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Business Management

New Year Marks Uptick in Powersports Vehicle Values

After the last several months of negative news for most of the segments we cover in the Motorcycle and Powersports guide, things are finally taking a positive turn.

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Powersports vehicles are showing good values overall as we head into 2012 with higher prices in the powersports market. After the last several months of negative news for most of the segments we cover in the Motorcycle and Powersports guide, things are finally taking a positive turn.

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Prices are up across the board for everything from ATVs and dirt bikes to cruisers and scooters. Normally, this would be expected heading into a new calendar year, but things have not been normal for quite some time.

The final quarter of 2011 saw unusually depressed pricing compared to past years, coupled with a scarcity of units at auction. Normally, those two things don’t go together, with a lack of units usually translating into higher-than-normal prices.

The lowered volumes seen at auction are easily explained by the lowered production numbers since the economy tanked in 2008. The tighter loan origination standards during the time period of the struggling economy produced fewer but better loans, therefore creating fewer repossessions to remarket today. The unusually low pricing we have seen, especially when paired with the reduced availability of inventory, reflect a continuing lack of confidence in the economy by retail consumers.

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Prices for motorcycles are up a little over 2 percent on average for street bikes, cruisers, scooters and on/off road bikes. Within this overall 2 percent increase, the V-Twin heavy cruisers are not up by quite as much as some of the smaller displacement metric units, indicating that there are still plenty of customers out there looking to stretch a dollar and emphasizing value in their purchase decisions.  

ATVs and utility vehicles are up by a combined 1.6 percent versus last month’s values. Most of these increases in value appear to be coming from dealers starting to slowly build inventory for the spring. This is a trend we usually start seeing a little earlier than has occurred this season, but it is finally underway.  

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Snowmobiles are once again up, but not by as much as might be expected considering the time of year, with prices only increasing 1.4 percent or an average of around $40 a unit.

Personal watercraft and jet boats are down again as well, but by much smaller amounts than last month, averaging decreases of 2.4 percent.

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