Greetings from your extended family here in Jackson Center, OH! I hope everyone is enjoying your Airstream in this warmer weather!
As the weather warms across the county, Airstreams are awakening for a new season of adventures! Our dealers are busy de-winterizing Airstreams by the dozens and many new owners are taking delivery of a new or used Airstream so they can hit the road. Things have been very busy for Airstream and our dealers as we begin a new camping season!
In May we had the honor of hosting the IBT board meetings at our new plant. It was great to be able to share the conference rooms and cafeteria for the board members as they all worked hard for several days. I particularly enjoyed getting to spend some time with the entire board as we discussed several ideas both Airstream and the club can do to improve things for the members. It was a great dialogue and many of our senior executives were able to meet with the club’s leadership throughout the week. Thank you to the entire board for a great dialogue and exchange of ideas!
As I have mentioned in past articles, the RV Industry has seen a significant reduction in wholesale shipments due to heavy dealer inventories and slower retail sales. With slowing sales, dealers are reducing their inventories, and during that time, OEM’s are shipping less product. Although Airstream has seen some softness, we have outperformed the industry as we control our production rates very tightly and manage our dealer inventories in a much different manner than the rest of the industry. This has resulted in steady production throughout the winter and into spring. The overall macro-economic factors at play for the industry are largely tied to inflation with increased prices and combined with much higher finance rates. The combination of these two factors has generally slowed the industry. Even with the slowdown, the number of RV’s dealers will sell this year will still be strong when compared to historical numbers despite it being much less than the sales-craze the industry saw during COVID. I do feel once the rest of the industry right-sizes their dealer inventories, things should be just fine.
As Airstream looks forward, we feel cautiously optimistic as we our dealer inventory remains very healthy and look forward to signing new dealers in new markets now that we have some product availability. I am happy to report our dealer partners are in the process of building new exclusive stores in Nashville, Detroit, and Charlotte. There are also other dealers upgrading their multi-line RV dealership to an exclusive store in San Diego, Denver, Minneapolis, and Nashville. There are other markets we are looking to close where we have needed an Airstream dealer for some time, all these new dealers will help provide more service and parts support to our owners and expose the brand to many new future Airstreamers!
I am really looking forward to seeing many of you at the International Rally in Wyoming this June! Airstream will have many employees at the rally along with our dealer who has a store in both Wyoming and Utah. The entire crew looks forward to seeing each of you at the event! I also recently enjoyed meeting with the Colorado unit at their rally in Fort Collins. During the rally, our Denver dealer, Windish RV, shared some images of the new exclusive store they will be moving into later this year. During this time, we also took questions from the club and enjoyed a massive cinnamon bun to boot! When I say they were massive, I think I am underselling it, they were gigantic and delicious!
I look forward to seeing many of you in Wyoming at the rally! Thank you for your continued support of our company, it means the world to the 1,416 hard working families here Jackson Center, Ohio!