The Consumer Product Safety Commission mandate on the design of side-by-sides caught many of us by surprise, but Polaris was more than ready to organize a unified stance from the industry against the mandate.
That’s why you’ll see an abundance of information and resources in the cover story. Simply put, it’s more of the same from the CPSC, and once again, we can only hope that the agency’s members who voted for the mandate come to their senses in time to not set back that continuously growing segment of the industry.
If you’re like me, you’ll spend some time reading and researching and end up pounding your head into your desk. “What in the world are they thinking?” is only the first thought that comes to mind.
Please be sure to copy, cut, paste and otherwise distribute the mandate info to your off-road customers in particular, and, even better, your customers in general.
Polaris has — not surprisingly — stepped up in a big way to lead the fight against the mandate. StopTheROVMandate.com has the answers to all of your questions.
Margins still tight
In case you missed the recent Powersports Business State of the Industry webinar sponsored by MB Financial Bank, first, how could you?! It was the most well attended webinar we’ve ever done. And the data points were truly worth the 60-minute investment. Scott Begovich of the Motorcycle Industry Council reported single-digit percentage growth in ATV, motorcycle and scooter sales through September. In addition, Begovich shared that more than 7.5 million households in the U.S. have at least one motorcycle, and that the average motorcycle owner spends $671 per year on their bike?
Meanwhile, Sameer Gaur from GE Capital’s Commercial Distribution Finance division shared that GE’s pre-owned inventory volumes are up 12 percent compared to a year-ago, a strong sign for the pre-owned market.
To bolster the strength in the used market, Jim Woodruff of National Powersport Auctions said that NPA’s volume has risen 11 percent and participation from dealers is up 2 percent from a year ago.
Margins, however, are becoming a tough nut to crack. Noel Lais from Spader Business Management showed Spader 20 Group data that revealed that new powersports unit gross margins have decreased to an average of 11.4 percent, a concern for all.
There was little to be concerned about, however, during my recent visit to Arizona for Bob’s Biker Bash. The night before my visit, Go AZ Motorcycles had been selected as the No. 1 dealership in the Powersports Business Power 50. Alas, Go AZ had long ago selected the same weekend for their outstanding event, so they had to twist my arm a little to make a journey to Arizona in October to personally deliver the No. 1 dealer trophy myself.
The next time you’re in Scottsdale, be sure to pay a visit to Go AZ. From the location to the cleanliness to the hospitality, there’s little not to like about Go AZ. You’ll learn more about the bursting-at-the-seams Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale and Spooky Fast Customs, its sister stores, in future editions of Powersports Business.
By now, you’ve figured out that the stories in Powersports Business are kind of a big deal. Now our peers in the Minnesota Magazine & Publishing Association are beginning to take notice. Managing editor Liz Keener’s cover story on the launch of Honda Grom, titled, appropriately enough, “Grom-O-Mania,” took the bronze medal during the MMPA’s Excellence Awards.
Liz won in the category of Editorial: Feature Article (Business/Trade Under 30,000 Circulation). That honor put PSB on the big screen for the first time since Liz and I have been on board. And, as we agreed after the award ceremony, they ain’t seen nothing yet!
In fact, it was also a big night for our sister publications at EPG Media. We’re in serious need of some plaque space on the walls in Plymouth:
(Special Interest Over 60,000) — Silver
Editor’s or Publisher’s Editorial or Letter to the Readers (Special Interest Over 60,000) — Gold
Thunder Press: The Blue Dog Diaries: Taking Stock by Terry Roorda
Editorial: Feature Article (Business/Trade Under 30,000) — Bronze
Powersports Business: Grom-O-Mania by Liz Keener
(Special interest Over 60,000) — Silver
SnowGoer: How to Rebuild An Arctic Cat Clutch by Andy Swanson
(Special interest Over 60,000) — Gold
SnowGoer: The David Who Created A Goliath by
(Special interest Over 60,000) — Bronze
Thunder Press: Vision of Dreams: Running by Shadow
Single-Topic Issue, Special Section,
or Special Supplement
(Business/Trade Under 30,000) — Bronze
Boating Industry: Boating Industry 2013 Top 100 Commemorative Issue
(Special Interest Over 60,000) — Bronze
Rider: Riding Well
Single Page or Spread Design
(Special Interest) — Gold
Rider: Born Again by Greg Drevenstedt
Dave McMahon is editor in chief of Powersports Business. Contact him at 763/383-4411 or email@example.com.