Issue link: http://read.uberflip.com/i/803676
OPINION FROM THE EDITOR www.PowersportsBusiness.com Powersports Business • April 3, 2017 • 13 We've heard plenty of opti- mism heading into the riding season, starting with strong consumer attendance at the IMS shows. Moving along to events tailored to dealers — first at the Tucker Rocky | Biker's Choice Dealer and Brand Expo and then at the Parts Unlimited/Drag Specialties National Ven- dor Presentation in India- napolis — there's plenty of reason to believe that 2017 could take a step forward for powersports retailers. As for the start to the year, the numbers don't lie. One of the truest readings our industry offers is the monthly Same Store Sales report provided to our read- ers by CDK Lightspeed. Retail data from more than 1,600 dealers shows an impressive four-month run. In fact, we're on a four-month run during which overall parts, service, major unit and overall sales have been on the positive side of the ledger. That's right, from November 2016 through February 2017, dealerships have experienced average sales growth of 3.65 percent. Taking a closer look, November was up 6.7 percent overall, December 6.2 percent, January 0.5 percent and February 1.2 percet. It's the longest such ride of months of success since 2015, when June-October all rated overall positive. That's quite a turnaround from the previous four months, which show four consecutive down months (July minus 4.5 percent, August minus 0.5 percent, September minus 0.7 percent and October minus 5.2 percent). That was a time not so long ago, when the public "snapped [their] wallets shut," as our headline aptly described from a dealer. Major unit sales, however, remain a struggle. Lightspeed data shows back-to-back declining sales months, compared to the year-ago month. And while the drops were minimal at 0.8 percent in Janu- ary and 0.9 percent in February, they were declines nonetheless. November and December, on the other hand, had major unit sales gains of 6.5 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively. In fact, in 12 of the past 18 months, major unit sales have declined compared to the year-ago month. As we know, and learned from dealers at the dis- tributor shows in serach of the best products for the upcoming season, parts and service are driving much of the retail success. Service sales have increased in 13 of the past 18 months. The oh-so-small overall sales growth in January and February was boosted by parts sales, which grew by 6.8 and 17.7 percent, respec- tively. Parts hasn't had two monster months like that since at least 2015. In short, when we look at the last four months, 13 of the 16 categories (by month for parts, ser- vice, major unit and overall sales) are showing up arrows. You'd have to go back to July-October 2015 to find the same growth over four months. With bikes on the roads in Minnesota in February, that direction bodes well for 2017. NIFTY 50 WINNERS SHOWCASED We're proud to start relaying some behind-the- scenes photos of our 2017 Nifty 50 product winners hard at work. If you were on the team that developed one of our Nifty 50 products, be sure to send me a photo similar to the ones on these pages. We want to show off the talent that went into producing the products. PSB Dave McMahon is editor in chief of Powersports Business. Contact him at 763/383-4411 or firstname.lastname@example.org. 1. New dealership on 50 acres includes four miles of test tracks 2. New Polaris recall affects 13,500 RZRs, Generals related to fire hazards 3. Yamaha celebrates 50th anniversary with new snowmobiles 4. BMW debuts two bikes at 2017 Daytona Bike Week 5. Court rules in favor or Arctic Cat in patent infringement case 6. Polaris CEO Scott Wine compensated $5.4M in 2016 7. Wisconsin dealership to move into former Walmart 8. Polaris introduces 2018 snowmobile, Timbersled lineup 9. Polaris introduces single-seat youth vehicle 10. Arctic Cat introduces 2017 Wildcat SE models 11. Textron's tender offer for Arctic Cat completed 12. BMW Motorrad USA names head of U.S. sales operations 13. Analyst: H-D is Trump's model corporate citizen 14. Ex-BRP exec Leduc named CEO of manufacturing company 15. V-Twin Expo among Paisano assets up for auction The headlines above belong to the most frequently viewed articles from Powersports Business' three-times weekly e-news during the Feb. 23–March 15 period. The number is based on the percentage of e-news viewers who clicked on the article's headline. To subscribe to e-news, go to www.bit.ly/PSBEnewsSignup. WHAT'S THE HOTTEST INDUSTRY TOPIC? Powersports Business blog ONLINE WITH POWERSPORTSBUSINESS.COM Leading industry executives and dealer consultants are among the contributors to PSB's blog. See below for recent blogs. Will recent positive trends bring strong year for dealers? Visit powersportsbusiness.com/blogs PSB YouTube channel subcribers hit 200 Powersports Business' YouTube channel now has 200 sub- scribed followers and counting. Tune in for videos from the editorial team's travels, new vehicle releases and prod- uct details. PSB's videos have earned over 250,000 hits. See footage of editor in chief Dave McMahon's family at the Arctic Cat Family Snow Day and video of the 2017 Tucker Rocky | Biker's Choice Dealer and Brand Expo. Check out senior edi- tor Liz Keener's video from Club BRP or of the Fitz Army Stunt Show at the 2017 International Motorcycle Show. GLENICE WILDER Vice President of Powersports, EFG Companies The vision for business in 2017 is far from clear, with many dealers and lenders taking a "wait and see" approach. What is clear however, is the need to build strong relationships across the aisle that will support both lenders and dealers SCOTT HOCHMUTH Owner, Real Performance Marketing Spiffs makes something "spiffy" or more attractive by assigning a pre- mium or bonus to a specific item! Cre- ating spiffs can be a great motivator in directing staff to sell items that most benefit the dealership RYAN BROWN Vice President, Powersports, Big Time Advertising Spring is just a few weeks away, and that means if doors haven't already started swinging, they will very soon. Customers will be getting tax returns, and they are ready to spend it with us. ... Start selling fun! It truly is that simple. JIM JABAAY Vice President, Sales and Marketing, LotVantage Social media is social, and if you are not creating engaging content, you're missing a big opportunity. Remember, social media sites like Facebook and Instagram are meant to facilitate con- versations, not to be a platform for the deals you're offering. We've heard plenty of opti- mism heading into the riding season, starting with strong consumer attendance at the IMS shows. Moving along to events tailored to dealers — first at the Tucker Rocky | DAVE McMAHON WHAT THEY'RE SAYING... ON THE HARLEY-DAVIDSON PLATINUM BAR & SHIELD DEALERSHIPS STORY Savannah Harley-Davidson in Savannah, Georgia, has been named a 2016 Silver Bar & Shield Award winner. ON A BINTELLI DEALER MEETING/CRUISE TO THE BAHAMAS FACEBOOK POST EcoFun Motorsports is having a great time and learning a ton of valuable info from the top dealers on how to grow our business in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. #Bintellisummit2017 #Bintelli ON THE TUCKER ROCKY | BIKER'S CHOICE 50TH ANNIVERSARY DEALER AND BRAND EXPO FACEBOOK POST We're glad you're here with us! ON SCOTT HOCHMUTH'S BLOG POST, VIA LINKEDIN Sales should always be a win-win for all concerned. Focusing attention on an item doesn't mean that the customer's needs are not well served. Thanks to Thomas Hornbake for sharing this photo of Katie Kelly, in customer service at S&B Filters. Kelly is at the S&B warehouse next to a Polaris RZR 1000 with the 2017 Nifty 50-wininng Particle Separator installed. Farrah Bauer, sales/marketing and advertising manager, and Cole Anderson, racer support, sales and customer service for RK Excel America Inc., show off the company's 2017 Nifty 50-winning Premium Motocross Chains.