Is the RV industry in a more robust recovery mode, based on an array of positive signals from the first quarter of the year? Is the recreational vehicle arena, despite mixed news reports on the national front, on the brink of a strong growth spurt in 2012?
Well, you couldn’t prove it by the responses in the latest round of RVB’s All-Industry Survey, administered by RVBusiness magazine and sponsored by Pender, Neb.-based Blue Ox, because they were split right down the middle. In fact, the results in our most recent poll couldn’t have been any closer – with 39.3% saying “yes,” 39.3% voting “no” and another skeptical 21.3% thinking “maybe.”
These people, for instance, are seeing the cup half full:
“I speak to RV customers and prospects all over the country,” says one respondent, “and when asked if sales are up in 2012 over 2011, the majority say yes and some are reporting record sales months.”
“Our rolling stock sales are up 184%,” adds another individual. “However, our parts and service is flat. Customer count is up slightly.”
Among the more skeptical comments:
“A small growth of 2 1/2% to 3% will be the year-end total,” states one conservative-minded respondent.
“I believe that overall the recovery will still be slow-grow type. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be pockets of a larger recovery in some sectors. The majority of people buying RVs are still concerned about their jobs…”
And those on the bumper:
“We want to believe it is a ‘rather impressive upturn,’ but won’t know until late summer. Certainly, consumer confidence is higher.”
“Things seem to be improving, so we are cautiously optimistic. We feel like if this were not an election year that things might be even stronger.”
Let’s see what happens in November,” adds another industry pundit.
Look for the next survey question in an e-blast on Monday.