Dealers of recreational vehicles (RVs) are increasing their inventory levels this year in anticipation of a strong selling season, according to GE Capital’s Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF) business, a leading provider of financing to the industry. That comes on the heels of a very positive 2013, when total wholesale shipments exceeded that of the prior year by more than 12 percent.
“Dealers are increasing their orders over last year’s levels, indicating continued confidence when it comes to consumer demand,” said Tim Hyland, president of CDF’s RV group. “Despite the distractions of politics, weather and healthcare in 2013, the RV industry surged ahead. We expect growth to continue through the spring and summer of 2014, even though some of these headwinds remain.”
CDF tracks trends in the RV industry related to inventory finance through its network of independent dealers, then reports on those trends to create awareness and understanding of market dynamics.
One measure to watch is inventory turn, which remained well above a healthy rate of 2.0X through year-end. The turn ratio reflects the number of times a dealer's inventory is sold and replaced over a period of time, typically annually.
Aging, the ratio of financed inventory less than a year old to the amount of inventory greater than a year old, is also an indication of dealer health. RV aging has steadily declined over the past two years and remains under 10 percent, indicative of a healthy portfolio in aggregate.
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. It provides manufacturers and their dealer customers with a robust array of performance statistics, which are available via CDF’s proprietary online business intelligence tools.