Last year ended with a thud for the recreational vehicle wholesale sector as shipments dropped 75% from 2007, pulling year-end totals to a sharp 32.9% decline.
According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), overall December shipments totaled 5,600 units compared with 22,400 a year ago. For the full year, deliveries fell to 237,000 units compared with 353,400 the year prior.
In November economist Richard Curtin, director of Consumer Surveys at the University of Michigan, projected deliveries to total 248,000 units in 2008.
The high-volume travel trailer market declined 70.9% in December with 3,200 units shipped versus 11,000 in the year prior while deliveries dropped 28.9% to 128,100 units from 180,200 for the 12 months.
December Class A shipments were down over 85.2% with 400 units shipped compared with 2,700 in 2007 and declined 54.7% for the full year with 14,900 units delivered versus 32,900.
Other highlights from the report include:
• Overall December towable shipments decreased 72.7% to 5,000 units from 18,300 the previous year and the motorized sector declined 85.4% to 600 units compared with 4,100. For the 12 months, towable deliveries dropped 30% to 208,700 units from 298,000 a year ago while the motorized wholesale sector declined 48.9% to 28,300 units versus 55,400.
• December Class C shipments were down 83.3% with 200 units delivered compared with 1,200 in 2007. For the year, the sector dropped 40.7% to 11,500 units from 19,400.
• For the month, fifth-wheel deliveries fell 70.6% to 1,500 units compared with 5,100 in 2007. For the 12 months, the segment was down 30.1% with 57,000 units shipped compared with 81,500 the previous year.
• The Class B sector retreated 78.3% in December from 200 units the previous year, while shipments fell 38.7% to 1,900 units from 3,100.
• For the month, folding camping trailer shipments declined 82.4% to 300 units from 1,700 the year prior and were down 34.4% year-to-date with 18,900 units shipped versus 28,800.
• Truck campers shipments dropped 88% in December from 500 units the year prior while the sector fell 37.3% to 4,700 units from 7,500 for the full year.
To view an updated chart, refer to the RV shipments link in the RVBUSINESS.com directory. According to RVIA, although totals for the truck camper and Class B segments showed zero, there were a few units shipped and the percentages in the above story are correct.