February motorhome shipments declined 15.5% compared with 2004, as both the Class A and C sectors were down for the second straight month, according to the latest wholesale shipment report from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
However, that downward trend was counterbalanced by the resilient towable category so that the overall unit shipment volume was actually up for the month.
The motorized RV shipment decline coincides with recent earnings reports from some of the industry’s major motorhome builders, including Winnebago Industries Inc., Monaco Coach Corp. and Fleetwood Enterprises Inc., indicating that motorhome shipments were impacted by fall overproduction and resulting excess inventory along with lax demand stemming from rising gas prices.
Industry insiders point out, in turn, that this February’s numbers are being compared to last year’s relatively strong report in which motorhome shipments rose by 28.9%.
For the month, overall shipments increased 9.5% to 30,100 units compared with 27,500 in 2004, boosted by a 16.1% improvement in towable deliveries. Year-to-date, total shipments were up 8.5% to 58,900 units.
A categorical breakdown:
* Class A motorhome shipments fell 16.2% for the month with 3,100 units delivered compared with 3,700 last year while deliveries for the first two months were down 13.7% to 6,300 units.
* Class C motorhomes were off 15.8% for the month with 1,600 units delivered versus 1,900 last year. Through February, minimotorhome shipments dropped 14.7% to 2,900 units.
*Overall motorhome shipments decreased 15.5% in February to 4,900 units and were down 13.5% for the first two months.
* Travel trailers rose 23.5% for the month to 14,200 units compared with 11,500 last year and showed a cumulative 19.1% increase through February to 28,100 units.
* Fifth-wheels increased 13.4% in February to 7,600 units, up 12.5% for the first two months with 14,400 units delivered.
* Cumulative towable shipments through February increased 14.1%, with 49,300 units delivered versus 43,200 in 2004.
* Shipments of folding camping trailers and Class B motorhomes for February were flat, while truck campers were down 100 units for the month to 800.