There’s been so much attention paid to a potential government bailout or bankruptcy of GM, Ford, and Chrysler that it’s easy to forget that the Big Three aren’t the only vehicle manufacturers in the country. Recently, the San Jose Mercury News published an AP story about the impact that the economy is having on the RV market. According to the article, there were over 390,000 RVs shipped in 2006. Compare that to this year’s projection of fewer than 250,000 RVs and a project for 2009 of 186,800 RVs.
This has had dire consequences for RV manufacturers, which are scrambling to come up with diesel-hybrid models that may have greater appeal. According to the article, Fleetwood “posted a $57 million quarterly loss and said it would close eight plants and lay off 760 workers.” But that may be just the beginning. The company has been trying to exchange stock to meet their debt obligations, and they are in danger of being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange because of undercapitalization. From a 52-week high of $6.85 per share, the company’s stock is currently trading at just 10 cents per share. If the company can’t repay its debt, Fleetwood’s next stop is bankruptcy court.
What I’ve written in posts relating to potential bankruptcy for Detroit automakers also holds true for RV manufacturers. If RV manufacturers go under, it will definitely impact RV owners’ warranties, and potentially their lemon law rights. How it will all play out is still murky, but anyone with a relatively new RV should pay attention to news coming of the RV industry.