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Spring sled sales get strong feedback from dealers

By Kate Swanson

Did you do $15K in PG&A sales at your snowcheck event?

While some people celebrate March as a sign of spring and summer weather, snowmobile dealers across the country gear up for their own snowcheck season. With new 2017 product to amp up consumer interest and high event turnouts, it could mean positive sales growth for this year’s snowcheck participants.

Cycle North Powersports of Prince George, B.C., has hosted an annual Snowcheck Party for five years, according to general manager Dustin Lloyd. “It’s basically like a ‘thank you’ to our snowcheck customers. It puts some emphasis on snowcheck and makes it a bit different than what everybody else does.”

Past parties have hosted well-known riders like Chris Burandt and Levi LaVallee, while Timbersled athlete Brock Hoyer and 509 athlete Jamie Iwaschuk made the guest list this year. The snowcheck event included a fashion show, steak dinner and special industry guests in attendance. “One of our mechanics is actually a trained chef, so he grilled the steaks and then my mom and my sister did all the other food,” Lloyd said.

Lloyd said the March event exceeded the dealership’s expected turnout when approximately 150 people attended. The fashion show included Cycle North Powersports customers and exclusively featured FXR apparel.

Cycle North Powersports chose customers to model FXR apparel in a fashion show during its annual snowcheck event.

Cycle North Powersports chose customers to model FXR apparel in a fashion show during its annual snowcheck event.

The event generated good exposure for the Polaris 2017 lineup and led to both sled and apparel sales. “We did 10 snowchecks that night, and we did about $15,000 in PG&A,” Lloyd said.

Overall customer feedback has been positive for the Polaris line; Lloyd predicts the PRO RMK will again be the top model at the store for 2016-17. “There’s nothing really new for us; last year was the big change, but the colors are good, and customers are liking it,” he added.

Coloma Motorsports of Coloma, Mich., also debuted its Yamaha products at a spring sales event in March. “The event was received really well, and we had a really great turnout,” said Correy Mikel, who works in sales at the dealership.

The event brought in more than 100 people. “People are extremely excited because of Yamaha’s reliability, and Yamaha is offering a packaged snowmobile from the factory of what everyone has been having to buy and piece together for themselves for the last five or six years,” he said.

Mikel says customer response to the Yamaha Sidewinder made it the fan favorite of the event. “When the snowmobile guys are excited about something like that and can’t figure out how to pick something wrong with it, I’m excited as a dealer,” said Mikel. “The snowcheck interests are ahead this year than what we had planned on.”

With weather affecting snowfall over the past year, Mikel says it seems like people are changing their buying habits, choosing snowmobiles for use out of the area, where there is heavier snowfall.

“They’re looking at sleds that are typically not used in Michigan because they’re looking out West, so the buyers are a little bit different than what they were.”

2015 Powersports Business Power 50 dealer Cycle North Powersports hosted an annual snowcheck party to celebrate the 2017 Polaris lineup and thank its customers for their support.

2015 Powersports Business Power 50 dealer Cycle North Powersports hosted an annual snowcheck party to celebrate the 2017 Polaris lineup and thank its customers for their support.

Barry Jones, general manager at Driven Powersports, of Casper, Wyo., said that while the “buzz factor” for Polaris is not as high this year, the dealership also offers Ski-Doo, which has drawn more attention this season.

“Of the two brands we sell, Ski-Doo definitely has the ball in their court. The sled is nice. It’s kind of like the Polaris Axys was last year — it’s something new to talk about,” Jones said. “Our spring check/snowcheck sales are showing that [Ski-Doo] has been really good. We’re doing 3:1 over Polaris this year.”

The dealership hosted a Ski-Doo event and a demo ride in March, which was wildly received by their customer base. Jones said that the event generated half a dozen snowcheck sales and a few apparel sales as well.

In comparison to last year, Driven Powersports is on plan with its snowmobile sales for 2016. Jones said the 2017 Ski-Doo Summit X 850 E-TEC stands out as the crowd favorite with a lot of positive responses and excitement.

“We’re on plan, probably a little flat, par from where we were last year. I don’t think we’ve seen any significant increases, but it happens to us when we offer both brands,” said Jones. “For instance, this year Ski-Doo is up, and Polaris is down, and last year, Polaris was up, and Ski-Doo was down. For us it flip flops, but the end result is usually the same number — it’s a matter of if it’s more Ski-Doo or Polaris.”

 

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