For many years, the All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) segment of the market was a strong part of the dealer’s product and profitability mix.
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Utility Vehicle (UTV) segment of the powersports industry was limited to just a few manufacturers generally producing vehicles that could haul a bit of light cargo from here to there without much fanfare. Side-by-Sides (SxS), as we now know them, had yet to be named as such.
The industry has evolved significantly and now a majority of the OEMs in the powersports industry – BRP/Can-Am, Honda, Kawasaki, KYMCO, Polaris, Suzuki, Yamaha and others – in addition to ATVs, produce a broad range of UTV and SxS machines. There are recreational, utility and performance products tailored for virtually any purpose.
A camo clad UTV is now a hunter’s best friend; their utility has become invaluable to farmers and ranchers; and families find SxSs a new and energizing means to recreate together. For those with competition in their blood, numerous racing series have cropped up offering the ability to pit a SxS and your skills against others. The depth and breadth of offerings was hard to imagine just a few years ago.
As OEMs expanded their product offerings and consumer demand grew, the ATV/UTV/SxS segment brought some much-needed growth and profitability back to the powersports industry. While the general off-road motorcycle market is still working to build itself back to pre-2008 sales numbers, the ATV/UTV/SxS segment has produced record-setting growth throughout the last five years and now boasts significantly more than one million units in the marketplace.
With the welcome growth of increasing numbers of OEM models hitting dealer showrooms came an expansion in the aftermarket segment where companies also broadened their product lines to offer a wide range of bolt-on parts, accessories and modifications for virtually any ATV/UTV/SxS application.
All of this growth has solidified the category as the fastest growing and most profitable area for many OEMs and dealers, alike.
To sustain this growth, it’s important for OEMs, aftermarket brands and most importantly, dealers, to stay at the forefront of industry trends, understand consumer demands, be well informed on all aspects of the industry, and be prepared to take advantage of each buying season in order to best serve customers and enhance the bottom line.
With its recent commitment to AIMExpo, ATV/UTV/SxS industry leader BRP/Can-Am will have a significant presence alongside other leading manufacturers such as Bad Boy Buggies, Hisun, KYMCO, Massimo Motors, Yamaha, and many more. While each manufacturer will have a variety of powersports products on display, it’s safe to say that the ATV/UTV/SxS models will be of particular interest to many on the show floor inside the Orange County Convention Center.
In addition to the new product unveilings and in-booth displays, there will be multiple opportunities to climb inside or throw a leg over some of the newest ATVs, UTVs and SxSs at AIMExpo Outdoors! The unique opportunity to demo the latest models offers dealers first-hand experience of many of the product lines they will be selling to their customers during the upcoming buying season. In fact, 85 percent of dealers who took advantage of the demo ride opportunity at AIMExpo in 2014 test-drove an ATV or UTV/SxS.
Their demo experience resulted in each dealership staff member being able to share an authentic opinion with their customers about what they, as a fellow enthusiast, enjoyed most about a particular model and how it could meet the customer’s needs. Being able to share this type of information instills a level of trust and authenticity in the customer, turning the sales process into more of a conversation rather than a sales pitch, which is something everyone can appreciate!
Complementing the debuts and demos is the unique opportunity to network with other dealers, exhibitors, and the industry as a whole to learn more about innovative business and sales tactics that may be working for others in different geographic regions. Building upon this is the formal education provided by industry and non-industry experts at the PowerSports Business Institute @AIMExpo. With dozens of topics and seminars to choose from, there will be no shortage of thought provoking ideas and industry best practices being shared.
After engaging with the industry during the two trade days of AIMExpo, dealers will also have the chance to interact and witness in person what consumers and other enthusiasts are most interested in. Returning home with a solid understanding of ways to improve the business side of a dealership, as well as knowing what it is customers are looking for and are excited about is a prospect unavailable at any other event in North America.
Lastly, let’s not forget about the time and location. Orlando in the fall offers visitors some of the best weather in the country – the perfect climate for a ride! The past two years of AIMExpo have been greeted with sunny blue skies, and a growing range of ATV and UTV/SxS offerings that won’t disappoint. In addition to all things motorcycle, the American International Motorcycle Expo is quickly becoming your ATV/UTV/SxS headquarters! Register for free trade credentials today at AIMExpoUSA.com and join your industry in Orlando in October.