Jan. 21, 2008 – Who’s buying new snowmobiles

As U.S. new snowmobile sales have trended downward for the past 10 years, it’s not too
surprising to see more and more dealers and manufacturers putting the bulk of their emphasis on other industry segments.
But heavy, early snowfall in key snowmobile states has the snow segment in the black again, at least in the early part of the current season. Arctic Cat executives recently said their early sled sales were up 20 percent over last year’s sales and a national dealership survey conducted by Wachovia Capital Markets showed Polaris dealers were 10-15 percent above new unit sales from last year. And every one of the dealers surveyed by Wachovia Capital Markets reported increased unit sales this year compared to last year.
Those rebounding sales, not to mention a challenging ATV market, have probably led some in the industry to view the snow segment with renewed interest.
So with that in mind, Powersports Business is passing along the following data about the average snowmobile customer. All data is courtesy of the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association.

The Demographic

  • The average age of a snowmobiler is 41-years -old.
  • Approximately 70 percent of all active snowmobilers are male; 30 percent female.
  • Sixty percent of all snowmobilers belong to a snowmobile club or a state or provincial association.
  • Seventy percent of all snowmobilers are married.
  • The average annual household income of a snowmobiler is $72,000.
  • Seventy percent of all snowmobilers recognize the Safe Riders! logo and understand the position statement.
  • Sixty-five percent of all snowmobilers trailer their snowmobile to where they usually ride.
  • Thirty-five percent of snowmobilers ride from either their vacation home or their main residence.

    Why they’re important

  • Snowmobilers continue to spend quite a bit of money while snowmobiling. The majority of snowmobilers report they spend almost $3,000 per year enjoying snowmobiling. That does not include the price of a snowmobile and/or trailer.
  • Snowmobiling is an important economic engine for rural areas. More than $27 billion in economic activity is generated by snowmobilers and the economic engine generates more than 85,000 full-time jobs.
  • Snowmobile registrations in the United States remain close to record levels. In 2006 there were more than 1.6 million registered snowmobiles in the United States.

    Other key facts

  • Snowmobilers are active in their winter recreation lifestyle choice. The average snowmobiler rides their snowmobile 17 days during the winter and approximately 1,000 miles per year.
  • Snowmobiling activity proves to offer a healthy lifestyle. Approximately 40 percent of all snowmobilers are 50 years of age or older.
  • Snowmobilers enjoy the outdoors year-round. A high percentage of snowmobilers own recreational vehicles for camping, and many snowmobilers own motorized boats for summer recreation. psb

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