The RV industry will see renewed shipments growth in 2008, and the industry�s long-term prospects look bright, according to Dr. Richard Curtin, Director of Surveys at the University of Michigan.
�Throughout the recent economic turmoil, RV shipments have remained robust, showing none of the volatility of an earlier era,� said Curtin, who announced his RV market forecast at an event sponsored by RVIA.
The $14.5 billion RV industry�s shipments will increase 3.5 percent in 2008 to 367,100 units. The growth in 2008 will be led by travel trailers, which are projected to increase by 5.4 percent and Type A motorhomes, which are projected to increase by 4.4 percent. Approximately 80 percent of the RV market is comprised of travel trailers and other towable units.
Curtin said that shipments for the remainder of 2007 will continue to be strong, though lower than the record growth levels the industry has seen in recent years. The RV industry shipped 390,500 units in 2006, a 30-year record. The 2007 total will be the industry�s fourth highest in the last 30 years.
The industry�s long-term growth prospects are excellent, according to Curtin, who projects that RV ownership will rise from 7.9 million households in 2005 to 8.5 million in 2010.
�The leading edge of the baby boom generation has just entered their prime retirement ages, and the number that retires will accelerate over the next decade,� said Curtin. �Moreover, the RV industry has been successful in attracting younger buyers.�
The ongoing change in age distribution means that more consumers will enter the age range in which the highest RV ownership rates are recorded, according to Curtin.
Curtin predicts the expected growth in RV ownership will be accompanied by a change within the RV industry toward more varied features suitable for more diverse uses, toward more age-friendly features, toward more upscale destination campgrounds, and toward more energy-efficient units.