RESTON, Va. — Production of recreational vehicles has slowed compared to the pace set last year, but industry officials remain optimistic about market demand. 

Total RV shipments ended the month with 36,524 wholesale shipments, a decrease of 10.3 percent from the 40,738 units shipped the previous June, according to the RV Industry Association’s June survey of manufacturers. 

Towable RVs, led by conventional travel trailers, totaled 33,171 units for the month, a decrease of 9.2 percent compared to last June’s total of 36,532 units. Motorhomes finished the month with 3,353 units, down 20.3 percent compared to the June 2018 total of 4,206 units.

Through June, RV shipments have reached 216,581 units, down 20.3 percent from the 271,588 units at this point last year.

According to RVIA director of media relations Kevin Broom, the decrease in production is no surprise. It’s a result of an inventory correction that’s working its way through the system.

“Over the last several years, there were record levels of production and purchasing,” he said, “And there’s less urgency for dealers to make their purchases right now, so what’s happening is the dealers are letting inventories sort of go back to normal levels.”

He said there’s no reason to worry too much, and that over time the correction will even out. That’s despite the fact that there was a shipment decline in 2018 from 2017 as well.

“The things is, 2017 was the all-time record, 2018 was the second best year on record. And this year, I believe, is going to be the third best year on record,” Broom said.

He said the industry is still shipping at an “extremely high level.”

“It’s tough to set a record every year,” he said.

Tariffs created by President Donald Trump have had a negative effect on the industry, according to Broom.

“And it’s not just steel and aluminum. There are thousands of listed products,” he said.

And since the RV industry deals both with automotive and house components, it is particularly affected, though it is difficult to quantify, according to Broom.

On the positive side, with the baby-boomer generation continuing to enter retirement and the millennial generation entering the RV market, there’s reason to be optimistic, Broom said.

And despite the industry’s overall decrease from last year, at least one section continues to improve. Park Model RVs finished the month up 30.1 percent compared to last June with 389 shipments to retailers

Follow Rasmus Jorgensen on Twitter @ReadRasmus

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