RV Sales Are Skyrocketing

The RV Industry just can’t keep up with demand. I mean, just look at some of the news reports:

RVs are literally flying off the shelves. From Business Insider:

“It may not be consistent in every state over last year, and there are still some states that are shut-in, but we saw significant traction starting two to three weeks ago with new customers who really hadn’t considered the RV lifestyle coming out,” Thor Industries’ president and CEO Robert Martin told Business Insider. “The retail numbers aren’t out yet but we’re getting a sense from talking to dealers that many are … quite optimistic about the rest of the year.”

The numbers are out. Let’s take a little bit of a look shall we?

Class A Motorcoaches? Down 42 percent YTD from last year. Every single class of towable or motorhome is down with one exception, vans. Class B shipments surged from 1,524 units in 2019 YTD to 2,033 units in 2020 YTD.

All motorhomes are down 37 percent from this time last year.

The RVIA, which keeps beating this drum of rocketing RV sales, paints the following picture:

“While numbers compared to last May show a 30 percent decrease, the reality is the RV industry is very strong right now. Many RV dealerships that were able to reopen their showroom reported record sales, but RV sales were heavily dependent on whether or not state stay-at-home orders had been lifted, something that varied state-by-state throughout the month of May,” said RV Industry President Craig Kirby. “Now that all states have reopened, coupled with continued media attention on RVs as a way to travel and maintain social distance, the outlook for the RV industry this summer is extremely bright.”

Perhaps Kirby is correct. In the midst of a global pandemic and historic economic uncertainty, consumers are primed to spend money on big ticket items like RVs.

And not just on any old RV.

Marathon Coach president and owner Steve Schoellhorn is predicting sales 30 percent higher this year compared to last year. There appear to be a few Marathon coaches available for sale on their website if you have a few million kicking around somewhere.

Marathon is privately held but D&B does report on their business. Marathon had revenues of $138 million last year. I’ll check in on them early next year to see if they grew their revenue another 30 percent.

Will the June numbers begin to reflect the skyrocketing sales of RVs? We’ll see.

I’ll close with this quote from the IMF’s World Economic Outlook for June 2020.

A Crisis Like No Other, An Uncertain Recovery

Global growth is projected at –4.9 percent in 2020, 1.9 percentage points below the April 2020 World Economic Outlook (WEO) forecast. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a more negative impact on activity in the first half of 2020 than anticipated, and the recovery is projected to be more gradual than previously forecast. In 2021 global growth is projected at 5.4 percent. Overall, this would leave 2021 GDP some 6½ percentage points lower than in the pre-COVID-19 projections of January 2020. The adverse impact on low-income households is particularly acute, imperiling the significant progress made in reducing extreme poverty in the world since the 1990s.

As with the April 2020 WEO projections, there is a higher-than-usual degree of uncertainty around this forecast. The baseline projection rests on key assumptions about the fallout from the pandemic. In economies with declining infection rates, the slower recovery path in the updated forecast reflects persistent social distancing into the second half of 2020; greater scarring (damage to supply potential) from the larger-than-anticipated hit to activity during the lockdown in the first and second quarters of 2020; and a hit to productivity as surviving businesses ramp up necessary workplace safety and hygiene practices. For economies struggling to control infection rates, a lengthier lockdown will inflict an additional toll on activity.

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