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January Wholesale Shipments Up A Healthy 12.7%

RV wholesale shipments to dealers rose to 17,800 units in January, up a healthy 12.7% over the January 2010 total of 15,800, according to RVIA’s latest survey of RV manufacturers, with both motorhome and towable categories enjoying increases from their January totals last year.

Manufacturers reported 2,000 motorhomes being shipped to dealers in January 2011, up 33% from the 1,500 shipments reported in 2010. Leading the way in this category were Type C motorhomes boasting a 60% increase from the previous year to 800 units. Type A motorhomes increased 22% to 1,100 units and Type B motorhomes remained even with last year’s shipments at 100 units.

Shipments of towable RVs reached 15,800, a 10.5% increase from the 14,300 shipped in January 2010. Fifth wheels reported the biggest increase within this category, showing a 23% increase to 4,300 units. Travel trailers rose 9.5% to 10,400 units. Truck camper shipments stayed even with last year at 200 units, while folding camper trailers were the only category of RVs that declined in shipments from January 2010, down 18% to 900 units.

The strong performance of the RV market in January dovetails with the latest projections from the Spring 2011 issue of RV Roadsigns, RVIA’s quarterly forecasting newsletter, in which University of Michigan economist Dr. Richard Curtin forecasts RV shipments to reach 263,100 units this year, an increase of nearly nine percent over the 242,300 units shipped in 2010.

Curtin noted that this is a sustainable growth path that mainly reflects improved retail sales at RV dealerships aided by an improving economy, the extension of income tax cuts, and the reduction in payroll taxes.

RVIA President Richard Coon added, “The January shipments are solid and a strong indication of what we are expecting for the year, an upswing in RV activity supported by a recovering economy.”


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