January '21

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72 • RV PRO • January 2021 rv-pro.com volume seasonality. There is the possibility of an early start to the buying season driven by pent-up demand from the prior year due to 2020 product availability issues at retail. How Does This Growth Project Across the U.S.? While we are expecting mid-single digit unit growth nationally, with posi- tive growth in a majority of markets, the magnitude of growth differs across markets (see Figure 2 on page 71). Only 18 markets are projected to shrink in 2021, while 266 markets are expected to grow between zero and 5 percent, 636 markets are projected to grow between 5 and 10 percent, and five markets are projected to grow more than 10 percent. Growth also is expected to differ by RV types (see Figure 3 above). For example: Travel Trailer: We expect 2021 travel trailer unit sales to be about equal to pro- jected 2020 year-end figures from Statis- tical Surveys. We forecast 2020 ending up being 9 to 10 percent higher than the unit highwater mark set in 2018. Solid growth is expected again in the less than $20k price tier, while a pullback from record sales is expected in the $20k to $40k price tier. Even with this forecasted pullback in the $20k to $40k tier, we are still projecting unit sales about 10 percent higher than 2018. Fifth Wheel: We see a strong year on the horizon for fifth wheels. We predict 2020 total U.S. fifth wheel unit sales will come in around 79,000 units, equal to 2019 and almost 7 percent below 2018's highwater mark of 84,500 units. We pre- dict unit sales between 84,000 and 87,000 for 2021, driven by significant growth in the $40k to $80k price segment. Class A: We are expecting a rebound after a tough past two years. Double- digit growth percent is forecasted, driven primarily by growth in the $100k to $250k segment. Class B: We expect a bit of a pullback after a record year in 2020. Growth in 2020 was up 24 percent over 2019. We see double-digit decreases in 2021 to get back in line with the historical run rate of this segment. Class C: Units were up 9 percent versus 2019, and we see the trend continuing in 2021 with double-digit growth rates in this segment. Growth also is expected to differ by region and product type (see Figure 4A and 4B on page 73). For example: South Atlantic: Topline unit growth is expected to be about 3 percent. We expect a slight pullback (-1 to -2 percent) in travel trailer volume, but expect strong double-digit growth in fifth wheel and Class A sales. Pacific: Growth is expected across the board in this region, primarily due to the negative impact the California fires had on retail sales over the summer. Five of the 20 largest wildfires in California his- tory were part of the 2020 wild- fire season. Assuming a less severe fire season in 2021, we should see 12 to 14 percent growth in the region. West South Central: Top- line unit growth is expected to be between 3 and 5 percent. Product growth rates are expected to closely resemble the South Atlantic, with a bit higher growth rate in the fifth wheel and Class A segments. Putting These Forecasts to Work Market forecasts can be one of the most valuable sales plan- ning, inventory management, and market share gain tools in your strategic toolbelt. Using market trends and forecasts to plan better leads to more confident decision making, more revenue, higher margins, and greater share growth while also mitigating risk. Below are some key questions to consider as we begin 2021. Key tactical and strategic questions for 2021 include: • What dealers, products/models, and price points are winning/losing in your market? • What are you winning/losing with? • How can you leverage available market data to better understand Figure 3

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