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RV Shipments to Begin Recovery in 2010

Primary Contact:
Bill Baker
Sr. Director Communications and Publications
703-620-6003, ext. 331
  Secondary Contact:
Kevin Broom
Director of Media Relations
703-620-6003, ext. 304

The RV industry’s shipments are projected to total approximately 169,500 units in 2010 — a 24 percent increase from the 136,500 predicted for 2009 — according to a new forecast by RV industry analyst Dr. Richard Curtin, released at Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) Annual Membership Meeting on June 9.

Seasonally adjusted shipments reached their low point in the first quarter of 2009, and gains are expected over the next two years as the negative financial factors that caused the steep drop in RV sales will slowly give way to improved conditions in the market. 

Dr. Richard Curtin, director of consumer surveys at the University of Michigan, who produces the closely-watched monthly Index of Consumer Sentiment, briefed RVIA members on his analysis of the industry’s future at RVIA’s annual Committee Week, held June 8-11 in Washington, DC.

“The persistent appeal of the RV lifestyle as well as the good economic value provided by this form of recreation will energize future growth in the RV market, once again driving the RV market to higher levels,” said Curtin.

Dr. Curtin said there is considerable uncertainty about the future course of the economy as well as future RV sales.  This uncertainty means that RV shipments in 2010 could as much as 15 percent more or less than his forecast.

“This is the longest and deepest U.S. recession of the past half century,” said Dr. Curtin. “However, while fluctuations in sales are expected, there has been no change in the strong preferences expressed by consumers for the RV lifestyle.”

Consumer confidence has surged in recent months because of optimism about the Obama administration’s economic stimulus efforts and financial reforms, which RVIA worked hard to be sure included the RV industry.  While these programs will aid consumers, Curtin says the pace of gains in RV sales will be more gradual than in the initial phase of past recoveries because of lingering effects from the credit crisis, slow economic growth, and higher levels of unemployment.  In addition, the priorities of many consumers have shifted toward debt repayment, and restoration of savings and retirement accounts.

Dr. Curtin emphasized that economic adversity has caused consumers to postpone the purchase of an RV but not to forsake their commitment to the RV lifestyle.

“The RV industry is in the business of helping families form lasting bonds and having a great time getting outdoors,” said RVIA’s Curtin.  “Those are core American values that will endure and create a lasting demand for RVs.”

Click the icon below to view RVIA President Richard Coon's presentation outlining the state of the association and actions taken by the RVIA Board of Directors at its June 11 meeting.

President Richard Coon's 2009 CW Presentation
President Richard Coon's 2009 CW Presentation

(Requires RVIA member login to access)

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