If you need more evidence that the RV industry is booming, consider this: Of the 100 fastest growing companies in the United States, two are RV makers.
Monaco Coach Corp. of Coburg, Ore., No. 27, and National RV Holdings Inc. of Perris, Calif., No. 65, are on Fortune magazine's list of the country's fastest growing companies.
The survey factored such things as stock price, profit, revenue, return on investment and average return over three years.
Three other automotive-related companies made the list: AutoNation Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the largest dealership chain in the United States, No. 38; Tower Automotive Inc. of Minneapolis, a supplier of chassis and suspension parts, No. 48; and Oshkosh Truck Corp. of Oshkosh, Wis., a producer of military and heavy construction vehicles, No. 72.
No automakers made the list, which was dominated by high-tech, e-commerce companies. Several bio-tech companies and retail outlets made it, along with a smattering of financial services companies.
'We joke around here that you can still build something and be successful,' said Mike Duncan, Monaco's investor-relations manager.
At the root of the RV companies' success is the burgeoning baby boomer market, he said. 'We have had three stock splits and a secondary offering. This has clearly helped build shareholder equity.'
Not all of the five automotive-related companies did as well on each aspect of the survey. For example, in three-year returns, Monaco was 10th overall with a three-year return of 97 percent and AutoNation was 98th with a three-year return of -15 percent.
'It's no secret that we're not happy with our stock price,' said AutoNation spokesman Oscar Suris. 'We are frustrated that we haven't been recognized by Wall Street.'
But some of the steps the company has taken, including separating its retail from its automotive rental business and searching for a new CEO, should please investors, Suris said.
AutoNation expects to continue its rapid growth trajectory until it reaches $10 billion in revenues from new-vehicle franchises, Suris said.
Although AutoNation's stock price has dropped 20 percent in a year, to $15, the company's earnings-per-share growth over three years was 112 percent, good enough to qualify as No. 18 in that category.
Said Suris: 'We feel as though we are delivering the goods.'