ATV business thrives, shared with side-by-sides
Taiwan-based KYMCO has been around for more than 50 years, still young in comparison to some OEMs, but it has proven that it plans to stand the test of time with innovation and hard work.
Bruce Ramsey, KYMCO’s vice president of sales, says that the ATV market is continuing to steadily grow. “As an up and coming manufacturer, we still sell more youth ATVs by volume than any single model of adult ATVs,” Ramsey added. “However the difference between the full-sized versions and the youth series grows smaller each year.”
Overall U.S. ATV sales increased 0.5 percent in 2014, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council, a trend that Ramsey says KYMCO has improved upon. “The market is actually pretty flat for ATVs, but we experienced relatively good growth of about 12 percent,” Ramsey said. “The market is only a fraction of what it once was. It seems to have leveled off at a little over 200,000 units.”
In addition to its continued ATV growth, KYMCO also experienced high sales for its accessories, including hard tops and windshields.
KYMCO is seeing the same trends in the ATV business as most other OEMs. In the last several years, Ramsey says that the side-by-side market has pulled sales from the ATV segment.
Some concerns for the survival of the ATV market center around the availability that side-by-sides provide for multiple riders per unit. Some customers feel they need to choose between the ATV solo ride and side-by-side communal riding experience. Ramsey agrees that despite predominantly flat growth, there is still a market for traditional ATVs. “There are still riders that want single passenger off-road vehicles as well as work-based customers that have no need to transition to side-by-side platforms,” Ramsey said.
For those customers, KYMCO is dedicated to making sure its product is offered at a fair price, making it an option for both recreation and work. “We often appeal to the value-oriented buyer that wants a top-quality product with as many features and benefits as possible for the most reasonable price,” Ramsey said. “KYMCO has traditionally offered great product for a great price.”
As KYMCO looks ahead to continued growth, Ramsey says customers can expect ATV updates and advancement in the side-by-side segment: “While we will continue to update our line each year, as we did by adding EPS last year, our short-term focus will be on side-by-side development. The side-by-side market is still growing in double digits, so this only seems logical.”