Editor’s Note: The following article, authored by Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) Director of Industry Relations Jeff Kurowski, appears in the April issue of RV Executive Today identifying the top-selling brands in all categories for 2017 per data compiled by Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI). To view the online version of RV Executive Today click here.
Jay Flight ranked as the top-selling travel trailer brand in 2017, marking the 12th year in a row as the leader in the high-volume segment. Jay Flight, built by Thor Industries Inc. subsidiary Jayco Inc., held 7.1% of last year’s market, compared to 7.2% in 2016.
Meanwhile, four travel trailer brands by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary Forest River Inc., Elkhart, Ind., held the second through fifth positions in terms of market share. The Cherokee was the second-best selling brand at 4.9%, followed by Wildwood (4.8%), Salem (4.2%) and Rockwood (3.7%).
In the fifth-wheel segment, SSI’s report showed the Montana brand, built by Thor’s Keystone RV Co. subsidiary in Goshen, Ind., slightly increased its category-leading market share to 7.8% in 2017. Keystone’s Cougar slipped a bit but maintained the No. 2 position with 6% of the market.
Rounding out the top five fifth-wheel brands last year were Reflection, built by Winnebago Industries Inc. subsidiary Grand Design at 5.9%, Jayco’s Eagle at 4.5%, and Big Horn, built by Thor’s Heartland subsidiary, at 3.5%.
In the motorhome sector, Winnebago Industries Inc.’s Winnebago brand was the top-selling Class A. The Winnebago brand had a 10.6% market share in 2017, up a bit from 2016. The report noted that Winnebago combines the sales of gasoline- and diesel-engine units as one reporting entity.
Forest River’s Georgetown was the second-best selling Class A with an 8.2% market share last year. At No. 3 was Red Bay, Ala.-based Tiffin Motor Homes Inc.’s Allegro at 7.6%, followed by A.C.E. from Thor subsidiary Thor Motor Coach (TMC) in Elkhart at 6.2%, and the Coachmen brand, built by the Forest River’s Middlebury-based subsidiary of the same name, at 4.3%.
In the rapidly expanding Class B motorhome category, the report listed the Winnebago brand as No. 1 last year, with a 35.6% retail market share, followed by the Erwin Hymer Group North America, Kitchener, Ont., at 29%, Thor’s Airstream in Jackson Center, Ohio, at 16.7%, Pleasure-Way in Saskatoon, Sask., at 9.2%, and Coachmen’s Galleria at 5.4%.
TMC’s Four Winds brand increased its leadership position in the Class C motorhome category, according to the report, by reaching 19.7% of the market. Coachmen remained in second place despite its market share slipping to 13.4% in 2017 from 15.7% in 2016. Winnebago was third at 12.4%, Forest River’s Sun Seeker was fourth at 7.4%, and TMC’s Chateau was fifth at 6.3%.