Consumer demand for off-road, boats, and personal watercraft units remained strong for the first half of 2023. However, high prices and financial barriers have impacted sales. While powersports dealers were early movers in digital retailing, they need to take further advantage of this opportunity to strengthen online sales models to have a successful second half of 2023. In addition, a focus on localized financing and improved service capabilities for older models should offset potential revenue loss.
For the powersports and marine industries, the high-flying days of 2022 appear to have come to an end in the first half of 2023. While May dealership revenue growth notched an increase of 8.3 percent for service and sales according to Lightspeed DMS, growing economic concerns have prompted many buyers to delay purchases. The Powersports Business Q1 Dealer Survey reflected that dealers are split on their outlook for the remainder of the year with many leaning towards “somewhat worse” to “significantly worse.”
Although inventory issues have eased significantly and consumer demand remains strong, overcoming rising prices along with growing interest rates will be a tall order for dealers in the second half of the year. Bolstering online sales, taking a customer-focused approach to ownership, and increasing service capabilities to keep those units operating will deliver needed revenue regardless of any economic headwinds.