September '19

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20 THE SHOP SEPTEMBER 2019 Personal Watercraft & Powerboats: A sound piece of advice for shop owners and management is to evaluate their indi- vidual areas—taking into account recre- ational pastimes of choice. For those who live near the coastline or other bodies of water such as lakes and rivers, there has been a surge in PWC sales, with the core customer being Generation X. "Data released in May by the National Marine Manufacturers Association shows that sales of new PWC in the U.S. rose 8 percent to 69,000 units in 2018, with a growing number of dealerships adding watercraft brands like Sea-Doo, Yamaha and Kawasaki to their lineup," says Pow- ersports Business. A smart move, when one follows the money trail. According to a study by CDK Global Recreation of Lightspeed DMS users, Generation X buyers are the largest consumers of PWC, purchasing 43 percent of all units sold at the dealership level at an average purchase price of $10,088 per unit. There are a number of interesting regional facts, per the recent study, which focuses on transactions from 60,000 PWC units sold between April 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019 and only includes units where the VIN number can be decoded to identify the exact make, model, product line and segment. OEMs that do not provide specific VIN decoding were not included. In this study, 90 percent of the PWC units sold at the dealership level were new units. Dealers in California sold the highest average number of PWC, at 99 units per dealership on average during the April 1, 2018-March 31, 2019 period. Dealerships in the South averaged 79 units sold per dealership. Dealerships in the Northeast and Midwest performed about the same, with an average of 61 and 60 units per deal- ership, respectively. The Northwest, Canada, and the West all averaged below 50 units per dealership. Dealerships in the South ranked at or near the top regarding the average number of units sold and the percentage of total sales. A total of 43 percent of the PWC in this study were sold in the South. The next highest region was the Midwest, which sold 22 percent of the personal watercraft units. A total of 11 percent of all sales were in the Northeast. The remaining regions each sold less than 10 percent of the total units sold. Living in Southern California, Grigsby has seen a big spike in PWC sales, but reminds readers that in the event of another recession, when there is a need for tighter grips on the purse strings, units like these will be some of the first to see sales slip. Similar to PWC sales, the NMMA recently announced that unit sales of new power- boats in the U.S. reached 276,000 units in 2018, an increase of 4 percent from 2017. That happens to be the highest level the U.S. recreational boating industry has reached in 11 years. Furthermore, marine expenditures and spending on boats, engines, trailers, acces- sories and related services also were at an all-time high in 2018—hitting $42 billion, which is up 7 percent from 2017, according to NMMA. "Sales of new boats and boating expen- ditures have been on a consistent upward climb for eight years, with some segments reaching pre-recession sales volumes," said Thom Dammrich, NMMA presi- dent. "With consumer confidence high, RT Pro offers a solution for weak factory front arm mount points with a newly released front gusset plate kit to add strength and rigidity to the front end of Can-Am Maverick X3 models. (Photo courtesy RT Pro) Metra PowerSports has new adapters for adding Heise LED lights to the front of Polaris GENERAL/RZR models. (Photos courtesy Metra) Don't forget snowmobiles as an important part of the powersports market. MORE POWER TO YOU

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