Business Growth Powersports Market

Keep the Banner Flying in 2022

For powersports dealers, 2021 is shaping up to be another banner year, mirroring the record setting gains made in 2020. Regardless of continuing inventory issues caused by pandemic supply chain bottlenecks, units continued to hit the road. While on-road unit sales repeated their decline, off-road and personal watercraft unit sales increased exponentially. Powersports has proven to be a balm to ease consumers’ pandemic malaise.

Will the good times continue? For 2022, demand for off-road and personal watercraft vehicles is expected to remain high. Once manufacturers begin producing more units at scale, dealers can expect the 30-point margins enjoyed during the boom years to begin to decline as supply chain issues resolve. For some, it will be tough to wean themselves from those lofty profits. Dealers who pay close attention to market pricing – and adjust accordingly – will continue to show strong sales and market penetration. Dealers who cling to those margins may find themselves priced out of the market, even though consumer demand remains high.

The key to a successful 2022 will be based on implementing a consistent sales model at prices the market can bear, with a focus on creating long-term customer relationships. Training for all staff members on financing and protection products will also be key to boosting revenue as the sales process evolves to incorporate more online resources. Savvy dealers know there is more than one way to generate profit from a sale. Adopting a more ‘full service’ approach within the dealership will keep those customers coming back.

Compliance Powersports Market

Don’t Skip Steps

While the country is still in the grips of the pandemic, sales of powersports vehicles, led by ATVs and other recreational units, have been going gangbusters. In May, the average major unit sales were up 60.7 percent and overall revenue increased 51.2 percent.

Going into the third quarter, inventory constraints could put a significant damper on sales gains. Polaris and other companies were forced to close manufacturing facilities due to COVID-19 outbreaks. Analysts from BMO Capital Markets report that inventory shortages across all brands could impact sales for the remainder of the year. However, with more consumers entering the market, and more units being financed, the overall forecast for sales remains cautiously optimistic.

With many powersports dealers surpassing sales records throughout the summer, one could surmise it is Christmas in July, except for one small data point. Identity fraud has reared its ugly head. While fraud has always been an area of focus in the powersports world, a couple of unique pandemic situations have exacerbated the situation.

Business Growth Dealership Training Powersports Market

Navigating Subprime Paper

Glenice Wilder Vice President EFG Companies
Contributing Author:
Glenice Wilder
Vice President
EFG Companies

In the last five years, lenders have been competing for more powersports business. Some loosened credit requirements and extended loan terms, while others evaluated the use of alternative data to more accurately determine a person’s creditworthiness.

However, powersports dealers still struggle getting subprime paper bought. When my team is in the store and we see this struggle play out, we always ask how much effort is being put into maintaining lender relationships. The simple fact is, the stronger the relationship, the more willing a lender will be to negotiate and buy outside of their criteria.

So what does it take to develop strong lender relationships? When pondering this question, think beyond complete and accurate applications. It takes communication and the ability to manage expectations.

Do all your team members know lender criteria like the back of their hands?

It’s never a good idea to randomly submit an application hoping for an approval. This process increases each lender’s Look-to-Book ratio, and angers customers when they start receiving a bunch of denial letters in the mail. Each team member needs to clearly understand each lender’s criteria and only submit loans they know will be approved.