Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. continues to gain retail market share in Class A motorhomes, which allowed the company to operate its motorhome assembly plants “at normal levels” through the end of April “even while competitors were working short weeks,” said Ed Caudill, president and CEO.
Fleetwood was the leader in Class A motorhomes during the first two months of this year, based on the most current data available, with a 22.1% retail market share, compared with 20.5% in the first two months of 2002, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm.
Fleetwood was the retail market-share leader in Class A’s every year from 1982 through 2000. Monaco Coach Corp. was the retail market-share leader in 2001, but Fleetwood recaptured the lead in 2002.
During the first two months of this year, Monaco was No. 2 in Class A’s with a 17.5% market share, Statistical Surveys reported.
“We (Fleetwood) continue to take advantage of sales promotions to respond to competitive pricing pressures as well as to assist our dealers in reducing prior-year inventory,” Caudill said of the company’s motorhome and towable RV operations.
Regarding towables in particular, Caudill said, “Inventory reduction has been vital to the successful introduction (at Louisville in December) of our ‘04 travel-trailer (and fifth-wheel) products.”
Fleetwood’s travel trailer/fifth-wheel sales revenue increased 19% during its fourth fiscal quarter, which ended last Sunday (April 27). Caudill said the higher volume and “improved production efficiencies” will result in the company’s travel-trailer/fifth-wheel operations reporting significantly improved financial results when compared with the third fiscal quarter.
Fleetwood will report its profits in about a month.
Meanwhile, although Fleetwood’s folding-camper division also gained retail market share, to 53.1% during the first two months of this year versus 49.1% a year earlier, its unit volume declined because retail sales of folding campers built by all manufacturers fell by 18.9% during the January-February period.
Consequently, Fleetwood’s folding-camper sales revenue declined by 26% in the February-through-April period because folding-camper buyers “tend to be more sensitive to economic concerns,” Caudill said.