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Business Management

Value Trends Return to Normal

This month we see a return to fairly normal fall market trends.

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After the last couple of months where prices have fallen rather dramatically compared to what we normally see at this time of year, this month we see a return to fairly normal fall market trends. Not only are prices moving in the directions you would expect for each segment type, but they are shifting as they should for the season versus the substantial decreases in value we have seen over the past two months.

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Pricing for snowmobiles is rising as you would expect with the arrival of cooler weather and the approach of winter. Snowmobiles are up 1.7 percent versus last month’s values. These will continue to gain in value each month going forward as the weather turns colder month by month. Last month, I mentioned seeing all of the snowmobiles in the side yards of homes in Traverse City, Mich. I’ll bet this month many are getting their annual tune-ups done to be ready for the first big snow. Get ready to see more snowmobiles being offered at the various powersports auctions. It’s not too early to increase your stock on this segment of the powersports market.

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On the flipside of the coin, personal watercraft are down 3.6 percent, and jet boats are down a little less at 3.1 percent, as many of these vehicles are stored for the winter and activity in this segment grinds to a halt for most of the country.

Most motorcycles, including the scooter, cruiser, street bike and on/off-road segments, are down between 3.0 and 3.4 percent this month. This is a fairly normal amount for these vehicles to be declining by at this time of year. Demand typically lessens for most of these segments beginning in July at the wholesale level and around August at the retail level. Off-road bikes are down a more sizeable 4.9 percent, which is partly a reflection of the extreme conditions many of these bikes are operated under.  

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ATVs are up .8 percent and utility vehicles are up .6 percent this month.  Each of these segments normally sees increases in demand and pricing at this time of year as farmers and outdoorsmen gear up for harvest and hunting seasons. Prices for these two segments can be expected to continue increasing for the next month or so before leveling off during the winter.

At the auctions, we have seen international buyers continue to purchase significant numbers of units. This has led many dealers to place excess inventory up for sale on consignment.  This exportation is probably softening the seasonal decline of some units. The more in-demand units continue to be the smaller smaller displacement (and therefore less expensive) cruisers, ATVs, and utility vehicles.

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