Thor Industries racks up $14 billion order backlog amid sustained RV demand

Thor Industries racks up $14 billion order backlog amid sustained RV demand

Even as Covid restrictions lift, RV-maker Thor Industries is seeing sustained demand for outdoor living — and a growing order backlog, CEO Bob Martin told CNBC Tuesday.

Thor’s backlog was worth $14.32 billion as of late April, the company said in its fiscal third-quarter report out Tuesday. That’s up 32.5% from $10.81 billion at the end of January and up 550% from a year ago.

Martin told Jim Cramer on “Mad Money” that the company is “pretty much sold out for the next year” with most of the new recreational vehicle inventory already promised to waiting customers.

“We have backlogs that are full of retail orders, so those will hit the dealer’s lot and then leave, and so we’re still not able to build inventory at our dealer’s lots,” he said.

Demand for outdoor living surged during the the pandemic as homebound consumers sought new ways to spend time safely. And younger customers have started to buy in, Martin said.

“Right now, we see this as a long-term trend, and if we get people in at an entry-level price and entry-level product, they grow throughout their lifetime,” he said. “People trade every 3 to 5 years, but right now we’re seeing it a little bit quicker, and we see this for a long runway.”

Thor makes towable and motorized RVs under multiple brands, including Airstream, Heartland RV and Jayco. The company’s supply in the North American market stood at about 75,000 at the end of last quarter, down almost 30% from nearly 106,000 units in 2020 and 43% below 132,500 units prior to Covid-19 in 2019.

The results are similar in Europe, where Thor’s backlog is growing exponentially. The company reported a backlog value of $3.34 billion, nearly five times higher than pre-pandemic levels.

Thor beat top- and bottom-line estimates for its third quarter. The company’s total sales more than doubled to $3.46 billion from $1.68 billion a year ago.

Shares of Thor fell 1.26% to $115.60 Tuesday. The stock is up 24% year to date.