[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he dust has barely settled on the third edition of AIMExpo, and as I write this we are in the midst of kicking up a different kind of dust at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The two shows couldn’t be more different; however, there are some common threads.
The UTV market loomed large at both shows with a significant presence at SEMA, which has traditionally been an automotive show. The lines between 4x4s and the UTV market are converging more and more. We are seeing more enthusiasts who trick out their trucks and Jeeps also purchasing Side-by-Sides. And this has led to more 4×4 companies becoming involved in the Side-by-Side market as well.
I think so, especially with the popularity of the “autocycle” that has become more prevalent these days with Polaris’ Slingshot and Can-Am’s Spyder.
Dealers may need to expand their footprint to fit some of these machines in their showrooms. It’s not like having a store full of dirtbikes that barely take up more space than a mountain bike. These vehicles are as big as small cars and require special equipment to service.
We have received the attendance figures for AIMExpo and while the number of dealers was not quite what everyone had hoped for, the amount of industry professionals was up. We think this means that there was still plenty of business being conducted. We have heard many viewpoints about AIMExpo this year and how some of you think it can improve, such as moving it to a different time of year – or even moving it to Indianapolis to cover the old Dealer Expo slot since it is no longer running.
What do you think? We want to hear from you. We began running “Backfire” two years ago to publish your viewpoints and boy have you come through.
And finally, I want to take a moment to congratulate our MPN-Beta Tool Giveaway Winner from AIMExpo. Gene Dalzell was picked by the hippie chicks from TCX Boots who came down to help. Dalzell is the parts manager for BMW Motorcycles of Jacksonville. He says that he used to work in England and is familiar with Beta from his time there. Plus, he says his personal bikes could use some extra attention!