Anticipating Improved Retail Sales in 2017

Our latest survey of powersports dealers indicates that the retail sales environment remained weak in November. The general theme in the marketplace is that consumer interest was focused on model year 2016 products with large incentives.

While the amount of 2016 units on showroom floors were nearly depleted by month end on many models, we believe that this price-sensitive behavior bodes well for entry-level price point units, including secondary brands like CFMOTO, HiSUN, and KYMCO.

As dealers continue to note that innovative and revamped products are the best way to fight this behavior, Can-Am dealers cited encouraging traffic levels as consumers hit the showroom with inquiries about the new Maverick X3.

In the heavyweight motorcycle market, the new 2017 Harley Milwaukee-Eight models appear to be driving foot traffic at dealerships, but contacts are offering steep discounts on extra 2016 model year inventory to make room for the brand new Milwaukee-Eight models. Indeed, it appears that the initial pickup that many Harley dealers saw when the Milwaukee-Eight was introduced has moderated.

While December is not a major sales month for certain products, the news is not all gloomy as snowmobile sales appear to have gotten off to a solid start in November. Furthermore, now that the Presidential election is in the rear view mirror, contacts anticipate that retail sales will improve in 2017.

Seth Woolf, a research analyst with Northcoast Research Partners, covers the powersports sector within his consumer sector coverage list. For a complete copy of Seth’s research from this month, click here to download a PDF.  

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