The struggles of the long-suffering van conversion business are continuing although the smaller pickup and sport utility vehicle (SUV) conversion sectors showed some signs of improvement earlier this year, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
Shipments of van conversions from the manufacturers to auto dealers declined 19% in March to 3,400 units, compared with 4,200 units shipped during March 2002.
During the first quarter, van conversion shipments declined 9.2% to 9,900 units, compared with 10,900 units delivered a year earlier.
Meanwhile, shipments of converted pickups increased 16.7% in March to 1,400 units, compared with 1,200 units shipped a year earlier. During the first quarter, converted pickup deliveries increased 58.6% to 4,600 units, compared with 2,900 units shipped during the first three months of 2002.
In the case of converted SUVs, there were 300 units shipped in March, the same number delivered a year earlier. But during the first quarter, converted SUV shipments increased 75% to 1,400 units, compared with 800 units delivered during the first quarter of 2002.