Good news! The retail powersports market continues on a roll! According to composite data from more than 1,650 dealerships in the US using CDK Lightspeed DMS, sales increased 23.9 percent in February 2021as compared to February 2020. Early results from the Q1 2021 Powersports Business/BMO Capital Markets Dealer Survey reflected that more than half of all respondents said business was trending above plan.
In general, a positive sentiment has also spread across several economic indicators. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment rates in each of the large metropolitan areas dipped below 10 percent in February. The stimulus at the end of 2020 ($900B) and the relief package signed in early March ($1.9T) equate to nearly 14 percent of US GDP.
However, there are a couple of wrinkles which could put a damper on that optimism. Inventory continues to be an issue, both in terms of units and parts for all makes and models. Many dealers responding to the Powersports Business/BMO survey listed lack of inventory as the number one issue impacting their business. Certainly pent-up consumer demand bodes well for driving traffic to the store, but there is another issue facing powersports dealers. What happens when you don’t have enough staff – or the right talent – to capitalize on that consumer demand?