GOSHEN — The recreational vehicle industry is having one of its best years ever and is on track to reach its projected 10 percent gain in shipments.
Even in the traditionally slow month of November, shipments of recreational vehicles continued to surge. The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association said wholesale shipments of RVs to retailers jumped 5.8 percent in November over the same month in 2012.
And as of the end of November, the industry had shipped 299,451 RVs, the largest year-to-date total in six years. The growth in year-to-date shipments was 12.2 percent, according to the RVIA statistics.
The growth is a continuation of the industry’s climb back to prominence after the 2008-09 recession. And the growth is expected to continue into 2014.
“The growing strength in RV shipments is due to the strong affinity consumers have for RV travel and ownership coupled with strengthening economic conditions that have seen rising home and stock values, improved availability of credit, continued gains in jobs and incomes, and higher consumer confidence,” said Bill Baker, senior director of communications for the RVIA.
Some of those economic indicators are: home re-sales should reach 5.1 million in 2013, the best total in seven years, according to the National Association of Realtors; the national unemployment rate fell to 7 percent in November, a five-year low; the Consumer Confidence Survey in December rose to 78.1, up from 72 in November, according to the Conference Board; holiday retail sales rose 3.5 percent, according to Bloomberg.com; and U.S. automobile sales are at their highest mark since May 2007. According to Forbes.com, analysts expect auto sales to grow another 4 percent in 2014 to 16.2 million vehicles, which would bring the numbers back to a pre-recession level.
“Things are good,” said Richard Coon, RVIA president when he addressed his membership at the National RV Trade Show in early December. “Growth is everywhere, not just in North America interestingly enough. Growth in the RV industry is going up and up and up.”