Saturday, February 24, 2018
Business

RV industry expects 10 percent increase in 2012 shipments

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The RV industry's recovery from the Great Recession has picked up speed.

Recreational vehicle makers are churning out higher numbers of travel trailers bound for dealers' lots and, ultimately, campgrounds.

Shipments from manufacturers to dealers — a key measure of consumer demand — are expected to rise 10 percent in 2012 and could gain 4.5 percent next year, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association said this week.

Through September, shipments were up nearly 11 percent from the same period last year, the group said. The higher-than-expected number had dealers, manufacturers and suppliers feeling more optimistic as they gathered this week for an annual industry trade show.

"We made up a lot of ground this year," said Jeffrey Pastore, owner of Hartville RV Center in northeastern Ohio. "We're seeing a lot more buyers walking in the door, and we're seeing those buyers with more money in hand."

Sales at his dealership are up about 18 percent so far this year, and he's predicting another 15 percent gain in 2013.

Shipments to dealers slumped to 165,700 units in 2009 from 353,400 in 2007. Weak demand and evaporated credit left dealer lots clogged with RVs and forced the industry to lay off tens of thousands of workers. This year's shipments are expected to be better — hitting 277,300.

Jobs are coming back, too. The industry's workforce has risen to 375,000 from less than 250,000 in 2008, according to RVIA. It's still well below its peak of 530,000 in 2007.

Driving the industry's gradual comeback have been less-expensive towable RVs attached to pickups or hitched to other vehicles.

Towables, which now account for about 90 percent of the new RV market, cost $8,000 to $100,000, with an average price of $32,000, according to RVIA.

By contrast, stand-alone motor homes range from $55,000 to $1.5 million for top-of-the-line, buslike vehicles. The average price is $100,000 for the amenity-filled moving homes.

"It's a given that consumers love to do this, or there would be no market at all because they don't have to have it," Stinnett said. "But they're simply not willing to commit as much money."

Winnebago Industries, best known for its premium products, is rolling out towable products again after a decades-long absence from that market.

And Winnebago has stepped up its presence in the market for entry-level motor homes priced in the $60,000 to $70,000 range.

"That's where we see a lot of the movement in the industry," said Scott Degnan, the company's vice president of sales.

Comments
Activists call for tech companies to drop NRA’s digital TV channel

Activists call for tech companies to drop NRA’s digital TV channel

Activists are calling for Apple, Amazon, Google and other streaming companies to drop the National Rifle Association’s digital TV channel in the wake of the mass shooting at a Florida school last week, putting the companies in the delicate position o...
Published: 02/24/18
Edward Peachey demands severance from CareerSource before stepping down

Edward Peachey demands severance from CareerSource before stepping down

The head of the Pinellas and Hillsborough career centers under multiple investigations into the way they report job placement figures says he has no intention of stepping down.That’s unless he is paid five months severance.In a letter from his attorn...
Published: 02/23/18
Terminally ill Valrico man dies a month after marrying junior high sweetheart

Terminally ill Valrico man dies a month after marrying junior high sweetheart

VALRICO — During his final few days, 19-year-old Dustin Snyder moved to a hospice house, surrounded himself with belongings from home, swam in a pool and visited the beach in Ruskin.Wherever he went, the terminally ill Valrico man had family beside h...
Published: 02/23/18
Tampa Downtown Partnership gets initial city okay to expand north

Tampa Downtown Partnership gets initial city okay to expand north

TAMPA — The Downtowner may be heading to Tampa Heights — but not until Oct. 1.That’s because the nonprofit Tampa Downtown Partnership this week won initial City Council approval to expand into Tampa Heights."Tampa Heights is becoming an important gat...
Published: 02/23/18

Tampa lawyer gets 27 months in federal prison for insider trading

Tampa lawyer Walter "Chet’’ Little was sentenced this week to 27 months in federal prison for engaging in an insider trading scheme that reaped him and a friend profits totaling nearly $1 million.According to federal authorities, Little accessed comp...
Published: 02/23/18
More companies are cutting ties with gun lobby as #BoycottNRA movement gains steam

More companies are cutting ties with gun lobby as #BoycottNRA movement gains steam

Three major companies — Enterprise Holdings, First National Bank of Omaha, and the cybersecurity giant Symantec — have ended co-branding partnerships with the National Rifle Association as a #BoycottNRA social media movement picks up steam.Enterprise...
Published: 02/23/18
Citi to refund $330 Million to credit card customers it overcharged

Citi to refund $330 Million to credit card customers it overcharged

Citigroup is preparing to issue $330 million in refunds after the bank discovered it had overcharged nearly 2 million credit card customers on their annual interest rates, a spokeswoman said Friday.The bank, which has about 150 million credit card ac...
Published: 02/23/18
Girl Scouts camp sold to member of Tampa’s Lykes family

Girl Scouts camp sold to member of Tampa’s Lykes family

ODESSA — The 63-year-old lakeside summer camp had no air conditioning or electricity. Cabin floors were often covered in grime, and cobwebs clung to the windows.But under new ownership, the 18.6 acres of Florida woods known as Camp Scoutcrest to memb...
Published: 02/23/18
BB&T cites ‘technical issue’ in outage affecting customers

BB&T cites ‘technical issue’ in outage affecting customers

Millions of BB&T customers were unable to access their accounts after a service outage which the bank blames on an equipment malfunction. The Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based bank posted a statement on its Twitter page saying the problem persiste...
Published: 02/23/18
Realtors are ‘every 10 feet’ in Florida but more want in the business

Realtors are ‘every 10 feet’ in Florida but more want in the business

ST. PETERSBURG — Tired of working as a yacht captain, Pancho Jiminez decided to get into real estate even though he knows it’s a highly competitive field in Florida."Realtors are every 10 feet around here," he says.Nonetheless, Jiminez is among 30 st...
Published: 02/23/18