COVID-19 gave the RV industry a huge, long-term boost. This according to Jim Cramer, host of Mad Money on CNBC. Here is his pitch:
LCI Industries, one of the largest suppliers of components for the RV industry, provided this chart on RV inventory levels:
Looks to me as though inventory change is almost identical when comparing Q1 2019 to Q1 2020. Retail inventory dropped between Q2 2019 and Q1 2020 in a pattern that is roughly consistent with the previous few years.
What this tells me is that inventory levels, while trending somewhat lower, have yet to be impacted by COVID-19. We are looking in the mirror. Will inventory levels soar in Q2 2020?
Here is what LCI Industries told their investors in May:
- Reduced base salaries of CEO Jason Lippert and others by 25%
- Temporarily reduced base salaries for the executive leadership team, general managers and executives; reduced Board of Directors’ quarterly retainer by 25%
- Enacted workforce reductions, temporary hiring freezes and furloughs
- Delaying capital expenses and reducing or eliminating non-critical business expenses
- Implementing aggressive working capital management strategies
- Working with customers and vendors to negotiate pricing and input cost adjustments where possible
These are not the actions of a company in a growth mode. These are the actions of a company in a crisis mode. These actions, in response to COVID-19, are consistent across the publicly traded RV industries.
Production is only just resuming for most of them.
The road back for the economy is only just beginning.
Regardless of what people might be searching for on Google.
How to buy an RV was not the most popular search term on Google. These were the most popular searches based on “how to…” and the difference between April of last year and April of this year:
And where to buy an RV was not the most popular search term on Google. Not in April of 2019 and not in April of 2020.
Funny what a pandemic will do to Google.
Searching for toilet paper and the Ozarks.