Led by continued strong performance in the travel trailer sector, March towable retail sales outpaced last year by 4.5%, according to Statistical Surveys Inc.
For the first three months of 2005, overall towable sales increased 6.1% compared with 2004 while motorized retail registrations declined 4.8%.
That trend mirrors wholesale shipment figures reported by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), showing a 10.4% increase in towable deliveries for the first quarter offset by a 9.7% drop in the motorized market.
Travel trailers sales were up 9.2% for March and posted an 11.1 % gain for the quarter with 31,662 units sold versus 28,487 in 2004. Fifth-wheel retail registrations were up 5.3% for the month to 8,173 units and increased 5.4% to 17,757 units year-to-date compared with last year .
Other highlights include:
* For the month, 26,658 towable units were sold compared with 25,517 in 2004 while quarterly totals showed an increase from 52,007 units last year to 55,185.
* March travel trailers sales totaled 15,492 units versus 14,183 in 2004.
* Folding camping trailer sales continued to decline, falling 17.9% in March from 2004 to 2,547 units and 16.1% year-to-date with 4,655 units sold.
Statistical Surveys noted that the March information was incomplete for Minnesota and South Carolina and does not contain data from New Hampshire.