Snowmobile registrations went up again in 2005, despite a decrease in overall unit sales, according to statistics released by Ed Klim, director of the International Snowmobile Manufacturers' Association, at the International Snowmobile Congress, held June 2-4 in Salt Lake City.
Registrations in Canada were up by 13,000, to equal 566,719 sleds. In the US, registrations were up 51,000 units to make 1,774,252 registered snowmobiles. The Scandinavian countries have 340,000 registered machines.
In worldwide sales, however, unit sales were down 4% from 2004. In 2004, 181,336 units were sold; in 2005 it was 173,733. The biggest drop - nearly 9% - was in the U.S. market, where 100,899 units were sold in 2005 compared to 109,750 in 2004. The revenues generated from these sales did increase year over year, from $711.6 million in 2004 to $825.7 million, due to the increase average unit cost. In 2004, the average cost was $6,483 and in 2005, it was $8,183. The increase in average unit cost is due, in part, to fewer non-current sales and the higher cost of new-technology machines, Klim said. In some segments, new-technology snowmobile sales account for 30% of the sales.
In Canada, 2005 unit sales were 46,304, down from 48,556 in 2004. Revenues in 2005 was $367.8 million compared to $345 million in 2004. The average price of a snowmobile rose in Canada from $7,100 to $7,942.
Klim noted that parts, garments and accessory sales was up 15% in North American, bringing this sales nearly to the $1 billion mark. “Add trailers, and it's more than $1 billion,” he said. “PG&A is as big as sled sales.”
In the U.S., snowmobiling has an estimated economic impact of $20 billion. In Canada, it's at $6 billion, and in Scandinavia, it's $1.6 billion.
Klim noted that the used snowmobile market is particularly strong, based in part on the longevity of new-technology snowmobiles. “We may be following the boating trend, where 80% of first-time buyers are buying used.”
For 2005, the typical snowmobiler was 41, earned an average of $70,000, and rode an average of 960 miles.
- Lynn Keillor