Thor Industries drives higher as younger buyers flock to the RV lifestyle

Thor Industries solidified its position as the No. 1 maker of recreational vehicles (RVs) and motor homes on Tuesday when it posted a record year for RV sales in its fourth-quarter fiscal 2016 results.

"Some people think that Wall Street only worships one god: money. But that is patently false. Why? Because there are plenty of people worshiping Thor these days, and Thor has been pretty darned good to its followers," Jim Cramer said.

In an interview with Thor's CEO Bob Martin on Tuesday, the "Mad Money" host noted that while housing levels are nowhere near where they were in 2006, RVs have surpassed levels achieved then. Martin attributed the rapid growth of RVs to consumer confidence and more wholesale and retail lenders in the RV space.

"That, along with just watching the younger buyers flock to the RV lifestyle, it really has helped to give our dealers the confidence to buy more inventory and to sell more at the shows. It has been definitely a positive for us," Martin said.





Airstream camper
Patricia Marroquin | Getty Images
Airstream camper

Younger buyers these days are looking for technology integrated into the RV experience, Martin said, along with features to make camping easier. Thor has competed by introducing new features into every one of its brands this year.

Thor also indicated that it has seen strong demand from the West Coast, particularly in California.

"Definitely the West Coast is waking up … California was 12 percent of the RV market pre-recession, it dropped down to about 6 [percent]. It's coming back," Martin said.

Moving forward, Martin sees further growth, which could include building factories or buying additional facilities on the West coast.

"All of our products are looking at expansion … We've got everything geared up for more production, but we think it's going to continue to grow. So, we are looking ahead," Martin said.


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