The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association on Tuesday released its RVIA August survey finding units shipped to retailers has declined in three of the last four months, reports CNHI News Indiana. August shipments totaled 39,417 units, a decrease of 12.5 percent from the 45,031 units shipped last August.
All towable RVs, led by conventional travel trailers, totaled 34,458 units for the month, a decrease of 12.7 percent compared to last August’s towable RV shipment total of 39,479.
The trade group reported motorhomes ended August with 4,959 shipments to retailers, down 10.7 percent, compared to last August’s total of 5,552.
Year-to-date, though, wholesale shipments are up currently at 347,530, up 3.9 percent compared to this point last year. Towable RVs are up 4.7 percent to 305,795 units. Motorhome shipments are down 1.3 percent to 41,735 units.
The news of the decline was not unexpected as Thor Industries, the largest RV company in the world, announced last week its fourth-quarter net sales declined 3.1 percent. Thor still posted a record year, with net sales rising 14.9 percent on the year to $8.33 billion.
While there will be short-term challenges for Thor, according to the report, Executive Chairman Peter B. Orthwein sees an industry that will have healthy growth long term.
“Although we expect to have some near-term growth challenges, our industry’s end-market demand trends continue to remain very favorable,” Orthwein said in the annual report. “Unlike many of the market expansions we have experienced over the past two decades, the current market strength has been driven largely by new consumers adopting the RV lifestyle with many consumers adopting the lifestyle at a much younger age than we have seen historically. We view such retail growth to be more sustainable over the long term.”