Profits tumbled for Winnebago in the company’s second quarter. The Forest-City-based maker of recreational vehicles reported net income down nearly 39-percent from its second quarter last year. Chairman and CEO Bruce Hertzke says outside factors scared away potential buyers. Hertzke says the market for motor-homes was hurt by buyer concerns over higher fuel costs and rising interest rates.
Hertzke says traffic and sales have been weaker at regional RV shows throughout the country, and he’s seen a shift in the “product mix.” Industrywide, sales for Class “A” motor homes, the large 25-to-45-foot RV’s, were down last year by more than 12-percent, while he says the sales of smaller Class “B” styles were down by only one-point-seven percent. Still, Hertzke said he’s optimistic about the rest of the year.
He says Winnebago cut inventory in the second quarter and is expecting that to cut its costs as the company’s third quarter begins. He says they’re also gearing up to change over production from the 2006 models to newer 2007 designs. At shareholders meeting, Hertzke said Winnebago’s net income for the first six months of fiscal 2006 was 22-point-three million, a decrease of nearly 31-percent from the same period a year ago. He said Winnebago’s new fuel-efficient diesel motor homes brand-named the View and the Itasca Navion are selling very well.