Fall is in full swing and the powersports market should be experiencing its annual turnover of moving inventory out so that new units can be showcased on the sales floor. However, inventory challenges continue to plague 2021 sales, with many analysts forecasting continued issues into 2022. In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, companies such as Polaris offer a glimpse into the numerous issues facing a powersports OEM, which has trickle-down impact on dealers and ultimately customers.
Flexibility should be the mantra this fall as supply chain issues continue to work their way through the industry. For example, Polaris is changing its manufacturing and sales strategies on the fly to cope with shortages of materials and parts. The company said it is juggling approximately 30 + supply-chain constraints for its units, sometimes changing its plans daily for what it produces.
This story has played out in the retail sales numbers across manufacturers. Coming off an historical 2020, the August major unit sales declined 1.4 percent overall in the US. This is not reflective of demand, which remains high. It speaks to inventory, or the lack thereof. Where dealers are usually offering sales ‘blow-outs,’ many are now scrounging for units.