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Baird: September Retail Demand Strong, Lack of Inventory a Hindrance

Dealer inventory is at near-historic lows, some say.

Thanks to the RV Dealers Association for this report

Consumers continue to be interested in buying RVs, but a lack of inventory in dealers’ lots is an obstacle in the way of higher retail sales volume, according to dealers surveyed in September by Robert W. Baird & Co. in partnership with RVDA.

The Baird firm reported motorhome sales were “flat to slightly down” in September because, as one dealer wrote, “No inventory for motorized hurt sales in 2020.” Another dealer wrote, “We have only one new motorhome in stock.  We expect more units to arrive in early November.”

In aggregate, dealers reported having only 24 days-worth of motorhome inventory, compared with over 100 days a year-ago.  Eighty-one (81) percent of dealers said their motorhome inventory was “too low,” and none said it was “too high.”

In the towables sector, dealers said their retail sales in September “improved in the high-teens percent” but that they had only 30 days-worth of new towables inventory, compared with over a 100-days during September 2019.  Ninety-seven (97) percent of dealers aid their new towables inventory was too low and none said it was too high.

“If the supply chain can start getting caught up, we will have great sales (but) I don’t see that happening any time soon,” wrote one dealer, who added that a major supplier told him it “won’t have any products available until March 2021.”


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