> SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE! 

Small and mid-size dealers were reporting lower new inventory levels in January from a year ago, according to consulting firm Spader Business Management, while larger dealers were slightly above 2005.
Last year, OEMs and retailers in January were working to pare back a saturation of product at the retail level – particularly motorhomes – resulting from overproduction and softer than anticipated sales.
For the month, average new inventory levels were:
• Larger dealers, defined as those with annual income over $10 million, showed a 4.4% increase in new inventory levels over last year, rising from an average $4.45 million in 2005 to just over $4.6 million.
• Mid-size dealers with annual income between $5 million and $10 million showed a decrease of 4.2% in new inventory levels to an average of $1.9 million compared with $2 million last year.
• Smaller dealers, those with annual income less than $5 million, reported new inventory levels 1.2% lower than last year, declining from an average of $1.08 million to $1.07 million.
Spader also reported that all dealer categories recorded a net loss for the month, reflecting a traditionally slow sales period for the industry. Large dealers showed the widest year-over-year disparity with an average net loss of $20,115 compared with a net loss of $7,956 in 2005 while losses for mid-size and smaller dealers were flat.
Other highlights include:
• Total sales at larger retailers were flat during January with revenues just over $1 million.
• Mid-size dealers showed a 7.7% gain in total sales for the month to an average of $313,472 compared with $291,045 a year ago.
• Smaller dealers increased total sales for the month by 14.6% versus 2005 to an average of nearly $124,901 from $109.012.