2012 Ended with Positive RV Industry News
Editor's Note: Robert W Baird & Co. issued a newsletter to its clients following release late last week of the November wholesale shipments report by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association. Excerpts from the Baird report follow.
November RV shipments up 25%. Wholesale shipments improved 25% on strong growth in all categories. Key categories drove the robust growth, with motorhome shipments (Class A and C) growing 69% and towable (travel trailer and fifth-wheel) shipments increasing 22% in the month. The growth is driven by better retail, lean inventory and strong dealer sentiment. Class A and C shipments are now up 12% YTD, and travel trailer and fifth-wheel shipments have grown 14% YTD.
Towable (TT and 5W) shipments up 22%. Travel trailer shipments grew 23%, while fifth-wheel shipments jumped 18%. We note that November growth came against the most difficult comparison of last year (+32%), and followed robust shipments in July (+30%), August (+15%), September (+13%), and October (+31%). Combined, travel trailer and fifth-wheel shipments were up 14% YTD.
Motorhome (A and C) shipments grew 69%. Robust motorhome growth continued for the fifth consecutive month as Class A shipments grew 70% while Class C shipments jumped 68%. Class A and C shipments are now up 12% YTD.
Thor. November marks the first month of Thor's fiscal Q2. Manufacturer-specific data is not available on a monthly basis, but we model Thor's towable shipment growth at +15% for the quarter (vs. +22% industry growth reported in November). Industry motorhome shipments grew 69% vs. our +120% full-quarter estimate for Thor motorhome shipments.
Winnebago. November marks the final month of Winnebago's fiscal Q1. Winnebago reported quarterly results on Dec. 20 — Winnebago's motorhome shipments surged 48%. RVIA data indicates industry shipments increased 44% over the same period.
Click here to read a WCM account of the RVIA shipment report.