RV Shipments Reach Highest Total in 40 Years
Sometimes when a record is broken it stands for a number of years. Lately in the RV industry, however, records are falling year-after-year, with 2016 seeing RV shipments of 430,961 total units, a 15.1% increase over 2015, and the best annual total in 40 years. This past year also marked the seventh consecutive annual increase in RV shipments, a consistent climb that began in the valley that was dug during the Great Recession.
Towable units still provide the lion’s share of the cumulative total, and a record-busting total of 375,950 were shipped in 2016, up 15% from the previous year. The annual motorhome shipment increase was nearly identical on a percentage basis, with 54,741 units shipped, a 15.7% increase over 2015 totals. The numbers within the numbers are equally upbeat; for instance, type C motorhomes and type B motorhomes were up 26.8% and 24.1% for the year, respectively.
Not surprisingly in such a record-setting year, December 2016 was the statistical version of an exclamation point. Wholesale shipments to retailers of all RVs rose to 32,970, a sizzling 17% over the December 2015 tally of 28,025 units in December, according to RVIA’s monthly survey of manufacturers. That figure is the highest December number on record.
“The RV lifestyle has become ingrained in so many areas of this country and the incredibly strong U.S. shipment totals reflect that,” said RVIA President Frank Hugelmeyer. “What I’m particularly proud of is the way that our industry continues to stay a step ahead of the economic curve. Our strong numbers are increasingly being viewed as a bellwether of the economy, and the fact that they continued all the way to the end of December is a great signal for the coming year.”
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