Statistical Surveys Inc., which gathers nationwide statistics on retail RV registrations and slices and dices them into market reports for manufacturers, insurance companies and financial institutions, has begun offering dealers an even more detailed look at the industry.
“Dealers can have all the features that manufacturers get, but they will have it on a much more local level,” explains Tom Walworth, president of the 48-year-old Grand Rapids, Mich., company. “If they want to know which RVs are being sold in their area – or the types of RVs that are selling best – they can have the information.”
In 25 states that collect information on who sells a particular RV, details are available on which competitors are selling in their markets.
“That’s a hot item that dealers are really interested in,” Walworth said. “They want to know who they are selling against.”
Walworth began offering the service in September, and promoted it heavily at RVDA’s Con/Expo in Las Vegas late that month and at December’s Louisville trade show. Through mid-January he said the company had signed up about 40 dealers.
“They can run their business more efficiently knowing what products are being sold in their area,” Walworth said.
In general, Statistical Surveys keeps a 36-month running database gathered from the records it culls from state motor vehicle bureaus. Company reports, previously available once a month in printed form, became available electronically last year and currently can be downloaded by subscribers 24-hours-a-day via a password-protected Internet site. Electronic reports are formatted to suit Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and Word text programs.
Depending on how quickly a state makes its title information available, Statistical Surveys’  database is updated at least once a month and in some cases, daily.
“What we provide is a look at the reality of the RV market,” said Walworth, who also sells data to the marine and manufactured housing sectors.
Statistical Survey’s manufacturing clients, he said, account for 95% of the RVs sold in the U.S.
“We produce a national summary report, and break it down between motorized, Class A and C, and in towables, fifth-wheels, travel trailers and folding camping trailers,” Walworth said. “Then we break it out by manufacturer and model, and within that, by state, county, dealer and city.
“Everybody can take our data and fit it to their needs. Manufacturers want to see the best places to partner with a dealership; dealers want to know which manufacturers are selling the most RVs; and financial institutions want to judge the performance of companies to advise people who are looking to buy into the industry.”