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June OEM promotions related to ‘challenging start to selling season’: analyst

A research note provided to Powersports Business by BMO Capital Markets analyst Gerrick Johnson finds that promotional strategies of the largest powersports OEMs in June were, in general, “slightly higher than a year ago (June 2018) but comparable to last month (May 2019), and likely stemmed from OEMs looking to help clear channel inventory following a challenging start to the selling season owing to extended cold and wet weather.”

Johnson reports that “overall promotions were a bit above those last year (June 2018) but basically in line with last month (May 2019). Given challenging weather has negatively impacted the retail season in parts of the country, we imagine OEMs are being more promotional to ensure a clean channel ahead of MY2020 product rollouts.

“Polaris was more aggressive promoting its current model year SxSs in June, but tended to be less aggressive elsewhere. With a growing expectation for a new RZR platform to be unveiled at the company’s dealer event in late July, we would expect the company to be more aggressive in clearing out current models.

“BRP’s June offers were mostly consistent with prior months. However, prior model year ATVs, snowmobiles, and Spyders were all more aggressively promoted year over year. Current year Maverick SxS continues to have meaningful offers, both at the OEM and dealer level, and is likely also a byproduct of channel clear ahead of the MY2020 launch.

“Overall, the Japanese OEMs were less promotional on a year-over-year basis. Honda and Suzuki have traditionally been the least promotional OEMs while Kawasaki and Yamaha were less aggressive year over year for the first time in several months.

“Harley-Davidson continued its Freedom Promise trade-in offer on new or used Street or Sportster models. We also observed a significant uptick in dealers advertising monthly payments on certain models as opposed to specific deals, i.e., interest rate, money down, etc.”

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