Is the RV industry back?

National recreational vehicle market returning to pre-recession levels.

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The national recreational vehicle market is returning to pre-recession levels.

That’s good news for Oregon manufacturers: The Beaver State ranks behind just Indiana in RV manufacturing.

Shipments swelled to 384,400 RVs in 2005 and 390,500 in 2006, and were still strong at 353,400 units in 2007, the last year before sales tanked along with the economy. During the recession, sales plunged, plants closed and thousands of jobs were cut as orders for RVs dropped to their worse level in decades. Shipments sank to 165,700 in 2009, but have steadily risen every year since then.

An improved economy, access to credit and pent-up consumer demand have helped fuel the industry’s comeback, the industry said. The plunge in fuel prices has reinforced its upbeat forecast that more Americans will want to hit the open road in the traveling homes.

(READ MORE: Statesman Journal)

The Lane County Board of Commissioners is mulling shelling out $100,000 in grant money to Winnebago Industries to launch a production facility in Junction City.

It has not been disclosed which company would be the beneficiary of the grant, but Register-Guard sources indicated it was Winnebago.

The unnamed company plans initially to hire 200 employees at the plant, according to a memo to the county board from the county’s economic development manager, Glenda Poling. The average wage would be $16 to $20 an hour — or $33,280 to $41,600 a year — with a “full benefits package,” she wrote.

The proposed county money would be used to help pay for unspecified infrastructure costs needed for the facility, Poling wrote.

(READ MORE: Statesman-Journal)

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