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GE Capital: RV Industry Expects Sales to Rise in 2015

December 12, 2014, 07:12 AM
Filed Under: Recreational Vehicles

Optimism remains high in the recreational vehicle (RV) industry, according to survey results released today by GE Capital’s Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF) business.

Forty-one percent of survey respondents said they expect sales to rise 5 percent to 10 percent next year, and an additional 26 percent expect RV sales to grow 10 percent to 15 percent. This is similar to last year’s sentiment, where 37 percent of respondents thought their sales would grow between 5-10 percent.

“The RV industry has reason to feel optimistic once again, with strong shipment and retail registration numbers and a relatively strong economy as we close out the year,” said Tim Hyland, president of CDF’s RV group. “Our inventory financing portfolio is also showing healthy aging and turnover metrics, so overall, a solid year once again for the RV industry which should carry over into 2015.”

Travel trailers (50 percent) will remain the most popular type of RV for the third year in a row, according to survey respondents. This is followed by motorhomes (25 percent) and fifth-wheel trailers (20 percent).

Survey respondents were most optimistic about consumer demand (30 percent), availability of wholesale financing (15%) and product availability (15%). Conversely, the biggest areas of concern were product availability (22 percent) and consumer demand (20 percent).

“While there is optimism around consumer demand, the survey shows dealers and manufacturers are mindful of the impact it has both ways,” said Hyland. “The RV industry’s performance is closely tied to consumer confidence and there are a lot of reasons to feel good about next year. However the industry will keep its eye on the economy and remain nimble to fluctuations.”

The RV industry survey of 184 respondents was conducted Dec. 2-4 during the annual Recreational Vehicle Industry Association tradeshow in Louisville, KY. Sixty-nine percent of the respondents were dealers, 13 percent were manufacturers and 18 percent were other industry participants.

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