Any guesses on who gets Exec of Year honors?

If it’s late April, that must mean it’s time to wipe the snow off the windshield before departing the offices at PSB world headquarters. Unfortunately, that’s no joke, and as you can see in a variety of places in this edition, Minnesota isn’t the only state to have gotten thumped by the weather this spring.

We’ve all heard of an extended spring, but packing the parka to go to a baseball game, and snowmobiling the same weekend? Where have you gone, sunny and 80 on St. Patrick’s Day in 2012?

We haven’t turned into a meteorological publication, but you will find stories on some business climates that have been created by weather trends in this edition. Of course, we can start with the Q1 2013 Dealer Survey that shows the realities of being a powersports dealer in the first three months of 2013.

Managing editor Liz Hochstedler guides us through the sea of charts and graphics, and once again is spot-on in highlighting some of the most important trends we found thanks to the participation of dealers like yourselves. While we listened to you and present more of the quarterly survey than ever on the pages of PSB, don’t forget that there’s more to it. As always, there are plenty of questions to be answered, and only so much room to fit in each edition of PSB. That’s why we’ve made the survey available as a digital download to those who prefer a little more insight into the dealer landscape. You can find the survey in its entirety at

Speaking of the survey, check out the list of winners on the cover of this edition. RBC Capital Markets handed over five $100 Best Buy gift cards to five lucky dealers who completed the quarterly survey. That, as you all know, is no small task (both parting with that kind of cash and for the dealers who find time to take the survey). At the same time, your participation has allowed it to become the most complete survey of its kind in the industry. The numbers, just like they do every quarter thanks to support of dealers like yourself, say it all: 251 dealers, 48 states and Canada. Once again, thanks for your participation.

You’ll also want to spend some time reading senior editor Tom Kaiser’s report with David Gigandet, marketing manager of John Deere’s Gator utility vehicle line, about what that brand has in store. And don’t forget the always-jam-packed Focus section, with ATVs taking center stage. I found tank grip maker TechSpec, in the Motorcycle section, to be another of those evolving companies in the industry that has not only weathered the economic storm, but has also come away shining.

More dealer training ahead

As our surveys show, we’re proud to help share industry trends and hone in on the challenges. I can’t think of a better place to continue to do both than Oct. 16-20 at the American International Motorcycle Expo in Orlando. As you can see on one of our cover stories, Powersports Business has been selected to manage the education program at AIMExpo. We’re calling the two-and-a-half day dealer education the Powersports Business Institute @ AIMExpo, and you count on it once again to inspire success at your dealership. Just like we do on the pages of PSB, we’ll have something for everyone there, so make sure to bring not only your own family for the Orlando sights, but your extended dealership family as well for the PSB Institute @ AIMExpo benefits.

You’ve seen us in action before with dealer education as the topic at a variety of venues and locations, and the PSB staff is looking forward to formulating a lineup of speakers that will bring value to your trip to Orlando. If you’re a dealer and want to know more about what the educational aspect of the show will “look like,” be sure to continue to check online, in our Enewsletter and in the pages of PSB, as the ink was still dry on the deal as the issue went to press.

The folks at Marketplace Events, who are dedicated like you, can’t wait to make this inaugural show one that gives the powersports industry something to be proud of, and one that can grow your business. In my now two years in the industry — WooHoo! — I haven’t seen anything that will generate the excitement for your lifestyle and profits for your business like AIMExpo plans to do. You’ll want to be there, joining the PSB staff and our lineup industry experts.

Any picks for Exec of the Year?

We’ve had a blast the last month or so as we ramp up our annual edition (May 27, PSB No. 7) that features the Executive of the Year and the accompanying four Industry Leaders. Throw in planning for the PSB Institute @ AIMExpo, and it seems like we’re going a mile a minute around here. But that’s always a good thing, especially in the heart of an extended winter.

The Executive of the Year edition once again came down to a handful of contenders, and we’re sure you’re going to read with interest our selection of the best and brightest from 2012. Until then, we’ll be bringing you all you expect from PSB and more.


We’ll let you know the first time we hit perfection with an edition of PSB. For now, though, we have another bugaboo to report. The Polk New Cruiser Model Leaders for 2012 chart on page 14 of the April 8, 2013, edition contained a bike that didn’t belong. A coding error by Polk led to the Kawasaki BN125A6F being included in the lineup. So, the top 9 new cruiser models registered in 2012 in the Northwest and Southwest regions were in fact No. 2-10 on the chart, with the addition of the Harley-Davidson FLSTN (112 units) to the No. 10 spot in the Northwest, and the addition of the Harley-Davidson FXDF (304 units) in the No. 10 spot in the Southwest.


Polk account manager Jody Doublestein shares our regrets for the error.

Blackwell on board

Congrats to Mark Blackwell on being named chair of the Motorcycle Industry Council Board of Directors. Blackwell, vice president of special projects for Polaris Industries, moves into the post held for a decade by Larry Little, who remains on the board. Other new officers for the industry’s most important non-profit organization are newly-elected vice chair Jon-Erik Burleson, president of KTM North America, secretary/treasurer Eric Anderson, president of VROOM Network, and president Tim Buche.

Little did not seek re-election due to time conflicts. That would make sense, since he’s vice president and general manager of the Motorcycle Group at Marketplace Events, which will launch AIMExpo in Orlando this fall.

Dave McMahon is Editor in Chief of Powersports Business. Reach him at or 763/383-4411.


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