Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sales for RV Dealer Buck National Slump

Freedom RV Inc., a Spokane Valley dealership, is having a record year, with sales up 44 percent, says Mike Mohondro, sales manager.

We're in our sixth year in business, and weíve had an increase in sales every year, Mohondro says.

For the first half of this year, the number of towable RVs that manufacturers shipped to U.S. dealers was down 18 percent compared with the year-earlier period, says Phil Ingrassia, spokesman for the National RV Dealers Association.

Ingrassia suspects that total sales volume is off by a greater margin, because the drop-off in RV shipments is steepest among the more expensive motor homes, which start at about $60,000 new, while towable RVs start at under $10,000.

Factory shipments of motor homes fell 32 percent in the first half of this year, compared with the year-earlier, period he says. Among motor homes, the biggest decline in shipments was in the high-end ìtype Aî motor homes that are built on bus frames and cost upwards of $100,000. Shipments of such models were down 45 percent during the first half of the year.

The regions hit hardest by the housing bust are traditionally large RV markets. Southern California is big, he says. The Spokane area, on the other hand, didn't go through such a steep run-up in housing prices and probably won't see a big bust.

That could be helping the RV market here remain stable, Ingrassia says.

Also, he adds, The Spokane market is very outdoorsy. People there are predisposed to outdoor vacations.
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