Thu May 30, 2019
Author: RV News Staff
After a sluggish start for RV wholesale shipments through the first third of the year, RVIA forecaster Richard Curtin expects a slow recovery for retail deliveries for the rest of 2019 and into 2020.
The Director of the University of Michigan Research Division expects RV shipments to total 416,300 units in 2019. That’s down 13.9 percent from the 2018 year-end total of 483,700 units. However, Curtin expects shipments to increase by 2.4 percent to 426,700 units in 2020, according to his RV RoadSigns Special 2020 Industry Forecast. Those annual totals would rank fourth and fifth highest in the last 40 years, trailing only totals from the previous three years, the RV industry’s all-time high.
Curtin expects shipments of conventional travel trailers to account for the largest share of the anticipated gains. Little change is expected in 2020 from 2018 for shipments of motorhomes.
Towable RVs are projected to reach 365,200 units in 2019 and 375,700 units in 2020. Motorhomes are forecasted at 51,100 units in 2019 and 51,000 in 2020.
RV shipments are expected to benefit from renewed growth in wages and employment, low inflation and interest rates, and gains in household wealth through 2019.
“Heightened concerns about the state of the economy early in the first quarter have been replaced by renewed optimism as wages and employment posted significant increases, unemployment fell to a half-century low and stocks rebounded to new record peaks,” Curtin says.
The longtime industry researcher says the right quality and mix of RV products is crucial for attracting and keeping millennials and repeat baby-boomer buyers. If that mix is found, RV sales will continue to benefit from demographic trends, he says. The number of consumers between the ages of 55 and 74 is expected to total 79 million by 2025. That’s 15 percent higher than in 2015. Consumers between age 30 and 45 who largely favor smaller, high-tech trailers is expected to grow 13 percent from 2015 to 72 million by 2025.