Despite April's overall U.S. retail sales being down about 9 percent compared to the year-ago period, there's a group with a decent amount of money burning holes in their pockets: Gen Y. If you're a scooter or low-displacement motorcycle dealer, credit isn't going to be a problem either because this group has cash. During May and June, a considerable portion of Gen Y is graduating from either high school or college. In my high school graduating class, it wasn't uncommon for a student to accumulate more than $3,000 during a graduation party. This year more people are giving cash gifts because it's more practical, and graduates can buy what they want, including more expensive items, i.e. vehicles.
According to this year's National Retail Federation graduation survey, conducted by BIGresearch, about 59 percent of people plan to give those graduates cash. The extra cash can help students purchase scooters and low-displacement motorcycles since the 2008 Automotive Gen Y survey, conducted by Deloitte, revealed that three-fourths of Gen Y is at least somewhat likely to buy or lease a vehicle during the next two years.
Any dealer selling scooters and low-displacement bikes should take full advantage of this annual give-fest with appropriate marketing. Being in the powersports industry, we all understand the benefits of scooters, so use those advantages and market them toward a group that's environmentally and cost conscious and most importantly looking to buy.
Not sure where to start? Look in Powersports Business' May 25 issue for tips on how to reach Gen Y.