September '19

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18 THE SHOP SEPTEMBER 2019 to a slower market, and they're focusing efforts in other areas where growth is more relevant," explains Bryan Grigsby, power- sports national sales manager at Driven Performance Group, as well as an off-road powersports enthusiast and race team man- ager with more than 20 years of experience. Utility vehicles like the Yamaha Rhino and Kawasaki Mule are newer entries into the category. "You have to appreciate how far these models have come and where they have taken the industry," Grigsby notes. "It's a bigger and more functional segment, not to mention where the market originated. Because of them, we now have current models like the Polaris RANGER or new GENERAL, the latter of which dons a great fit and finish and can transition between utility and sport." Exciting new ATVs hitting the market include the 2019 Polaris GENERAL, 2019 John Deere Gator and 2019 Can-Am Defender. UTV/SXS: Unsurprisingly, this segment continues to be a driving force within the powersports industry—not only because of the impressive number of factory units sold, but also an automotive aftermarket that is eager to modify. After all, SXS have the power and ver- satility to check all the boxes, from ideal transportation for general exploration to hardcore desert racing and everything in between. The market itself continues to mature, evolve and expand with increased unit performance and resourcefulness. In fact, SXS registrations in a handful of U.S. Basic Trade Areas have increased by double-digits this year, according to data provided exclusively to Powersports Business by Statistical Surveys, Inc. "Overall U.S. registration growth of side- by-sides at state motor vehicle agencies has increased by 3.35 percent vs. the year-ago period," reports Powersports Business in its June - Volume 22, No. 9 issue. Austin, Texas alone experienced a gain of 19.57 percent in registrations, while other geographic areas receiving a boost include Minneapolis-St. Paul at 11.52 percent and San Diego at 7.71 percent. There is no denying the Polaris RZR drives a lot of business and overall excite- ment for the category, but the sport market is limited by where and how people ride, according to Grigsby. "As an example, with a utility unit, someone can farm, plow snow, hunt—it's versatile, right? The sport side, while it's definitely fast and fun, is also a little limited in scope of use," he explains. Bottom line: the OEs continue to invest heavily in SXS development, and they are expanding with even more applications to meet specific customer needs. "If the last few years have taught us any- thing, it's that electric is here, and it's the real deal. In the future, look for an EV-type UTV or bike," predicts Grigsby. Overall, such strategic moves support a notion of growth, but, as he notes, the ongoing heated battle between titan brands like Polaris and Can-Am traditionally causes a healthy year-over-year increase in per-unit prices at the dealer. "Now, with high consumer demand for model variation, we have a situation where the Can-Am Maverick X3 is more of a value purchase, yet it's the highest-horsepower unit ever released and $3,000 less in MSRP," states Grigsby. He warns that we should all be paying close attention to the OE dynamics and how they impact unit pricing and, subsequently, overall sales revenue. "Within the SXS segment, yes, we still saw a high double-digit increase, but not like the good old days when 25- to 30-percent growth was common for quite some time," notes Adamy. "But that's to be expected as a market matures and more players enter the game." Shops can potentially carve out a niche for themselves, personalizing these units according to market trend, including adding hardcore off-road and ancillary lighting, wheels and tires, shocks and sus- pension, performance investments, elec- tronics upgrades and more. Exciting new UTVs/SXS hitting the market include the 2019 Yamaha Wolverine X2, 2019 Yamaha Viking EPS, 2019 Yamaha YXZ1000R SS SE, 2019 Honda Talon 1000X and the Talon 1000R. SSV Works has a 4-door Polaris RZR XP Turbo S equipped with the company's new five-speaker Ride Command-Ready Audio Kit. (Photo courtesy SSV Works) MORE POWER TO YOU Tensor offers the patented, American-made DS 32 race tire developed specifically for competition. (Photos courtesy Tensor)

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