THOR Industries CEO Bob Martin told CNBC on Tuesday he expects to see strong demand for recreational vehicles even after the coronavirus pandemic has passed, buoyed in part by a growing appeal to younger travelers.
“As we get into this next generation of buyers, the millennial generation is larger than the boomers, so we see this as a long-term opportunity for the entire industry,” Martin said on “Closing Bell.”
Martin’s comments came after Elkhart, Indiana-based THOR released second-quarter results earlier in the day that topped Wall Street expectations on the top and bottom lines.
The maker of Airstream reported net sales of $2.73 billion, a 36% year-over-year jump, compared with analysts’ forecasts of $2.53 billion. Earnings per share of $2.38 beat forecasts by 83 cents.
The Covid pandemic hurt the travel industry broadly, but trips by RV proved to be more popular as people eschewed airplanes and opted for ways to leave home while still maintaining social distancing. Other outdoor activities like boating and biking gained in popularity, too.
Martin, who has been chief executive of THOR since 2013, said the health crisis really demonstrated the appeal of traveling by RV to younger generations, offering a potential tailwind in the years ahead.
“It’s something that we had been doing through our marketing efforts, social media, just trying to introduce an RV ... to a younger buyer,” Martin said, specifically referencing the company’s Class B motorhomes, known more colloquially as conversion vans.
“When people walk in, they see that they have their own bathroom, their own bedroom, their own sink, and they’re able to drive, be safe. It just becomes part of their lifestyle. They join camping groups, and so we feel that it is very sticky,” added Martin.
Check out the full article and video segment from CNBC here.