It seems 2017 is off to a good start. The wholesale powersports market picked up steam in February with Average Wholesale Prices (AWP) trending further up from the prior three month average. The western U.S. markets caught up with the eastern U.S. markets, and dealer participation grew as everyone prepares for spring. Although prices were mixed compared to last February, prices on a YTD basis are averaging higher for almost all product categories.
Wholesale Volume Up
Auction volumes are up over last year, providing more selection for buyers to choose from. Part of the year-to-year increase is due to additional product available in our new Philadelphia location, but the majority is due to increased units coming available from new bank lending as well as growth in dealer trades as retail sales improve. Compared to January, the mix of Domestic Cruisers sold declined and the mix of Sportbikes rose. The mix of other categories remained similar. Compared to last February the mix of Sportbikes and Side-by-Sides increased.
Price/Book Ratios Normal
When comparing auction prices to NADA clean wholesale prices, the ratio of price/book values is right on track with historical norms. The ratio rose slightly in February as auction prices rose, especially for Domestic Cruisers as authorized dealers stock up on additional pre-owned inventory. Clean Cruisers averaged ~90-95% of clean wholesale, while Sportbikes averaged ~85-90% and Off-Road averaged ~90% depending upon condition. We expect price/book values to level off in March before declining later in the spring.
Converting Cautious Optimism into Optimism
Almost 1,600 dealers responded to NPA’s website question of the month in February, which was “Did your dealership perform better in 2016 than 2015?” Approximately 65% of responding dealers said yes and 35% said no. Some surveys have indicated otherwise, including NPA’s December 2016 dealer survey. But the year-end numbers don’t lie and with a friendlier business environment, exciting new products on the horizon and plenty of retail financing options coming to market, there is a lot to be excited about in the powersports industry.
All data provided by National Powersport Auctions. For more information, please visit www.npauctions.com