Motorhome retail sales grew 18% in December – bolstered by a 30% jump in the Class C sector – and were up 7.6% for the full year compared to 2003, according to Statistical Surveys Inc.
Tom Walworth, president of the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based independent research firm, said that a flat December in 2003 “may have made the numbers look that much better,” but acknowledged that the industry had ended on a strong note. “It was a big bump over the previous year,” he said.
During December, 3,333 motorhomes were sold off dealers’ lots, up significantly over the 2,821 units retailed the previous year. Class A retail sales posted a 14.4% increase as 2,445 units were sold versus 2,138 in 2003 while Class C sales rose sharply with 888 units sold compared to 683.
“I really didn’t see any big influence from the rental sector that would have caused that big of an increase in Class C sales,” Walworth said. “I think we’re seeing actual growth in Class C’s.”
For the year, motorhome sales reached 61,146 units compared to 56,827 in 2003. Class C sales surpassed the previous year by 14.6% with 19,656 units sold while Class A sales were up 4.6% to 41,490 units compared to 39,672.
Fourth quarter results versus 2003 showed a 5.1% increase in overall motorhome sales to 11,510 units; Class A sales gained 4.2% with 8,437 units retailed; and Class C sales grew 7.9% with 3,073 units sold.
Statistical Surveys noted the state of New Hampshire was not included in December and year-end numbers and the firm does not collect data from Hawaii.