RV Dealerships have been hit hard. First, it was the gas prices that hit the market. Nobody wanted a gas guzzling RV to drive across the country. Buyers started looking more at smaller RVs. The Sprinter based models like the Winnebago View did well and more manufacturers started making them. Then the economy really goes downhill to the point where no one is wanting spend money on extra items when their job future is in jeopardy. And even if someone does want to make the leap, they can't get financing.
I have been reading lately about how many RV manufacturers have had trouble in the economy. Here is a sample of recent headlines from 2008 and 2009.
I could go on but it's too depressing for those of us that love RVs. It's hard to tell if this is going to nearly kill of the new RV market entirely or not. The RV shows certainly won't be as lively. Aftermarket products and service will likely benefit some.
One of the downsides of this is the ripple effect that hits in places that we don't immediately think about. Your local RV dealers are stuck with an inventory of brand new RVs that no longer have a warranty with them. They have money in the inventory and now the product isn't as attractive at retail prices. What does the dealer do? The RVs get older and no one is even coming onto the lots to look let alone buy. Sure, there are aftermarket plans that can be purchased at a cost. Buyers are used to some things being covered for a while though.
I wondered just how big of an impact this is on the looking buyer. What do you think? Would you buy an RV from a manufacturer who can no longer provide a warranty?