Monday, June 27, 2005

Fewer new motor homes rolling off RV sales lots

On the heels of the best sales year since 1978, deliveries of new motor homes to dealers fell 13.6 percent in the first four months of the year, compared with the same period in 2004, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association reports.

Winnebago Industries cited "lower retail demand and an industrywide oversupply of motor homes" this month in reporting flat earnings for the quarter ended May 28. The inventory buildup is left over from last year's boom.

And higher gas prices are starting to take a toll. Although the $8.9 billion industry says it hasn't seen influence in the recent past, a survey of 93 RV dealers released in April by analyst Craig Kennison of brokerage Robert W. Baird found "higher gas prices were repeatedly mentioned by dealers as affecting their business."

Slowing motor-home sales are being offset by continued strong sales of travel trailers, the towable homes-on-wheels that are pulled by cars or trucks. Full Story...

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