Report: Thor, Winnebago Outperform Industry
Editor's Note: Robert W. Baird & Co. issued a client newsletter after last week's release by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) of its March wholesale RV shipments report. Portions of the Baird newsletter follow.
March RV shipments up 3%. Wholesale shipments improved 3% in March, led by strong growth in motorhomes. Motorhome (Class A and C) shipments jumped 12.5% while towable (travel trailer and fifth-wheel) shipments increased 2.7%. The growth pushed March shipments to their highest levels since prior to the recession. Year-to-date, Class A and C shipments were up 25%, while travel trailer and fifth-wheel shipments were up 11%.
Towable (TT and 5W) shipments up 3%. Shipments improved 3% in the main towable categories. Travel trailer shipments increased 5%, while fifth-wheel shipments declined 3% during the month. Through March, the main towable categories were up 11% in 2013, with travel trailer shipments up 13% and fifth-wheel shipments up 4%.
Motorhome (A and C) shipments up 12.5%. Motorhome (A and C) shipments improved 12.5% in March. Class A and Class C shipments both increased 12.5% during the month. Comparisons remain relatively easy through June, before becoming more difficult during the second half of the year. So far in 2013, motorhome shipments are up 25%, with Class A shipments up 21% and Class C shipments up 30%.
Thor. March marks the second month of Thor's fiscal Q3. We stress that shipment data for specific manufacturers is not available, so comparing Thor estimate to industry data requires certain assumptions regarding market share and shipments for the remainder of the quarter. Nonetheless, we project Thor towable shipments will increase 10% in the April quarter, which is ahead of the 3% industry shipment pace for two months of Thor's quarter — suggesting Thor needs a combination of a strong April or share gains to achieve our estimate. We model Thor motorhome shipments up 50% versus the 22% industry pace.
Winnebago. March marks the first month of Winnebago's fiscal Q3. Again, RVIA shipment data may differ from Winnebago data due to a number of factors. Still, we project Winnebago motorhome shipments will increase 33%, ahead of the 12.5% industry pace for the first month of Winnebegao's quarter — but it is early.