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Inventories of new RV units at smaller dealers were up 12.7%, in dollar terms, after the first two months of this year, according to the Spader Companies, a retail consultant firm.

At smaller dealers, which the Spader firm defines as retailers with less than $5 million in annual sales, new RV inventories averaged $1,119,762 during the first two months of this year, compared with $993,880 during the first two months of 2000.

Meanwhile, new RV inventories at larger dealerships, those with more than $5 million in annual revenue, declined 1.3% during the first two months of this year to an average of $2,907,129, according to the Spader firm.

New RV sales at the smaller dealers were down 1.9% during the first two months of this year to an average of $195,988, while new RV sales were down 4.7% to an average of $941,605 at the larger dealers.

However, total sales at the smaller dealerships increased 5.1% during the first two months of this year to $315,077 because of sharply higher revenue from F&I, parts & accessories and service, the Spader firm reported.

At the larger dealerships, total sales were down 6% to an average of $1,523,765 during the first two months of this year because of lower new RV sales, a 13.4% decline in used RV sales to $332,850, and increases of only 4% to 6% in F&I, parts & accessories and service revenue.

Both big and small RV dealerships were, on average, in the red after the first two months of this year, although larger dealers reported slightly bigger losses when compared with the first two months of 2000, according to the Spader firm.

The average smaller dealer lost $36,932 during the first two months of this year, compared with $36,064 lost during the first two months of last year. The average larger dealer lost $27,383 during the first two months of this year, compared with $18,450 lost during the same portion of last year, the Spader firm reported.