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Retail Sales Environment Remained Sluggish in September

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]ur latest survey of powersports dealers indicates that the retail sales environment remained sluggish in September. The general theme from the market place is that consumers are being cautious with their spending and are often compelled to make a purchase only when heavy incentives are included.

Perhaps the best example of this consumer behavior comes from the off-road vehicle market where the sluggish sales Polaris dealers have been seeing appear to have gotten a lift in late September when the OEM rolled out a series of aggressive rebates. In our view, this price-sensitive behavior could explain the growing popularity of entry-level price point units, including secondary brands like CFMOTO, Husqvarna, HiSUN, and KYMCO.

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Not surprisingly, dealers are noting that new products are the best way to fight this behavior. For example, in the off-road vehicle space, Can-Am dealers cited improving traffic levels as consumers hit the showroom with inquiries about the new Maverick X3.

This is a phenomenon we have been hearing about in the motorcycle segment as well. Specifically, the new Milwaukee Eight seemed to drive a significant uptick in consumer interest in Harley’s eighth big twin power plant.

It will be interesting to see how demand holds up as we get closer to the Presidential election as many contacts have speculated that it has contributed to the volatile sales. If so, then it could get worse before it gets better.

For a complete copy of Seth’s research this month, download the PDF at http://bit.ly/2ejBkOU

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