Winnebago sees record sales as millennials enter RV market

Winnebago CEO says company is delivering 'record level' of RVs

A rise in demand and diversifying market for recreational vehicles has lead to Winnebago delivering a "record level" number of RVs, according to its CEO Michael Happe. 

Happe said just below 10% of Winnebago customers are under the age of 30 and looking for an off-the-grid experience, during an interview on "Varney & Co." Wednesday, 

"We are seeing more and more engagement and ownership by millennials and Gen X-ers, especially for products that can get off the grid," Happe told FOX Business' Stuart Varney. "Adventure RVs, you know, where they want to explore the bike trails, the streams."

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Happe called the demographic shift a "phenomenon."

"We are seeing the average age get younger, and our teams are working hard to develop products that appeal to a new generation of recreational buyers," he said.

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The new generation of RV owners, Happe claimed, wants the adventure of the open road along with the luxury of technology.

"They want to experience the outdoors, but yet they want to be connected," Happe said.

Gone are the days of the traditional Winnebago as the American manufacturer of motorhomes aims to offer more safe, sustainable ways to travel.

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"We've got products with solar panels and lithium-ion battery power systems so you can have the power you need."

But Happe pointed out that high demand and ongoing microchip shortage have impacted the supply chain, and depending on the desired model, could take weeks to months to deliver.

"There is no doubt that the supply chain network in our industry is taxed," Happe said. "But if it is not on the lot today, it will depend on the model you ordered and it could take weeks, or candidly... It could take months."

Despite the supply shortage, Winnebago’s latest earnings report showed the company exceeded analysts' expectations. The company reported record quarterly sales of $961 million, with $2.16 in adjusted earnings per share, and said its record backlog grew 252% from a year ago to 46,646 units. 

"Our dealers are experiencing record retail," Happe said. "They have record orders into us for more in the future."