We recently conducted a survey of 30 powersport dealerships, which helps us paint a picture of the current environment in three powersport markets: snowmobiles (sleds), all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), and personal watercraft (PWC).
Since there have been no significant developments or changes in the PWC industry since our early autumn survey, our watercraft comments are a summary of our expectations which are based upon our previous survey results as well as ongoing conversations with manufacturers and dealers.
Although this survey is not statistically significant, however we believe that it provides meaningful insight into current and future market sentiment. In January of 2000, we instituted a numerical rating system on several critical questions to enhance the comparability of results and enable us to extract more meaningful conclusions from our survey.
Specifically, our rating system targets the three most critical issues in each market:
- Current (most recent) season sales,
- Existing inventory levels, and
- Anticipated future sales or orders
Dealers were asked to rate current season sales and inventory on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 the strongest rating. With regard to order size, we asked if upcoming orders would be “up significantly”, “up slightly”, “flat”, “down slightly”, or “down significantly”. A value between 1 and 5 was assigned to each response with one indicating “down significantly” and five indicating “up significantly”.
Survey participation was geographically dispersed as follows: 8 from Northeast/New England (NH, NY, OH, PA, VT), 7 from Central/ Upper Midwest (IL, MI, MN, WI), 9 from Mountain/Pacific (CA, CO, NV, OR, UT, WA) and 6 from Southeast (AL, FL, GA, KY).