The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association commissioned an Economic Impact Study on the RV industry, released on June 7, 2016. The study found that the RV industry contributes about $49.7 billion in economic output or 0.28 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. Through its production and distribution linkages, the industry impacts firms in 426 of the 440 sectors of the United States economy.
Nationwide, the industry is responsible for 216,170 jobs, both directly and inderectly, creating an economic impact of $37.5 billion. The full study results, along with each individual state and congressional district's economic impact is available on the website by clicking here .
Tue Nov 27, 2018
Author: RV News Staff
Longtime RV industry analyst, Richard Curtin, Ph.D., also a professor at the University of Michigan’s Survey Research Center, forecasts in his RV RoadSigns newsletter that RV shipments will decline next year. He predicts 2019 shipments between 439,800 and 466,000 with the most probable total of 453,200 units. If his projections are accurate, this would be a 5.4 percent decline.
Full-year 2018 shipments are expected to come in at 479,000, which is already a 5.1 percent decline from the 2017 peak of 504,600 units. The 2017 year marked eight consecutive years of growth. Despite this year’s Q2 and Q3 reports of slowing shipments, 2019 numbers are anticipated to be higher than any previous year since 1973.
Third quarter 2018 shipments fell to 107,130, although originally predicted to be higher. Despite Q3 results being down compared to the same period in 2017, this year’s Q3 results were still higher than the same period for any year since 1972. This year’s decline has been mostly felt by type A and C motorhomes, fifth-wheels and conventional units. Meanwhile, smaller segments such type Bs and truck campers recorded modest gains.
“Income, employment and household wealth will continue to exert a positive force on RV sales, though these factors are expected to be slightly less favorable in the year ahead,” Dr. Curtin says.
According to the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index and data from Stat Surveys, retails sales remain strong, enabling consumer confidence to reach an 18-year high.
“The mild downturn in shipments reflects the impact of higher manufacturing costs for RV producers, and RV dealers adjusting their inventories due to changes in inventory carrying costs,” RVIA President Frank Hugelmeyer says. “All relevant economic factors have been favorable for so long that slippage at some point was inevitable. The good news is that RV manufacturers are already responding in ways that will set them up for future success, meeting a new generation of RVers’ demand for distinctive features and options.”
Hugelmeyer also cited RV manufacturers being more innovative to increase worker productivity and increasing desire across multiple demographics to travel and spend time outdoors. He sees this trend continuing over the next several years. Industry research agrees that younger RVer generations have more serious shopping intentions than older generations. The majority of current RV owners say they are likely to purchase another RV in the future.