A major RV maker now has $14 billion in backlogged orders and is ‘pretty much sold out for the next year’

Thor Industries manufacturing plant in Indiana in 2018
A Thor Industries manufacturing plant in Indiana in 2018.

  • Road travel skyrocketed in popularity during COVID-19, and many RV makers saw a boost in sales.
  • Now, RV maker Thor Industries has a $14.32 billion order backlog.
  • The company is “pretty much sold out for the next year,” CEO Bob Martin told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on “Mad Money.”
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It’s no secret the COVID-19 pandemic gave the RV industry a major boost in sales during 2020. Popularity was so high, RV maker Thor Industries now has a $14.32 billion order backlog, the company said in its 2021 third-quarter earnings report on Tuesday.

Thor Industries – which owns RV brands like Jayco and Airstream – first began seeing a boost in sales in May and June of 2020, especially with RV newcomers, Thor Industries’ president and CEO Bob Martin told Insider in May 2020. This boom in popularity only continued to grow: Thor achieved $3.46 billion in net sales in Q3 2021, the strongest in the company’s history, Martin said in the earnings report. This is a 105.7% increase compared to Q3 2020.

And now, this boost in sales has grown into an over $14 billion order backlog, which is an almost 550% increase compared to the same time in 2020. Taking a closer look, Thor’s backlog for towables and motorized RVs by the end of April in North America increased 766% and 548%, respectively, compared to the same time in 2020.

And now, the company is “pretty much sold out for the next year,” Martin told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on “Mad Money.” Many of Thor’s dealers also have “virtually no” inventory, but because a large portion of its backlog consists of pre-sold orders, Thor currently won’t be able to increase its dealers’ inventories, Martin told Cramer.

“Since a significant number of units in our backlog have already been retail sold, we currently believe the restocking cycle will extend well into calendar 2022,” Martin said in the earnings report.

To combat this pileup of orders, Thor has and will continue to boost production, according to the company.

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