Data Security

Yes – Data Compliance Applies to You

One of the biggest misconceptions among powersports dealers is the belief that many state and federal compliance regulations do not apply to them. Nothing could be farther from the truth! In many states, motorcycle dealers are covered under “New Motor Vehicle Dealer” statutes that were written for automotive retail. Eight states have laws that specifically address powersports dealers. Another 17 states have “Franchised Dealer” statutes that define a dealer agreement as a franchise agreement, regardless of what an OEM wants to call it. Dealer-OEM relations may also be covered by multiple laws within a state.

From a federal regulatory standpoint, the Federal Trade Commission has regulations that impact automotive, recreational vehicle, and powersports dealers nationwide. Beginning on June 9, those compliance requirements will expand significantly as the updated Safeguards Rule goes into effect. These stringent requirements relate to information security practices in your dealership. In our current environment of data breaches, security hacks and stolen identities, failure to comply with these requirements could mean expensive fines, lost trust from your customers, lenders, and the community, as well as crippling cybersecurity issues. Let’s break down the details and see what steps you need to take to protect your dealership and your customers.

What is the Safeguards Rule?

Originally enacted in 2003, the FTC amended the Safeguards Rule in 2021 but extended the deadline for compliance to June 9th of this year, giving dealerships more time to incorporate the needed equipment, training and procedures. Specifically, the new requirements include:

Business Growth

Turning the Page

The weather has prompted a slow start to spring in several parts of the country. Weekly snowstorms in the West, chilly temperatures in many Midwestern states, and unseasonal thunderstorms in the East have delayed many folks getting out on the road and enjoying their powersports vehicles. While we can’t do anything about Mother Nature, we can make sure our customers are bringing in their bikes for service now, ensuring they’re ready to go when the weather decides to cooperate.

There is some good news for customers in the market for a new bike or an upgrade. Supply chain issues have largely eased, and many financial indicators are trending positive. While the Federal Reserve increased interest rates a quarter of a point in March, the consumer price index declined to 5 percent in March 2023 on an annual basis, down from 6 percent in February, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation report, and the U.S. unemployment rate remained below pre-pandemic levels at 3.5 percent. Not everything is rosy but there is optimism in several economic brackets.

One thing that has remained consistent is the consumer’s penchant for shopping – and buying – a bike online. Thanks to the pandemic, the rate of digital sales continues to grow according to industry organization Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). The quality of your digital platform makes all the difference. From providing information to answering potential buyer questions, your dealership’s digital platform makes a valuable connection. But, how do you know whether your dealership has the right digital content?


Get Some Mud on the ATV

It’s Spring – or almost Spring depending on your location – and what better time to pull that ATV out of the shed and churn some dirt! While you’re at it, now is a good time to generate some revenue as well. According to Mordor Intelligence, the North American ATV and UTV market is  valued at USD 5.96 billion in 2023, with a predicted growth to USD 7.90 billion, registering a CAGR of about 4.8 percent over the next five years. Rebounding from the shut-down pandemic years, ATV and UTV use has expanded from primarily agriculture, patrolling and hunting uses to sports and recreational activities, gardening, and a plethora of other uses.

Top ATV manufacturers including Yamaha, Polaris, Honda, Can-Am, Suzuki, and Kawasaki realized the opportunity for market growth during the pandemic and announced a slew of new products in 2022. Targeting a wide range of markets including sports, all-terrain, adult, youth, and commercial applications, these units are hitting the showroom floor as consumers shake off the winter doldrums. Specifically, the growth in off-road adventure activities and ‘overlanding’ reflects US consumer interest in affordable family-oriented fun.

While gas-powered models will remain the top seller for the next couple of years, advancements in electric ATVs will leverage growth in the automotive EV market. Outdoor charging options for hunting or back-country use may lag but commercial applications including military and civic use could follow the trend of these industries transitioning their fleets to EVs.