Wednesday, December 10, 2008

California RV Sales Slow but not Stalled
LOS BANOS -- Raquel Pereira and Kathy Kakebeen stepped up the black metal stairs of a 34-foot RV as it rocked slightly beneath their feet.

They were shopping.

As they looked over several RVs, they opened refrigerator doors, sat in recliners and peered underneath undercarriages

But on Tuesday morning they were the only two people walking through the large lot at Toscano RV Center in Los Banos.

"This year it started slowing down," said salesman Gilbert Batista as he readied the new 2009 models for viewing. In 2007 he sold 70 RVs. "I might hit 50 if I'm lucky," he said of this year's sales.

While their numbers are down 40 percent for the past two years, Toscano has managed to stay afloat while much of the industry is seeing a big slowdown because of the national recession. Not only have several large RV dealers in California shut their doors, but also a group of manufacturers has closed.

"Last time I counted there was 13 to 14 manufacturers that went out of business," said Darrel Friesen, president of California's RV Dealers Association.
Full Story...
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