February 7, 2011-2010 trends and 2011 strategies

Highlights from a North American dealer survey conducted by Powersports Business

  • Although new unit sales industry-wide continue to decline, there are larger pockets of dealers who are seeing improvements in this area. This year, 56 percent of dealers reported new unit sales were down compared to a year ago. While that’s still the majority of dealers, it’s a much better percentage than a year ago. Last year, 90 percent of dealers reported new unit sales were down.
  • Does a healthy used business lead to a better new unit market? Evidently. Of dealers who saw new unit sales increases in 2010, 57 percent also saw preowned unit increases, the survey found.
  • A direct impact of used sales? Of the dealers who saw preowned unit sales increase in 2010, 33 percent said the service department was their biggest gainer.
  • More sales, more staff? Not necessarily. Of the dealers who increased new unit sales 10 percent or more last year, only 31 percent increased their staffing levels.
  • Conservative outlook: Even among dealers who saw their new unit sales increase last year, they’re not necessarily expecting a similar result this year. Less than four in 10 dealers expect their new unit sales department to again be the most profitable in 2011.
  • Eye on online: One-fifth of dealers who had new or preowned sales increases in 2010 plan on investing in e-commerce this year.
  • More of the same? Of the dealers who saw the service department succeed the most in 2010, 37 percent expect to see the same in 2011.
  • Are in-house events worth the time, effort and expense? Evidently so. More than one quarter of dealers with new unit sales increases held six or more events in 2010. Only 8 percent held no events.

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