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Old 01-24-2019, 03:12 PM   #1
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Default Did Hymer fake sales create illusionary Class B Boom?

The reports out of Germany on the "reporting irregularities" at Hymer NA indicate that the company may have inflated its sales figures to the tune of 1000 more vehicles than they actually sold. According to RVIA there have only been about 10,000 class B's sold over the past two years. If those numbers include the "ghost" sales by Hymer NA, they would make up 10% of the total sales for the entire industry.

A lot of people have talked about the recent "boom" in Class B's. But it may have been an illusion.
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Old 01-24-2019, 03:25 PM   #2
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Hammill and company have been there since maybe 2004(?), so it could have been going on substantially longer than the Hymer time. It is hard to believe that Hymer would miss that in a prepurchase audit, but you never know. Inflated and exaggerated positive information are extremely common in the merger and acquisition world so not uncommon at all, but this does sound much larger than usually seen. The previous owners may have even turned a blind eye to it to get a better price.


Also remember that management usually has contracts that have some big bonus incentives based on sales, profits, growth etc, so they could have benefitted greatly from the sales inflation, even if it wasn't a cash misssing scenario.
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Old 01-24-2019, 03:55 PM   #3
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You are right. There are other scenarios and the reasons for inflating sales are unknown. They may have been internal, external or both. But, with the exception of the miniscule truck camper category, type B's are the only market category in the rvia report that didn't show a decline last year. The rest of the industry was shrinking.

https://www.rvia.org/news-insights/r...-november-2018

If I was an RV company that has expanded its class B line based on the industry growth figures, I would be a bit nervous.
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Old 01-24-2019, 04:58 PM   #4
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If I was an RV company that has expanded its class B line based on the industry growth figures, I would be a bit nervous.
I doubt any company would expand their business based on an industry report if it was not backed up by their own internal sales figures. Of course, some of those companies may be looking at what happened at EHGNA & wondering how they can make sure that doesn't happen to them.

The source of the industry sales figures also matters. If they're based on sales reported by dealers, or are based on vehicle registrations, those would not have been affected by any internal shenanigans at EHGNA. There's only a potential issue if the industry report is based on numbers coming from EHGNA.

Anyway, a significant portion of the increase in class B sales seems to be going to Winnebago, since their market share has been steadily going up. I think if this had happened at Winnebago it would have been more likely to cause the concerns you're suggesting.
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Old 01-24-2019, 05:18 PM   #5
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The RVIA site says their numbers are based on reports from companies. Companies rely on a lot of different information to make their business decisions, and that includes reports from the industry associations they belong to. In fact, access to the data collected is one of the reasons companies belong to the association.

Where does the information about Winnebago's class b sales come from? Regardless, it certainly matters whether their increased sales are adding to the market or just cannibalizing other companies sales.
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Old 01-24-2019, 05:46 PM   #6
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I based my statement about Winnebago's sales on reports in this thread. Some of those figures come from RVIA, others do not.
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Old 01-24-2019, 11:11 PM   #7
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According to the report from SSI on RV Business - through November Winnebago Industries Inc. led in Class B sales with a 40% market share. All of the Erwin Hymer Group North America brands combined (such as Hymer, Sunlight, Carado, Roadtrek) were a distant second at 29.1%. Thor Industries Inc. was third at 10.8%.

Link to article: https://www.rvbusiness.com/blog/ssi-...11-months.html

There's some market share history here: http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f9...ents-2385.html
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Old 01-30-2019, 03:44 PM   #8
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The RVIA site says their numbers are based on reports from companies. Companies rely on a lot of different information to make their business decisions, and that includes reports from the industry associations they belong to. In fact, access to the data collected is one of the reasons companies belong to the association.

Where does the information about Winnebago's class b sales come from? Regardless, it certainly matters whether their increased sales are adding to the market or just cannibalizing other companies sales.
Stat surveys is the most relied upon report on industry growth. They pay for and gather information from States on retail registrations. Not even Jim ammil can fake retail registrations. (I think)
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Old 01-30-2019, 04:04 PM   #9
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Here is a quote from Winnebago's annual report:

"Key reported statistics for the North American RV industry are as follows:
• Wholesale unit shipments: RV product delivered to the dealers, which is reported monthly by RVIA
• Retail unit registrations: consumer purchases of RVs from dealers, which is reported by Stat Surveys"
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Old 01-31-2019, 06:12 PM   #10
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I can see all kinds of litigation potential if it turns out these numbers were fraudulently inflated. The other major manufacturers, as well as those manufacturers below Hymer in market share would be negatively effected by fraudulent market data. Market share effects stock price and market cap values. It could get really ugly.
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