Baird: Robust Growth Drove RV Shipments
Editor's Note: Robert W. Baird & Co. issued a client newsletter following the recent release of year-end wholesale RV shipments by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). Excerpts from the Baird newsletter follow:
December RV shipments up 12%. Wholesale shipments improved 12% on strong growth in all categories. Key categories drove the robust growth, with motorhome shipments (Class A and C) growing 43% and towable (travel trailer and fifth-wheel) shipments increasing 9% in the month. The growth is driven by better retail, lean inventory and strong dealer sentiment. Both motorhome (Class A and C) and towable (travel trailer and fifth-wheel) shipments grew 14% in 2012.
Towable (travel trailer and fifth-wheel) shipments up 9%. Travel trailer shipments grew 10%, while fifth-wheel shipments increased 6%. The key towable categories sustained positive growth in each month of 2012, with annual shipments finishing up 14% versus 2011.
Motorhome (A and C) shipments grew 43%. Robust motorhome growth continued for the sixth consecutive month as Class A shipments grew 37%, while Class C shipments jumped 53%. Strong shipment growth in the second half of the year (off easier comparisons) drove annual shipments up 14% versus 2011.
Thor. December marks the second 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, comparable to the +15% industry growth reported for Nov.-Dec. Industry motorhome shipments in Nov.-Dec. grew 56% vs. our +120% full-quarter estimate for Thor motorhome shipments. Net, the industry data support our Thor outlook so far.
Winnebago. December marks the first month of Winnebago's fiscal Q2. The December industry growth in motorhomes (Class A & C; +43%) is comparable to our +45% expectation for Winnebago shipments. We model Winnebago towable shipment growth of +3% for the February quarter (versus the December industry growth of +9%). Net, the industry data support our Winnebago outlook so far.