May '18

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6 THE SHOP MAY 2018 EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first in a three- part series investigating the burgeoning pow- ersports market and its connections with the automotive aftermarket. T he powersports market—which encompasses ATVs, UTVs, side-by- side vehicles (SSV), motorcycles, powerboats, personal watercraft (PWC) and snowmobiles—is putting its own spin on what it means to be fast and loud. Even more exciting, automotive shops are uniquely positioned to diversify into this complementary and exhilarating industry, just as top aftermarket brands such as Driven Performance Group, AEM Electronics, K&N Filters, Rolling Big Power/Pilot Automotive, ODYSSEY Battery, FOX, Scosche Industries, CURT Group and KICKER have done for years. So, what can readers expect from this three-part series? First up, a detailed over- view and a sneak peek at aftermarket potential. Next month, get immersed in an exclusive Q&A session with aftermarket leaders about current trends, new products and more. In the third and final segment, discover a truckload of new business oppor- tunities with colorful commentary from fellow automotive shops, authorized pow- ersports dealers, other aftermarket suppliers and even a TV personality or two. A TRUCKLOAD OF GROWTH Undeniably, as Off-Road Plus Magazine in Canada writes, "the powersports industry has evolved tremendously from just two wheels in the dirt, as supported by the ongoing year-over-year growth in SSV sales." This segment, also commonly referred to as UTV, has experienced nearly unstop- pable growth since four-wheeler ATVs became all the craze during the '90s. Back then, global unit sales averaged between 800,000-1 million annually. To put those numbers in perspective, that is the estimated range of North American sales alone these days. Explosive growth? We think so. SSVs have the power and versatility to check all the boxes, from ideal transporta- tion for general exploration to hardcore desert racing and everything in between. "Whether you want a go-fast dune machine, a rugged unit with a flatbed to help get the work done or a quiet electric model for your hunting camp, you can find it in a UTV," says Driving the growth in SSV sales are UTV multipurpose, UTV work and UTV sport models, which account for the top three segments across all powersports. POWSPTS Hellwig Products debuted its 2017 Ford F-350 Super Duty build in the Ford Motor Co. booth at the 2017 SEMA Show. The purpose-built recon adventure pickup, dubbed the Operator, is equipped with a custom bed-mounted 2017 Arctic Cat Wildcat X LTD UTV. A Peek at Why accessorizing ATVs & UTVs may soon be coming to an automotive aftermarket shop near you. By Stefanie Galeano-Zalutko

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