Metal Prices - are indeed increasing
I'm in the process of having a back and partial sides added to my RV port. Steel prices are up 66% since last June - due to demand in China. The steel industry uses a baseline ref. of Jan. 1997 and except for rebar and rod which are 105% of that baseline, most other steel is still about 70% of Jan 1997. The world steel industry has been in a slump since Nov. 2001 and starting to recover.
My contractor (who uses US made steel) told me of a large steel building he built a year ago for $24K and a identical one last month for $49K, so to determine if he was pulling a quick one, I did my Internet research, - the increases are real & significant. Increased fuel costs are increasing shipping costs, the only thing that is decreasing, is my income.
Our leader - Geo. Jr., lifted steel import tariffs in January - supposedly to lower prices - the opposite happened.
China's demand equals Mexico & Canada combined.
This has to be responsible for some cost increases in Airstream chassis's. The increases are not likely to stop anytime soon.
I don't ever want to see Airstream cut corners to reduce costs. We, as consumers, have to bear the burden of supply & demand.