TEXT OF STORY
Kai Ryssdal: RV’s, that is recreational vehicles, can be a pretty good indicator of a coming recession. They are expensive. They are decidedly not a necessity. And, in fact, the RV business was beat up pretty good during the past couple of years. Today, though, some better news. Winnebago posted its first quarterly profits in more than a year, as Marketplace’s Alisa Roth reports.
ALISA ROTH: Winnebago is selling more RVs. But not to consumers.
Dave Whiston follows Winnebago at Morningstar. He says most of the buyers are dealers.
DAVE WHISTON: So the challenge now is, now that the dealers have ordered the product, will consumers walk into a dealer showroom and buy?
Whiston says a lot of people put off buying the vehicles when the economy was bad. Now dealers are betting demand will pick up as the economy keeps getting better.
WHISTON: You’re seeing more people willing to go ahead and take the plunge. Frankly if you’re retired, you can’t wait forever to buy that RV.
And increasingly “that RV” means a Winnebago.
Kathryn Thompson follows the company for Thompson Research. It’s an equity research firm. She says in a way, the recession actually helped Winnebago.
KATHRYN THOMPSON: You’ve had some major competitors either go out of business, file for bankruptcy…
That means a lot less competition for Winnebago. The company’s hired back some workers and upped production to meet the new demand.
But it’s still not expecting a smooth ride. The CEO said “the economic outlook remains uncertain.”
I’m Alisa Roth for Marketplace.
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.