Shipments of all major RV product categories, except for folding campers, were up sharply during January, according to data released today (March 5) by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
However, because of concerns that higher fuel prices and a possible war against Iraq are having a chilling effect on consumer confidence, many in the industry now are worried that the strong shipments volume in January could create excess dealer inventories.
Consequently, several manufactures recently cut their production schedules to four-day work weeks.
By far, the biggest shipments increase in January occurred in the case of travel trailers, the RVIA reports. There were 11,700 travel trailers shipped to dealers in January, a 44.4% increase over the 8,100 units delivered to dealers in January 2002.
Here is the January shipments report for the other product types:
• Fifth-wheels were up 8.7% to 5,000 units, compared with 4,600 units delivered in January 2002.
• Folding campers were down 5.9% to 3,200 units, compared with 3,400 units shipped in January 2002.
• Truck campers were down 12.5% to 700 units, compared with 800 units delivered a year earlier.
• Class A motorhomes were up 6.9% to 3,100 units, compared with 2,900 units shipped during January 2002.
• Class B motorhomes were down 33.3% to 200 units, compared with 300 units delivered a year earlier.
• Class C motorhomes were up 8.3% to 1,300 units, compared with 1,200 units shipped a year earlier.
Separately, the RVIA also reported that conversion vehicle shipments were up 35% in January, although van conversion deliveries were flat at 3,100 units. Pickup truck conversion shipments were up 112.5% to 1,700 units and converted sport utility vehicle (SUV) deliveries were up 500% in January to 600 units.