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Retail Sales of Towable RVs Continue Upturn

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Editor's Note: The investment firm of Robert W. Baird & Co. distributed a client newsletter last week following release of the November towable RV retail sales report by Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI). Excerpts from the Baird client newsletter follow.

U.S. towable retail up 2% in November. Unit retail sales in major towable categories (travel trailers and fifth-wheels) increased 2% in November, according to Statistical Surveys, marking the 10th consecutive month of year-over-year growth. U.S. towable demand is up 10% year-to-date. Travel trailer sales grew 2% while fifth-wheel retail increased 1%. Thor demand grew 4% in November, the first month of its fiscal Q2. Winnebago already reported results for the November quarter.

November towable demand up 2% (travel trailers and fifth-wheels). November towable unit sales rose 2% in the U.S. (travel trailers and fifth-wheels) and are up 10% YTD. Travel trailer registrations increased 2% (+11% YTD), while fifth-wheel sales grew 1% (+6% YTD). Our recent survey of U.S. and Canadian RV dealers indicated towable demand improved 12-14% in October-December.

Thor. Thor U.S. travel trailer and fifth-wheel demand grew 4% in November, which represents the first month of Thor's fiscal Q2. We model Thor North American towable retail growth at 10% for the January quarter.

Winnebago. Winnebago reported fiscal Q1 results for its November quarter on Dec. 20. Based on Winnebago's report, towable retail demand improved 44% in the quarter while towable shipments grew 28%. We use the Winnebago data in our model. For the record, November demand for Winnebago towables increased 39% according to SSI, and the company's YTD market share has improved 0.3pp to 0.9%.

 

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