Are high fuel prices a pain in your gas? RV manufacturer Thor says, “nah,” and they have the survey results to prove it. Trumpeting loudly, earlier this week Thor released its spin on a survey of 500 folks who have gone RVing in the last two years. We’ll look at the numbers, and will ask for your opinions, as it’s likely most of you never got the chance to tell Thor your own view.
Fuel price hikes encourage RV use?
Here’s the bold statement: “69% reported rising fuel costs have increased their likelihood to use an RV within the next year, or has no impact.” Really? Have rising fuel prices really encouraged you to use an RV in the next year? A closer look at the survey results reveal a bit of “sleight of hand” in the use of words.
Yes, if you add up the totals of those who are “much more likely” to RV (20%), with those who are “somewhat more likely” to RV (14%), with those who say fuel prices have “no impact”, you’ll reach the taunted 69%. Of course, a big RV builder could hardly tell stockholders the other side of the story. If they did, it would read: “65% reported rising fuel costs have DECREASED their likelihood to use an RV within the next year, or has no impact.” Which statement sells better? They’re both true. But it gets better.
Buy a new rig?
The second major question in the survey tied to fuel prices could easily shake potential Thor investors. The company survey spin says this: “69% reported rising fuel costs have increased their likelihood to purchase an RV within the next five years, or has no impact.” Again, the graphic, and a little math, shows a clearer story.
Evidently, fuel prices would spur 14% of survey responders to be “much more likely” to buy an RV. And 18% would be “somewhat more likely” to do the same. So, turning around the math, the survey could just as truthfully read: “69% reported rising fuel costs have decreased their likelihood to purchase an RV within the next five years, or has no impact.” Again, it’s all in the spin.
It’s interesting that Thor released this information on May 24. The survey itself was conducted in March. In mid-March, the average price of a gallon of gas in the U.S. stood at $4.32, according to the U.S. Energy Administration. As of Friday, gasoline averaged $4.60 a gallon, up six percent.
So we’ll throw the ball in your court. We’d like to ask you the same questions that Thor asked in its survey. We’ll report back next week on how things compare.
Your thinking, please…
Revision: Corrected erroneous data regarding fuel price hike. 5/29/22 9:32 a.m.
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