December towable sales dropped 39.9% while year-end registrations were down 23%, according to data from Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Statistical Surveys Inc.
Although December reflected continued weakness in the towable retail sector, it did signal an improvement from the 45.9% decline the month prior. It also sharply outpaced performance in the wholesale market as December towable shipments fell 72.7% in year-over-year comparisons.
Overall towable retail sales totaled 5,465 units in December compared with 9,095 in 2007 while year-end sales dropped to 201,421 units from 261,522.
In the high volume travel trailer market, December sales tumbled 38.5% to 3,159 units from 5,140 the year prior. For the 12 months, registrations were down 24.1% with 123,886 units sold versus 163,193 in 2007.
Other retail highlights include:
• December fifth-wheel sales declined 42.9% to 1,919 units from 3,363 a year ago while the sector was down 21.7% for the full year with 56,839 units sold compared with 72,613.
• Sales of folding camping trailers dropped 31.8% in December to 238 units from 349 the previous year and declined 19.3% for the 12 months with 17,075 units sold compared with 21,158.
• Recreational park trailer registrations fell 38.7% for the month with 149 units sold versus 243 in 2007 while sales declined 20.6% to 3,621 units from 4,558 for the full year.