National RV Holdings Inc. went through a difficult couple of years, racking up nine consecutive quarterly losses and enduring market share declines, before returning to profitability during the final three months of 2003.
And the company’s improving financial performance is reflected in recent market share gains, CFO Mark Andersen said during the B. Riley & Co. Investor Conference in Las Vegas last week.
National RV Holdings, including its National RV and Country Coach subsidiaries, primarily builds Class A motorhomes. Its retail market share ranking in Class A’s, both gas and diesel, slipped from No. 5 in 1999 to No. 7 in 2002. During that period, its retail market share percentage fell from 8.2% in 1999 to 5.4% in 2002, said Andersen, who cited Statistical Surveys Inc. data.
National RV Holdings maintained the No. 7 ranking among Class A manufacturers in 2003, and its market share improved to 6.1%. Then in the fourth quarter of 2003, it climbed back to the No. 5 position with an even 7% share, and in January of this year, the company ranked No. 4 among Class A builders, with a 7.9% market share, Andersen said.
The retail market share improvement supported dramatic gains in shipments, which increased 126% in the case of National RV division gas Class A’s in the fourth quarter of last year. The National RV division’s gas Class A shipments increased 46% when all of 2003 is compared with 2002.
National RV Holdings’ diesel-pusher shipments also increased 35% during the final three months of last year and its diesel deliveries were up 6% when 2003 is compared with 2002.
In contrast, industrywide, Class A shipments, including gas and diesel units, were up a more modest 4.8% in 2003, compared with 2002, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
The Country Coach subsidiary only builds diesel engine Class A’s, while the National RV division builds gas and diesel Class A’s and ramp trailers, also called sport utility RVs.
Industrywide, 43% of all Class A’s are diesel-engine models and 44% of National RV Holdings’ Class A’s are diesels, Andersen said.
The motorhome sector is building more Class A’s because, in addition to retail demand, the profit margins on diesel models are wider, Andersen added.