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Several RV manufacturers recently reduced output by scheduling four-day work weeks, but the head of a major supplier firm believes there could be “a fairly impressive rush in the marketplace for RVs,” once the situation involving Iraq is clarified.
“We’ve noticed some easing of the monthly rate of orders in the OEM category,” said Mel Adams, president and CEO of Airxcel Inc., Wichita, Kan. “It’s been very small and we don’t view that as necessarily a bad signal.”
Prior to the market’s cooling, RV producers were building about 20% more units than they were at this time a year ago, Adams said.
“Our read is there is an adjustment taking place about what OEMs are building and what dealers are able to retail, and there has been some building of inventory by dealers in preparation of the 2003 market.”
Currently, the economy is “at best neutral, if not a drag on the RV industry,” according to Adams, who added, “anytime we see gasoline edging up to $2 a gallon in Middle America, that seems to be a cause for some of our potential consumers to hesitate.
“The (anticipated) war probably has an impact on consumers being able to feel good about the future,” Adams continued. “Our industry needs for people to be able to see a good future. Certainly, some people are not buying because of the uncertainly.
“Once the war picture clears up, I think we will have a fairly impressive rush in the marketplace for RVs,” Adams concluded.