[dropcap]O[/dropcap]ctober frequently brings to mind images of goblins, stock market crashes and pre-election fear-mongering. Thankfully, Average Wholesale Prices (AWP) this October were nothing of the sort. Prices in general were flat to slightly up over both the prior 3-month average and the prior year averages.
Compared to the prior three months, Domestic Cruisers rebounded from last month to end slightly up by 1%, with even greater upticks in Metric Cruisers and Sportbikes of 8% and 7% respectively. Off-Road categories were roughly flat, with MX and ATV categories up 1% and 4% respectively and Side-by-Sides down 2% from the prior 3-month average. Compared to October 2015, AWP increased in all major categories other than Domestic Cruisers.
From a seasonal perspective, average prices followed the normal trend in October, with flat to up pricing for the major categories. When compared to clean NADA wholesale values, average prices were right in line with the time of year when compared to the prior 5-year average, with the Price/Book ratio for most categories in the mid-80’s. The only exception is traditional ATVs, which are following the typical Price/Book trend but at a lower level than last year. This is most likely due to a rougher product mix of ATVs than last year as that segment ages.
The tea leaves are hard to read, however we are optimistic about what lies ahead, especially for the pre-owned market. New unit sales volumes started off strong in the beginning of the year and then fell off as the year progressed. Interestingly, macro-economic indicators strengthened through the year in most categories, suggesting that some powersports consumers are taking a wait-and-see approach as the dust settles from the election and other mainstream media chaos.
This can bode well for the retail market in 2017 as pent-up consumer demand hits the streets, leading to an increase in sales of both new and pre-owned units – especially if the 22.5 million riders who don’t own a motorcycle today fall in love once again with the sense of freedom our industry provides.