Wholesale Projections at Highest Levels

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Wholesale shipments remain projected to reach their highest levels on record.

The latest quarterly forecast by ITR Economics for RVIA found 2021 shipments ranging between 523,139 and 543,572 units. The forecast was released in the Spring issue of RV RoadSigns.

RVIA reported the most likely 2021 shipment projection would be 533,356 units. That would be 5.7 percent more than the 2017 record shipment level of 504,600. The projection also would be 23.9 percent greater than the 430,412 shipments in 2020.

“RV shipments in 2021 are forecast to reach record highs as the industry continues its over 40 years of long-term growth,” RVIA President and CEO Craig Kirby said. “We expect consumers to continue to turn to RVs not only because they allow people to recreate responsibly, but also because RVs allow people the freedom to live a fun, active outdoor lifestyle.”

According to ITR Economics, the strong forecast is attributable to three main factors: relief from supply constraints; OEM plans to expand capacity; and robust consumer demand outpacing very low inventory levels.

“A year ago when RV plants shut down for nearly two months, who would have thought we would be talking about record-breaking shipments less than a year later,” RVIA Chairman and Airxcel President and CEO Jeff Rutherford said. “The fact that 2021 is projected to be the best year ever for RV shipments speaks to the strengths of our industry and the incredible appeal of the RV lifestyle.”

ITR Economics stated shipments could finish in the lower end of the forecast range if supply chain problems persist. The upper end of the forecast range, the company said, is possible given exceptionally low inventories and strong consumer demand. The upper-end scenario likely would require negligible supply chain issues, increased industry capacity and another hard push through the typical seasonal slowdown late in the year.

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