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Wholesale shipments in all categories of RVs were up sharply during the first quarter and dealer inventory data collected by consulting firm Spader Business Management shows that the additional units are being sold.
In fact, the new-RV-unit inventory figures collected by Spader show dealer inventories were slightly smaller, in dollar terms, on March 31, than they were on March 31, 2003.
Midsize dealers, those with $5 million to $10 million in annual sales, and large dealers, those with more than $10 million in annual sales, reported their new-RV-unit inventories were 1.1% smaller in dollar terms as of March 31.
Large dealers reported their new-RV-unit inventories were, on average, valued at $4,383,547 as of March 31, compared with $4,432,496 on the same date a year earlier.
Midsize dealers reported their new-RV-unit inventories were valued, on average, at $2,089,207 on March 31, compared with $2,113,249 on March 31, 2003.
Small dealers, those with less than $5 million in annual sales, reported their new-RV-unit inventories were, on average, 1.3% smaller on March 31. They told Spader their new-RV-unit inventories were, on average, valued at $1,097,529 on March 31, compared with $1,111,940 a year earlier.
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) reported earlier this week wholesale shipments increased 18.7% during the first quarter with towable RV shipments increasing 17% and motorhome deliveries increasing 25.9%, when compared with the first three months of 2003.
The March shipment figures were even stronger. The RVIA reports total shipments increased 29.2% with towables climbing 28.4% and motorhome deliveries increasing by 32.1% when this past March is compared with March 31, 2003.
The RVIA reports the number of units shipped within each product category based upon figures it obtains from its members.
Spader collects its data from 20 Group members and other dealer body sources.
Retail sales figures from Statistical Surveys Inc. for March will become available later this month. The retail sales figures from Statistical Surveys for the first two months of this year also showed that RV retail sales were keeping pace with the robust wholesale shipment numbers.