Reflecting the U.S. market, Canadian new snowmobile unit sales — as well as the rest of the world — decreased last season by a double-digit percentage.
The overall world snowmobile market, including the United States and Canada, was down about 24 percent compared to the
2008-2009 season. This year there were almost 111,500 new units sold, which compares to about 147,000 new units last year.
Canada’s sales took a significant drop, decreasing about 24 percent, which is nearly as much as the U.S. sales decreased (27 percent). This year in Canada, there were about 37,600 units sold, which is down from about 49,500 units last year.
Canada’s sales decline is a drastic change from the prior year as it dropped only 2 percent in the 2008-2009 riding season.
The decrease can be partially attributed to the downsizing in the auto industry, says Ed Klim, president of International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (ISMA).“They closed a lot of factories in Ontario. That cut down sales and auto-related jobs considerably in Ontario and Quebec.”
Unlike the positive news of increased sales last year, Europe sales also declined, and the numbers dropped even worse than U.S. sales.
There were slightly more than 25,200 new units sold across Europe and the rest of the world, including Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. That number is down from almost 36,000 new units sales last year, which is about a 30 percent decline.
Much like the U.S., Europe faced a down economy, which impacted consumers’ purchasing power, says Klim.
“The euro went through the same level of recession we had here in the United States,” he said, “a slowdown in the economy, a little lack of available financing.”
The Russian currency also took a big hit, hurting snowmobile sales.
“In Europe, the strength of the euro impacted Russian sales a lot because the Russian currency really fell last year,” said Klim. “It made everything sold in the U.S. or Europe very expensive to Russia. I suspect the Russian market will grow back again next year as the currency gets stronger.”
Worldwide snowmobile new unit sales, not including Canada, decreased about 30 percent this year compared to the 2008-‘09-snowmobile season.
Norway: 4,375 units
Sweden: 7,255 units
Finland: 2,742 units
Russia: 8,160 units
Rest of the world (including Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Italy and Austria): 2,691 units
— International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association PSB