CHICAGO – December 28, 2015 — 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.
CDF has supported the RV industry with flexible inventory financing products for more than 30 years. Inventory financing, also known as floorplan financing, allows dealers to stock, market and sell a wide variety of products from RV manufacturers.
Sample and methodology
The RV industry survey of 61 respondents was conducted Dec. 1-3 during the annual Recreational Vehicle Industry Association tradeshow in Louisville, KY. Seventy-five percent of the respondents were dealers, 4 percent were manufacturers and 21 percent were other industry participants.
About GE Capital, Commercial Distribution Finance
Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF) provided $46 billion in financing for more than 40,000 dealers and more than 2,000 distributors and manufacturers globally in 2014. CDF operates in 60 countries and provides inventory financing solutions, service and intelligence through in-depth industry expertise and commitment. Programs include inventory and accounts receivable financing, asset-based lending, private label financing, collateral management, and related financial products. On October 13, 2015, Wells Fargo agreed to acquire CDF from GE Capital as part of a larger transaction that is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016. For more information, visit www.gecdf.com or follow company news via Twitter (GEInventoryFin)
*On March 1, 2016, Wells Fargo acquired GE Capital’s Commercial Distribution Finance business, which is now part of the Wells Fargo Commercial Distribution Finance business.