PowerSports Business

March 13, 2017

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dealers receive from PSB, forecasts that the total side-by-side market will be up 6 percent this year. Utility side-by-sides, specifically, are also expected to grow 6 percent, while recreational/ utility side-by-sides are projected to be up 3.5 percent. Johnson forecasts that trail-ready side-by-sides will grow 2.5 percent, while the sport segment is estimated to grow 12 per- cent, mostly due to the Polaris RZR recall that affected sales in 2016. Johnson pointed specifically to farmers when looking at 2017. According to data he has analyzed from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, farmers began purchasing more under-40 hp equipment at the end of 2015, and sales of under-100 hp equipment grew in 2016. "These farmers are finally starting to dip their toe back in the water and starting to replacing some things, starting with the cheaper stuff first — your under 100 hp trac- tors, your side-by-sides and things like that. So I'm anticipating that demand comes back in the fall for the farm market, which, again, is a huge consumer of these," Johnson told Powersports Business. Though the gas and oil industry, another large consumer of UTVs, isn't performing well right now, side-by-sides are still moving well in other segments. "It's always going to be important. You're never going to get rid of the farm. You're never going to get rid of parks and municipalities that need these, landscapers and all the work/utility purposes that it serves that are needed that are never going to go away," Johnson said. "In fact, in some ways, you can probably consider it a little more defensive because they need to be replaced because these are needed machines, as opposed to on the recreation side, those are wants. People want to run around sand dunes and muddy trails; they don't need to do it. But the guy on a farm needs to do his job. The parks department needs to clean up their trash or whatever they use them for." Johnson said that while sport side-by-sides showcase the capability of the manufacturers, the utility segment is the one that sells most vehicles and has become the most profitable for the industry. "The real meat and potatoes of this market is the utility part, especially with the high attach- rate on parts and accessories. The total gross profit dollars that can go to both a dealer and a manufacturer on utility is probably higher than anything else on the market, except for Harley- Davidson motorcycles," he said. The OEM and aftermarket suppliers inter- viewed are all excited for the growth in this segment and the potential to continue reaching new audiences with side-by-sides. "It's continuing to grow, and in my opinion, it's extremely positive," Andreae said. "As more OEMs enter each of the segments, there's more opportunity for accessorizing and taking care of the consumer's needs. In each segment, really, they have more to choose from than ever before on the UTV side." PSB UTILITY UTV CONTINUED FROM PAGE 16 Yamaha introduced the Viking for the 2014 model year, replacing its longstanding Rhino in its utility side-by-side class. Can-Am introduced the Defender, its first utility-focused side-by-side, for the 2016 model year. Hunters and outdoorsmen are a big con- sumer group for utility UTVs. www.PowersportsBusiness.com

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