A robust towable segment again offset declines in motorhome wholesale shipments in June, as the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) reported that overall deliveries were up 11.3% to 37,400 units from 33,600 a year ago.
The towable market, driven by a 23.3% increase in June travel trailer shipments, was 15.8% ahead of last year’s pace with 32,200 units delivered compared with 27,800 in 2005.
Strength in the towable wholesale sector, however, is not supported by retail sales. According to data from Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Statistical Surveys Inc., May towable registrations were flat while travel trailer sales gained just 2.7% from last year.
The disparity has led some analysts to suggest that manufacturers are overbuilding. John Diffendal of Winston-Salem, N.C.-based BB&T Capital Investments, commenting on the June shipment report, noted, “The takeaway is that travel trailer strength continues, which further intensifies the fears that the industry has overshot the mark on production in the face of weaker retail numbers.”
For the month, travel trailer deliveries totaled 19,600 units compared with 15,900 the previous year while year-to-date the sector rose 28.9% to 120,400 units from 93,400.
Conversely, June Class A motorhome deliveries decreased 14.3% to 3,000 units from 3,500 last year. For the first six months, Class A shipments were down 17.5% with 17,000 units delivered from 20,600 in 2005.
Other highlights include:
• For the first six months, overall shipments increased 14.3% to 225,000 units compared with 196,800 last year.
• Towable shipments for the first six months were 19.7% higher than 2005 with 195,300 units delivered compared with 163,200.
• June fifth-wheel shipments rose 9.1% to 8,400 units from 7,700 last year. Year-to-date, the sector was also up 9.1% to 50,500 units compared with 46,300 the previous year.
• Class C deliveries decreased 9.5% to 1,900 units in June and slipped 4.3% to 11,200 units for the first six months.
• June folding camping trailer shipments were up 2.9% to 3,500 units with a 7% gain year-to-date to 19,900 units.
• Truck camper shipments declined 12.5% to 700 units in June and fell 8.2% for the first six months to 4,500 units.
• The Class B sector was up 100 units to 300 flat in June and rose 200 units year-to-date to 1,500.
• The conversion market dropped 33.3% for the month with 1,800 units shipped compared to 2,700 during the same time last year. For the first six months, conversions were down 17.4%, with 15,700 units shipped compared to 19,000 last year.