing 11.4% and towables up 5.3% during the first five months of 2003, according to The Daily Oakland Press, which quotes the Michigan Association of Recreational Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC).
MARVAC data indicates the Michigan motorhome market is outperforming the market nationally because retail sales of Class A’s and Class C’s were up 5.8% during the first five months of the year in the 47 states from which Statistical Surveys Inc. was able to gather data.
Statistical Surveys was unable to gather data from Mississippi and New Hampshire in time for its report and the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company does not collect Hawaii’s data.
Meanwhile, the suburban Detroit newspaper quoted MARVAC as saying towable RV sales were up 5.3% in Michigan during the first five months of this year. Statistical Surveys, an independent market research firm, reports retail sales of travel trailers, fifth-wheels, folding campers and park models were up 1.4% during the first first five months of this year in the 48 states from which it was able to gather towables sales data.
Statistical Surveys also reports that retail sales of travel trailers and fifth-wheels alone were up 5.7% nationwide for the first five months of 2003.
Statistical Surveys was unable to gather retail sales data from New Hampshire or Hawaii for its towables report.
“From what we’ve heard, (dealers) are very pleased,” said Bill Sheffer, MARVC director.
As least one dealer, Larry Andree, president of A&S RV Center in Auburn Hills, Mich., feels confident enough to expand. Andree plans to double the size of his main building from 11,000 square feet to 24,000 square feet this winter and to expand his lot from five to nine acres for more outdoor display area.
He also talked about hiring more salespeople and mechanics.
“We’re excited about it,” he said.
The Oakland Daily Press interviewed interviewed a retired couple from the Detroit area, Rhonda and John Thede, who recently returned from a trip around Lake Superior in their 34-foot Bounder Class A.
“It seemed like every third vehicle was an RV,” Rhonda Thede said. “It’s getting crowded out there.”