September '19

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SEPTEMBER 2019 THE SHOP 17 EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first in a two-part series examining opportunities for automotive shops in the burgeoning powersports market. S ure, enthusiasts can argue the seman- tics of what is more thrilling—being hurled down the strip at 300-plus mph in mere seconds, facing a deadly turn at the legendary Nürburgring track like a pro, racing through the desert at top speed in a purpose-built, high-performance vehicle or strategically articulating a steep rock crawl. "You say to-MAY-to, I say to-MAH-to." Personal preferences aside and truth be told, to truly thrive in this industry and identify with customers at a grassroots level, we all must share an inner adrena- line junkie with a shade of crazy running through our veins. And one such exhila- rating pastime piquing the interest of the automotive aftermarket is the burgeoning powersports industry. BUDDING OPPORTUNITIES Inclusive of ATVs, UTVs/side-by-side vehi- cles (SXS), motorcycles, personal watercraft, powerboats and snowmobiles, powersports is a complementary business model to the traditional automotive aftermarket—one that is ripe with diverse brand and product selection, as well as a healthy cushion of profit margin for authorized dealers and shop owners alike. Here's a detailed health check on the pow- ersports industry, including current statis- tics, top original equipment contenders, a model watch list and important takeaways. ATV: Currently, ATV market data is flat to slightly up, which is indicative of a mature market, says Nick Adamy, director of the sales consumer products division at WARN Industries. However, OEs continue to invest in model development for the segment, which is a good sign—though, the focus has become more "refresh-and-remain-relevant" as opposed to pure innovation. "A key factor for me is, as long as the manufacturers continue to invest in devel- oping units, then we know the market is still doing well. If they aren't developing new models or technology, indicators point Is your shop ready to take advantage of opportunities in the powersports market? By Stefanie Galeano-Zalutko MORE POWER TO YOU Wheels and tires are an enticing upgrade for powersports vehicles. The Nitto Trail Grappler SXS is the company's first ever powersports tire, designed to handle the demands of performance side-by-side vehicles. (Photo courtesy Nitto Tire) Polaris Adventures identified an opportunity to put non- Polaris users in the driver's seat for unique ride and drive experiences at iconic des- tinations coast to coast by partnering with premier rental outfitters nationwide. (Photo courtesy Polaris)

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