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RVIA's Coon Optimistic in Face of Industry Challenges

In his remarks titled “YOU Have Potential” at Outlook 2008: Starring YOU! in Louisville, RVIA President Richard Coon encouraged attendees to remain optimistic about the RV industry’s potential for long-term growth even in the face of predicted dips in shipment numbers.

Citing the latest forecast from University of Michigan’s Dr. Richard Curtin, Coon predicted that 2007 will finish at 351,200 units shipped – off 10 percent from the record levels in 2006.

In 2008, RV shipments will face another decline, with total wholesale shipments for that year expected to total 334,200 units –a number Coon reminded attendees was “comfortably above” the industry’s ten year average.

Coon emphasized that the big picture for the RV industry is anything but bleak. Stabilizing home and gas prices in mid-2008 will lead to a slow recovery at the end of that year, with the economy and the market improving, helped by job and wage growth.

And key indicators point to the industry’s continued potential for growth in the long-term. Ownership of RVs is at the highest level ever recorded with baby boomers driving the increase.

The latest University of Michigan Survey Research Center study on the RV market shows that there are 7.9 million RVs on the road today, up from 7.2 million in 2001. With boomers continuing to dominate the market for the next 15 years, it is projected that the number of RV owning households will jump to 8.5 million by 2010.

And, Coon added, it’s not only Boomers fueling the growth. RV owners under the age of 35 have recently posted the largest gains in ownership rates.

Coon focused on the industry’s potential, saying, “We should not judge ourselves by what we’ve accomplished – which is much. We should focus our efforts instead on what is possible…what more we can do.”

Category: RVIA

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