Polaris and Arctic Cat both reported wholesale snowmobile sales decreased in the last three months of the year compared to the same time in 2012, but the retail sales of sleds were proving strong thanks to their products on dealership floors. Claude Jordan and Scott Wine, chairmen and CEOs of Arctic Cat and Polaris, respectively, provided a look at the snowmobile segment during their January earnings calls with analysts. BRP will reports its fourth quarter results in February.
Here’s a look at how the snowmobile divisions of each Minnesota-based OEM fared:
Arctic Cat sales drop 4 percent in quarter
Snowmobile sales in the fiscal 2014 third quarter decreased 4 percent to $118.1 million versus $122.4 million in the prior-year quarter.
“We remain pleased with consumers’ retail response to our 2014 model year snowmobile line-up and engine choices. Year to date, we have gained the most market share in the industry and lowered dealer inventory by 14 percent, which positions us well for future snowmobile sales,” chairman and CEO Claude Jordan said. “For the 2014 model year, Arctic Cat introduced 10 snowmobiles, including the all-new ZR 6000 El Tigre performance sled, and new snowmobile engine options from Arctic Cat and Yamaha through an engine supply agreement. Arctic Cat also introduced its first designed and built snowmobile engine, the 6000 C-TEC2. This powerful, lightweight and fuel-efficient 2-stroke engine enables the company to enter the large 600cc snowmobile market segment that now accounts for 18 percent of the snowmobile industry.
“Our strategic partnership with Yamaha continues to proceed smoothly. As part of our expanded relationship, Yamaha supplies Arctic Cat with their industry leading four-stroke engine, and we build snowmobiles for Yamaha with our industry leading chassis. This agreement provides Arctic Cat with the opportunity to expand our engine line-up and offer best-in-class snowmobiles, without investing in additional research and developments costs.”
Polaris sees 13 percent dip in Q4 sales
Snowmobile sales decreased 13 percent to $134.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2013 as compared to $154.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2012, as expected. This decrease is the result of the company’s deliberate action to build and ship a greater number of snowmobiles earlier in the season during the 2013 third quarter, compared to the fourth quarter, to free up plant capacity.
For the full year 2013, sales of Polaris snowmobiles increased 7 percent compared to 2012. Due to the early snowfall and colder weather in most of the snowbelt of North America, the snowmobile selling season has started strong with industry retail sales increasing in the high-teens percent range for the season-to-date period ended Dec. 31, 2013.
Polaris’ retail sales for the same season-to-date period were also strong, increasing nearly 10 percent, including low double-digits percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Sales of snowmobiles outside of North America, increased 9 percent and 18 percent for the fourth quarter and full year 2013, respectively, when compared to the same periods a year ago.