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September towable sales continued to reflect inventory tightening on dealers’ lots, showing a 32.1% decline in retail registrations.
“September represents the fifth straight month that retail registrations have been greater than wholesale shipments, suggesting that dealer inventories are shrinking,” said Craig Kennison, analyst for Robert W. Baird & Co. “However, we remain concerned that dealer inventory levels are still too high for the current level of retail demand.”
According to Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Statistical Surveys Inc., all towable categories posted declines in the 30% range for September in year-over-year comparisons. Sales fell to 15,127 units from 22,281 in 2007 while year-to-date totals dropped 21% to 174,927 units compared with 221,328.
Other retail highlights include:
• September travel trailer sales retreated 32.3% to 9,379 units from 13,581 in the previous year. For the nine months, trailer registrations were down 22.6% to 107,839 units compared with 139,258 in 2007.
• September fifth-wheel sales declined 31.7% to 4,306 units from 6,306 a year ago while the sector was down 18.1% year-to-date with 48,631 units sold compared with 59,395.
• Sales of folding camping trailers dropped 33.1% in September to 1,160 units from 1,734 the year prior and declined 18% for the nine months with 15,580 units sold compared with 18,993.
• Recreational park trailer registrations fell 27.7% for the month with 282 units sold versus 390 in 2007 while year-to-date sales declined 21.9% to 2,877 units from 3,682.