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Survey: Snowmobile buyers favor new units

By Kate Swanson

Snow Goer survey shares consumer trends

A total of 65 percent of snowmobilers who were surveyed by Snow Goer, a sister consumer publication of Powersports Business, answered that they expect to acquire their next snowmobile by buying a new snowmobile from a dealer. Only 6 percent of those surveyed will look for a used snowmobile from a dealer and 23 percent will consider buying a used snowmobile from a private party.

Snow Goer surveys its readers annually to measure the growth of the industry, analyze buying habits and monitor sentiment heading into the next season.

While the majority of those who answered plan to purchase a new snowmobile, there are several factors that prevented riders from spending as much time on their units as they would like.

Not surprisingly, 76 percent of respondents said that weather prevented them from riding as much as they wished last season. Money, family commitments, busy work schedules and finding others to ride with rounded out the top five reasons for a lack of riding.

A majority of respondents, 45 percent, ride a performance trail sled most frequently.  Nearly a quarter, or 23 percent, usually ride a trail-oriented crossover, while 16 percent ride a common trail sled. The rest of the respondents ride another type of snowmobile.

The 2016 survey also asked what snowmobile-related apparel customers or their families intended to buy in the next 12 months. Gloves gained the most interest, with 37 percent of consumers’ intentions. Underlayers were second on the list with 32 percent. These garments were followed by: boots at 31 percent, helmets at 30 percent, bibs or pants with 27 percent, jackets at 24 percent, and finally, goggles with 14 percent.

On the subject of helmets, the majority of consumers favored a modular helmet, at 47 percent. Full-face helmets, with 29 percent, came in just ahead of MX-style helmets with goggles, which received 24 percent of the tally.

The survey dove deeper into consumer trends to find out where snowmobilers purchase their apparel. When asked where they most recently purchased a snowmobile jacket, the majority of respondents said they went to a snowmobile dealership, with 41 percent answering that way. Approximately 25 percent of consumers said they purchased a jacket at a show or event, and 16 percent went to an online snowmobile parts retailer for their apparel.

Snow Goer wanted to know where their readership goes to get their snowmobiles repaired and serviced. While 66.3 percent say they do all maintenance and repairs themselves, 23 percent of those who answered said they go to a dealership for help.

Source: Snow Goer 2016 reader survey

Source: Snow Goer 2016 reader survey

Source: Snow Goer 2016 reader survey

Source: Snow Goer 2016 reader survey


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