Dealer demand for the reintroduced National RV Sea Breeze gasoline engine Class A motorhome was strong during the first quarter, according to National RV Holdings Inc. CEO Brad Albrechtsen.
The strength of the demand for the Sea Breeze was reflected in the fact wholesale shipments of National RV-brand gas engine Class A’s increased 69% during the three months ended March 31, Albrechtsen reported on Tuesday (April 22).
There were 332 National RV gas Class A’s delivered to dealers during the first three months of this year, compared with 197 units shipped during the same portion of 2002.
Although shipments of National RV- and Country Coach-brand diesel engine Class A’s declined 27% during the first quarter, Albrechtsen said shipments of the Tropi-Cal diesel did not begin until mid-March. Additionally, the prototype of the Country Coach Inspire diesel was well received during the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) retail show in Pomona, Calif., in mid-March and shipments to dealers will begin early in May.
Higher volume production rates for the Sea Breeze gas, Tropi-Cal and Inspire diesels “will help with profitability, which has been hampered due to the under utilization of production facilities,” the company reported.
National RV, a New York Stock Exchange-listed company, lost $4.1 million during the three months ended March 31, compared with $3.3 million lost during the first three months of 2002.
Inventories of the National RV-brand Tradewinds diesel were adequate during the quarter and the engineering of the Tropi-Cal diesel was not finished until March, so the company focused on building gas engine Class A’s during the first three months of this year, Albrechtsen said.
The company shipped 237 diesel engine Class A’s during the first quarter, compared with 325 units delivered to dealers during the same portion of 2002.
The consolidation and refocusing of National RV’s production allowed the company to reduce its finished goods and work-in-process inventories by a total of $7.3 million during the first quarter and the company believes it can lower its total inventory by an additional $2 million to $4 million in the second quarter, CFO Mark Anderson said.