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RV Shipments Expected to Rise in 2013

The RV industry recovery from the economic downturn will continue to build strength in 2013, as shipments are expected to rise to 289,900 — a 4.5% increase over the projected 2012 total of 277,300 units, according to a new forecast released by RVIA at “Outlook 2013: A Golden Opportunity,” the association’s kick-off event to the 50th Annual National RV Trade Show.

Addressing approximately 1,000 RV manufacturers, dealers and industry representatives on Tuesday, Nov. 27, RVIA Vice President of Public Relations and Advertising James Ashurst presented a positive outlook for the industry’s future, based on new projections from Dr. Richard Curtin, director of consumer surveys at the University of Michigan, in the Winter 2012 issue RVIA’s quarterly forecasting newsletter RV Roadsigns. Ashurst presented the forecast for RVIA President Richard Coon, who was unable to attend the event at the last minute.

The rise in shipments to 277,300 units by year-end 2012 would be a nearly 10% gain (9.9%) over the 2011 total of 252,300 and include double digit gains in conventional travel trailers and type A motorhomes.

According to the new forecast, most of the 2013 gain will come in conventional and fifth-wheel trailers and by type A motorhomes. Conventional and fifth-wheel trailers are expected to account for 86% of all RV shipments in 2013 — which would be an all-time high.

The continued strength in 2013 RV shipments is due to rising consumer confidence and improved economic conditions; however, a failure by America’s political leaders to bridge the “fiscal cliff” could significantly alter the industry’s fortunes in 2013, Dr. Curtin cautioned in the newsletter.

The projection for each of the major RV product types for 2013 is:

• Travel trailers: up 5% to 180,200 units
• Fifth-wheel trailers: up 7% to 68,800 units
• Truck campers: up 3% to 3,500 units
• Folding camping trailers: down 17% to 9,000 units
• Type A motorhomes: up 8% to 15,400 units
• Type B motorhomes: up 10% to 2,300 units
• Type C motorhomes: down 2% to 10,700 units

“We’ve had a good year in 2012 in terms of sales and in how we’ve been able to promote RVs to our core markets,” Coon said following Outlook 2013. “There’s a lot of versatility in the RV market — many products, price points and how they’re used. There is strong demand for RVs, and I am optimistic about our industry’s future.”

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