ATV/off-road Outlook

Yamaha. Arctic Cat. Polaris. Bombardier. Each of these manufacturers has extended the boundaries of the ATV market with new machines recently. And if steps taken by these OEMs, combined with sluggish sales for most of the past year, are any indication, you’ll be seeing plenty of additional moves to attract new and repeat ATV buyers.
Sales for traditional ATV units have gone soft, declining 2.4% through the first five months of 2003, according to figures compiled by the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC). Unit sales have dropped 7,237 behind retail unit sales for the sale period last year. It’s a trend that began last August, when ATV sales dropped 5.6% over the same month in 2001. Sales rebounded in September, but declined in six of the next eight months.
The picture is brighter on the off-road motorcycle side, with unit sales up 5.1% this year through May. Since last August, monthly off-road unit sales have increased seven months and declined in three months compared to the same months in the previous year.
OEMs are pushing innovation. Polaris Industries is expanding its Ranger utility series and has moved into construction equipment. It also added a sport quad, the popular Predator, last year.
Bombardier has introduced a two passenger vehicle and negotiated a joint venture with John Deere to share technology.
Arctic Cat began shipping its two-seater TRV and has added a 650 class machine powered by Kawasaki’s very popular 633cc V-twin. Cat also added a sport quad this year and is working hard on its unique, award-winning Multi-Rack Platform accessories packages.
And Yamaha has moved aggressively to expand its golf car line into a new ATV utility lineup led by its new 660cc Rhino.

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