Monday, October 13, 2008

Economic crisis to delay rebound for RV makers

CHICAGO, Oct 12 (Reuters) - The outlook for recreational vehicle manufacturers as earnings season gets underway this week is grim.

The collapse in credit markets and the recent precipitous decline in stock prices will undoubtedly make it harder for consumers to contemplate -- let alone finance -- the purchase of a new motor home, yacht, motorcycle or snowmobile.

"Anything big-ticket discretionary -- whether it's a vacation, whether it's an RV, whether it's a boat, it's just off the table right now," said Hayley Wolff, an analyst at Rochdale Securities. "It's going to be a real rocky period for awhile."

The trouble is that RV makers were struggling to cope with crumbling sales long before the latest crisis unfolded as falling home values and rising gasoline prices kept buyers out of their showrooms. For motorhome makers, the downturn in sales was already in its fourth year before the current problems hit.
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