How Manitoba RV and boat dealers are coping with inflation
RV and boat supply shortages during the pandemic made getting the vehicles tough to obtain, but with stock back to pre-pandemic levels, other challenges are now on buyers' minds.
Nikki Spence is looking to buy an RV and boat for her family to use this summer.
"Being able to take up residence at a place that's different than in the city and just being out on the water and being outside. Just having that easily accessible," she said when asked why she wanted one.
Spence was among the attendees at the Mid Canada RV & Marine Show on Sunday.
Derek Roth, a presenter at the event, says COVID-19 sparked many to look into buying boats and RVs.
"The pandemic did many things, and one of the greatest to come out of it is that many people rediscovered the areas they live already," said Roth. "You don't have to travel great distances to enjoy the places we have here in Manitoba."
Roth said as demand increased during the pandemic, supply chain issues greatly hampered the availability of products.
"It's not just the manufacturers saying we can't provide more product. It's their manufacturers that can't provide the product. You've heard of microchips in the vehicle industry; well, there are all kinds of things."
Roth says a lot of the supply issues have been resolved, but there are still lingering challenges.
Dave Amey, a sales advisor at Transcona Trailer Sales, says his company's stock has returned to normal, but prices are still higher than before.
"We've seen a stabilization now, finally. Due to lots of reasons, as we all know, lettuce, butter, everything has gone up. Right now, we are sort of seeing a stabilization."
Another issue driving up prices is interest rates.
"It's certainly a talking point," said Amey. "They affect all of us whether you're making a purchase or it's your mortgage. You need to factor that into your budget for sure."
The Bank of Canada's key interest rate now sits at 4.25 per cent, the highest it's been since 2008.
A factor that gives potential buyers some pause.
"It certainly would influence our decision, definitely more than it would in the past," said Spence.
"They kind of suck now, but prices have gone up considerably. It's not affordable to everyone now," said Aaron Arnason, who was also at the show.
Roth said the price challenges aren't deterring buyers set to spend their summer outdoors.
"Yes, it's an increase, but if I were to calculate what it is in the difference, it's not enough to say, 'okay, we aren't going to pursue this purchase,'" he said.
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