Our latest survey of powersports dealers indicates that the off-road vehicle market saw strong UTV and ATV growth in the end of July, although the rest of the month saw lackluster demand, it appears the demand has carried over into August. Indeed, dealers noted that aggressive pricing is the primary driver of new unit sales as MY17 clearance sales from Polaris have sparked a pickup in demand.
While the size of Polaris’ impact means that a small change with the OEM’s trend can move the entire market, we think the intensity of promotional activity is the cause, which means it is impossible to know if this is sustainable.
Meanwhile, Can-Am continues to post very solid growth, which has left many dealers demanding more product than they can get. The next 30 days will be interesting from a product standpoint as we get to see the MY18 Can-Am products (unveiled on Sept. 21) that will be competition against Polaris’ recently announced lineup.
In the heavyweight motorcycle market, the dealerships we spoke with saw incremental weakness in the month of July, in the middle of an already difficult year. The big development to watch in the coming weeks will be the reception of the MY18 Harley-Davidson models, which have gotten mixed reviews – especially given the disappearance of the Dyna platform. Many dealers have said that the performance will win over riders upon trying them, but the question is whether enough riders will test them to move the needle.
Aside from that, the biggest news figures to come from Columbus, Ohio, where the AIMExpo will be held later this month. We look forward to attending the show and reporting back what we see.
For a complete copy of Seth’s research this month, download the PDF at http://bit.ly/2wnxXi6