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Optimism Builds for Recreational Vehicle Industry, GE CDF Survey

December 29, 2015, 07:04 AM
Filed Under: Recreational Vehicles

Optimism among dealers and other industry participants in the outlook for the recreational vehicle (RV) industry continued to increase from prior years, according to annual survey results released today by Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF), a business of GE Capital. Almost half (48 percent) of survey respondents said they expect sales to rise 5 percent to 10 percent next year, up from 41 percent who foresaw that rise in sales twelve months ago. Additionally, 31 percent of respondents expected RV sales to grow more than 10 percent.

“The state of the RV industry is strong. Vehicle sales are at near record levels and are expected to increase in 2016,” said Tim Hyland, president of CDF’s RV group. “We’re excited to watch this trend continue and are prepared to do everything we can to support our RV industry customers as they innovate and grow.”

For the fourth year in a row, travel trailers were voted by survey respondents as the most popular type of RV (with 44 percent of the vote). This was followed by motorhomes (34 percent), fifth-wheel trailers (18 percent), and folding camp trailers (4 percent).

When asked about business impact in the year ahead, the majority of survey respondents were most optimistic about consumer demand (57 percent). Conversely, the top concern for respondents was product affordability (34 percent). While the RV industry was optimistic a year ago about the availability and stability of wholesale financing options, almost a third (31 percent) listed it as a concern for 2016.

“Following the first rise in interest rates since the financial crisis, it’s understandable why RV industry executives are concerned about the stability of financing in 2016,” said Hyland. “However, the current environment is very beneficial for borrowing while investment yields still remain low and sales projections for 2016 at around 375,000 units, it’s easy to see why there is optimism around consumer demand.”

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