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Interest Rates, Economic Uncertainties Create RV Industry Headwinds

RV shipments have been spiraling downward over the past year, but no one is pushing the panic button.

Most believe the slide is a relatively short-term problem caused by higher interest rates, economic uncertainties and inventory that’s still sitting on dealers’ lots following the incredible surge in RV demand during the pandemic.

According to the RV Industry Association (RVIA), there were 24,095 RVs shipped to dealers in June, a 46.4% drop compared to the 44,942 units shipped in June of 2022 when the slowdown was just getting under way.

And through the first half of the year, shipments dropped to 164,830 units, a 49.2% decline compared to the same period last year.

Even with the dramatic decline, the RVIA is forecasting that shipments should begin to recover later this year and into 2024 as consumer confidence increases and ongoing interest in RVs turns into sales.

That’s what folks in Elkhart County hope, because the industry and its suppliers employ well over 20,000 people in the county.

“There’s still plenty of interest in camping and RVing,” Monika Geraci, spokesperson for the RVIA, said. “It’s a matter of interest rates and consumer confidence. And they’re still working out some inventory, too.”

Though shipments dropped 49.2% in the first half, Geraci pointed out that registrations for new RVs are only down by about 24% compared to the previous year, indicating that some of the current industry issues are attributable to excess inventory.

Read the full story by Ed Semmler in the South Bend Tribune here.

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