RV Shipments To Top 438,000 Units for 2017

by Wendy on December 8, 2016

via RVBusiness.com

The RV industry’s shipments will top 438,000 units in 2017, a 4.4% increase above the projected 2016 total of 419,500 units, according to a new forecast from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).

The forecast was prepared by RV industry analyst Richard Curtin and released by RVIA President Frank Hugelmeyer at Outlook 2017, the all-industry breakfast program that kicked off the 54th National RV Trade Show today (Nov. 29).

The market projection sees towable RVs ending 2016 at 366,000 units before rising to 383,000 units in 2017. Motorhome shipments will reach 53,000 units this year and 55,000 units next year.

“These are historic shipment totals, and they mark the eighth consecutive year of growth for the RV market, and an incredible gain of 161% from the market bottom in 2009.” said Hugelmeyer in a press release. “We’re optimistic about continued growth into next year due to favorable economic conditions. Inflation and interest rates are near historic lows; a more vibrant economy has created jobs and reduced unemployment to near its lowest levels in decades; wages are finally showing signs of improvement; and household wealth has begun to accumulate toward record highs. These are all working in the RV market’s favor.”

Hugelmeyer added that beyond shipment statistics there are other metrics tracked by RVIA demonstrating that the RV industry is a robust, vital component of the national economy.

“This past summer, RVIA unveiled our RVs Move America study. It was the first-ever look at the total economic impact of the entire RV market, and the findings were astounding,” he said. “The RV industry generates an annual economic impact of $50 billion per year. It employs 289,000 workers who earn $15.8 billion in wages and benefits. Additionally, the industry contributes $5.7 billion in federal, state and local taxes.”

Hugelmeyer said that this data provides a powerful message to share with governmental contacts as RVIA works in a new political environment.

“The political landscape shifted earlier this month with the election of Donald Trump and Mike Pence, and a new administration present the potential for fundamental changes in economic policies and regulations,” Hugelmeyer said. “As a non-partisan organization, RVIA will continue work on both sides of the aisle to promote and protect the interests of the RV industry. I’m confident that we will be able to successfully work with the Trump administration and the new Congress on issues impacting the RV market.”

RVIA also offered updates on the Go RVing Coalition while sharing results on new research by A.C. Nielsen that will be used to accelerate the RV market’s strong momentum.

Industry leaders reported that the market for recreation vehicles is poised to continue record-setting growth as the industry positions itself to reach new customers with the Go RVing market expansion campaign.

“This is the largest and most comprehensive consumer research study we’ve done in a decade,” said Go RVing co-chairman and Airstream Inc. President Bob Wheeler. “The research points us to emerging markets and technologies to embrace for our message to resonate with the right consumers.”

The research identified three key market segments receptive to RV messaging that combined represent 40% of the US population.

“The new data will inform us how to keep current owners happy, while also driving new, motivated customers into dealer showrooms,” said Wheeler.

The Nielsen results will help the Go RVing campaign hone its aggressive marketing efforts, co-chair Tom Stinnett told the overflow audience of more than 1,100.

“We know the appeal of RVing increases with non-owners when they engage with our products and actual owners who are passionate about RVing,” Stinnett said. “That’s why we launched the AWAY video microsite to share stories from real RVers. And that’s why we’ve invested in placing RVs at large events around the country — to give people not expecting to see an RV to have an experience seeing one.”

Stinnett also noted the growing value of social media in reaching potential customers. “We know the up-and-coming consumers are a sharing society,” he said. “By turning our messaging into authentic, sharable experiences, Go RVing is building truest and desire within the marketplace.”

Chairman of the RVIA PR Committee Chad Reece discussed the importance of public relations in an evolving media environment. “The media landscape is being terraformed by the Internet and mobile devices,” Reece told attendees. “The staggering diversity of media outlets is both challenge and opportunity.”

Reece noted the PR team had maintained a successful media relations program with nimble adjustments to the changing environment, and working to secure third party endorsements of the RV lifestyle from mainstream media, and from new media with large audiences.


For more information on RV market statistics and research, visit the “Market Data and Trends” section of www.rvia.org.

To read the original article, go to RVIA: Shipments Will Top 438,000 Units for 2017


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