The weather has been scorching hot in many parts of the country, but as long as two wheels are rolling, motorcycle rides remain rejuvenating and also a more economical commute. With the economy still generating predominantly bad news, prices are mostly down in the powersports market this month. Continued high gas prices, still high unemployment and the Federal Government’s inability to get anything positive accomplished relating to either the debt ceiling or the economy have led to a general unease for many consumers.
These economic factors have directly translated into an early drop-off in sales volume at the retail level and a lessening of demand at the wholesale level, creating a corresponding drop in prices. What strength there is in auction activity is really being supported from buyers who are exporting most of their purchases.
ATVs, street bikes, cruisers, off-road and the on-off road segments are all down compared to last month, by significant amounts, averaging around 3 percent.
Snowmobiles, personal watercraft and jet boats are down about 1 percent this month.
Utility vehicles have shown a slight increase in value of around .5 percent. This is a somewhat normal occurrence since many of these vehicles are used in farming and fall outdoors activities, leading to their peak use season arriving shortly. ATVs, particularly the large displacement utility models, also usually increase in value in the fall. But we have not seen any increase in values yet at the wholesale level for this segment.
The only really bright spot in the market has been in the scooter segment, where prices have risen around 3 percent versus last month. As is typical of high gas prices and a weak economy, cheaper, more fuel-efficient vehicles tend to outperform their more expensive and fuel thirsty relatives.