September '19

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22 THE SHOP SEPTEMBER 2019 unemployment low, wages on the rise and interest rates holding level, we anticipate the recreational boating market to remain healthy in the year ahead, with modest growth of up to 2 percent in new power- boat unit sales in 2019." Indeed, OE and aftermarket manufac- turers have enjoyed the steady incline of the watersports category. For electronics supplier DS18 based out of Miami, this market segment has influ- enced its aftermarket sales immensely. Six years ago, the company started in pro and custom audio and soon recognized its unique style could be tailored for marine applications. "We have marine speakers, pods and amps that we took to a different level. Soon we introduced colored LEDs, carbon fiber finishes and chrome grilles for more elegant models," says Rob Ferro. Today, the company's product line is as appreciated in the traditional automotive aftermarket as it is across powersports. Exciting new PWC hitting the market include the 2019 Sea-Doo SPARK. Snowmobile: The Q4 2017 Powersports Business/BMO Capital Markets Dealer Survey reported that snowmobile dealers were challenged to match previous-year quarter sales. However, it appears things are looking up this year. Sales of new snowmobiles rose by 6.6 percent worldwide in 2019, according to SnowGoer, with two manufacturers in par- ticular reporting a positive outlook. Polaris snowmobile retail sales hit high single-digits during the first quarter of 2019, and are up approximately 20 per- cent for the 12-month season ending March 2019. Additionally, North American industry retail increased a low double-digits percentage for the first quarter and were up low single-digits during the same time- frame. The consensus is that Polaris gained significant market share for the season. Though, it is not without competition. SnowGoer announced the market segment rev- enue that Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) defines as seasonal products increased by 8 percent to $350.4 mil- lion for the three-month period, compared to $324.3 million for the same period last year. Although largely driven by personal watercraft sales, BRP's North American snowmobile segment ended its selling season with an 8-percent increase year-over-year, while also reaching the highest market share ever recorded for Ski-Doo, according to company financials. "We had strong sales in February and March. We closed our spring orders above our expectations. Retail sales of both Ski- Doo and Lynx (its Scandinavian coun- terpart) were very strong, which is an encouraging sign for next season," said José Boisjoli, BRP president and CEO. "We have delivered results above our expectations, which, coupled with better-than-planned final spring orders for snowmobiles, has allowed us to increase our guidance for the rest of the year." In addition to general maintenance and repairs, shop owners can service these units with a variety of aftermarket products including upgraded chassis, engine and drivetrain parts, as well as trailering and recovery gear. NOWHERE TO GO BUT UP The powersports industry is a lucrative one, per the evidence. Stay tuned next time for an aftermarket roundup with a focus on shifts in the market, current trends, brand and product selection, as well as valuable advice to excel in an increasingly crowded industry. STEFANIE GALEANO-ZALUTKO heads up Zalutko Business Services and has been free- lance writing across multiple industries for more than 10 years. Visit the company Face- book, Instagram and LinkedIn pages for more information, or contact her directly at sza- to learn more about client services. The side-by-side segment continues to be a driving force within the powersports industry. MORE POWER TO YOU

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