Forbes: After RV Boom, OEMs Look to Pre-Covid Sales Pace

Forbes: After RV Boom, OEMs Look to Pre-Covid Sales Pace

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is an excerpt of a report by Forbes. Click here to read the full report.

Recreational-vehicle makers enjoyed a record decade of sales after the Great Recession, with the industry’s unprecedented boom times coinciding with an expansion of Americans in upscale demographics, a period of relatively inexpensive gasoline, and one that saw massive retirements by the leading edge of the baby boom, as well as other favorable factors.

Then, when the pandemic hit in 2020, RV sales revved to an even higher level, fueled by consumers’ interest in “social distancing,” the freedom many gained to be physically untethered from their workplaces, and the extra cash that found its way into Americans’ bank accounts due to federal-government largess.

Now RV makers face an uncertain future, one where sales have come down markedly from Covid-era peaks but a landscape that also allows for a certain amount of optimism despite macroeconomic trends that seem foreboding.

“In the 19 RV shows we’ve already participated in since the beginning of the year, attendance was very strong,” Jon Ferrando, head of the Blue Compass RV retail chain, the nation’s second-largest, told Forbes. “We also had strong sales at the Tampa show, our second-highest of all time” at the industry’s iconic Florida RV SuperShow in January. “Overall show traffic has been very strong, which is a good early indictor of a positive trend.”

Huw Bower, president of the Winnebago RV brand, agreed that “retail demand at some early shows has been on par with early last year, and others have been slightly below that.”

Click here to read the full report.