Side-by-side YTD retail insight provided by analyst

Wells Fargo Securities analyst Tim Conder has provided a research note to Powersports Business based on the company’s observations of market activity and conversations with its Wells Fargo Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF) colleagues who oversee wholesale (floorplan) lending in the core Powersports, Marine and RV sectors.

Conder reports overall steady growth in powersports, and that “collective Oct. U.S. core powersports unit retail likely grew +LSD% consistent with YTD trends. YTD retail trends appear strongest in the South Central, Great Lakes, and Pacific Northwest, with ongoing weakness in the Northeast and West Coast. Promotions appear seasonally normal with no segment deviations to call out. We do not have a good read on early-Nov. retail or recent Canada trends. As with Marine and RV, we will continue to monitor the potential for ‘political pause’ around the very uncertain 2020 presidential election, but believe the risk/exposure is more limited in the core powersports space. We note economic indicators more highly correlated to Leisure and collective Powersports are currently slightly positive, but have been oscillating between positive and slightly negative.”

Here’s how Conder breaks down the motorcycle and ATV segments for October.


“Oct. unit retail broadly consistent with YTD trends, but mixed by segment.

“On-highway –LSD% both Oct./YTD (or –MSD% ex-Ryker and small displacement) vs. -5.2%/-5.0% comps.

“The core Heavyweight segment has been challenged YTD, but appears to have been positive in Oct.

“The Sport bike segment is underperforming –MSD% both Oct./YTD against difficult comps, particularly <500cc.

“The Dual Sport segment is positive YTD, but has been weaker over last 2-3 months.


“The Motocross/Off-Road segment continues to outperform +DD% both Oct./YTD.


“Oct. retail units rebounded +MSD% (2nd best month of year) vs. +0.1% comp and is +LSD% YTD vs. -2.1% comp. We expect 2019 will be the first year of market growth since 2014.”


“Unit retail tracking +MSD% YTD. We expect this momentum to continue with recent new product launches particularly from PII (RZR Pro XP, Ranger 1000) and BRP (Maverick platform, Defender Pro). The new Honda Talon and Kawasaki Teryx present additional competitive pressure in the Sport segment, but we see 2nd/3rd tier players at risk vs. PII and BRP."


"Still early, but deliveries underway for strong presold volumes (retail likely positive). Channel inventories are very clean entering the season.

“Collective channel inventory levels continue to be very healthy with YTD liquidations (retail) +LSD% slightly outpacing wholesale volumes. Aging remains at 4-5 year lows around 10%. We do not see any pockets of material concern.”

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