PowerSports Business

July 10, 2017

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SNOWMOBILE Canada sled sales flat in 2017 compared to 2016 BY JOHN PRUSAK CONTRIBUTING WRITER Blame it on Mother Nature in some areas and on economic woes in others, but sales of new snowmobiles dipped during the 2017 sell- ing season, according to information released June 9 at the International Snowmobile Con- gress in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Overall, new snowmobile sales decreased by 6.5 percent worldwide during the 2017 selling season (May 1, 2016-April 31, 2017) compared to sales in the same time period in 2016, announced Ed Klim, president of the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (ISMA). But as always, there are stories behind the numbers. The market grew in Sweden and Finland and was relatively flat in Canada while dropping in the U.S., Norway and Russia. Over- all, new snowmobile sales for the 2017 season were 118,657 worldwide compared to 126,972 in 2016. UP AND DOWN The U.S. remains the largest market for snow- mobiles, so a decline there affects the inter- national numbers more than anywhere else. And, with most of the country experiencing a record-warm winter January through March, it wasn't surprising to see the sales slide, despite interesting new snowmobiles released by some manufacturers for the season. Sales of new snowmobiles dipped by 9.6 percent in the U.S., with the largest fall-off occurring in the Northeast and areas of the Upper Midwest where snowfalls were few and far between in the winter of 2016-17. New sled sales slipped from 56,006 in the 2016 selling season to 50,659 in the 2017 selling season, according to ISMA figures. "The Upper Midwest was off just a little — most of the falloff really was the East Coast, other than Maine," Klim said. "Maine some- times operates like an island, and they had a lot of snow. But the other states [in the Northeast] didn't do as well." The Canadian market, meanwhile, stabi- lized in the more recent season after taking a big dip the previous year. In Canada, sales were essentially flat — dipping 0.6 percent, from 44,431 in 2016 to 44,161 in 2017 — after drop- ping 12.5 percent the previous year, when low gas and oil commodity prices seriously hurt sales in western Canada. "Alberta did better than we expected, and we had a little bit of an increase in New Bruns- wick and Quebec," Klim said of the 2017 numbers. "It was just a little bit here, a little bit there to keep the numbers up, and Alberta is coming back way faster than people expected." Scandinavia was a mixed bag. Sales of new snowmobiles grew in Sweden (from 9,629 to 9,778) and Finland (from 2,759 to 3,032) but dropped in Norway (from 5,441 to 4,692). There were representatives from Norway at the International Snowmobile Congress this year, however, who are very interested in helping to grow the sport in that now snow- mobiling-friendly country, Klim noted. Most notable was the continued collapse of the new snowmobile market in Russia. As recently as the 2014 selling season, more than 31,000 new snowmobiles were sold annu- ally in the country. For 2017, the numbers were astonishingly low — just 3,829 models. All four major snowmobile manufacturers in recent years have been developing more utility-crossover models to appeal specifically to the Russian markets, but those efforts were overwhelmed by tough conditions through- out the Russian economy. The ISMA figures cover all snowmobiles sold by the Arctic Cat, Polaris, Ski-Doo, Yamaha and Lynx brands and do not include the smaller-scale snowmobile brands available in Russia or from China. PSB John Prusak is editor of Snow Goer magazine, a Powersports Business sister publication. U.S. sales of snowmobiles drop 9.6 percent 38 • July 10, 2017 • Powersports Business www.PowersportsBusiness.com A variety of factors contributed to a worldwide decrease in snowmobile sales during the 2016-17 season. Tucker Hibbert will once again lead a team of loyal fans, friends and family at Make-A- Wish Minnesota's Walk for Wishes event in Minneapolis Saturday, Aug. 5. Last year, Hibbert's Team 68 raised more than $10,000 to help fund the wishes of children battling life-threatening medical conditions. "I'm really excited to get Team 68 together again to raise money for Make-A-Wish Min- nesota," Hibbert said. "I was blown away by the success of last year's team and the amount of money we raised. It was awesome having so many people rally together to sup- port the cause. I've seen, first-hand, the joy and strength a wish provides for a wish kid. I'm honored to have the opportunity to be involved in an organization that can provide that and thankful people around me feel the same way." "Kids who receive a wish are often facing the biggest challenge of their young lives, and their families are facing those struggles right alongside them," said Mia Broos Hoagberg, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Min- nesota. "By walking with Tucker, you are sending a strong signal to wish kids and their families — You don't walk alone. We are here for you! With each step, and with every dollar raised, you bring joy to a child who desper- ately needs it." The 2017 Walk for Wishes 5K walk and run will take place Saturday, Aug. 5 at Min- nehaha Park in Minneapolis. A donation of $20 confirms a spot on Team 68 and limited edition T-shirt. Every dollar raised by the team will go directly to Make-A-Wish Min- nesota. Join Team 68 at site.wish.org/goto/ Team68. People who join for $20 but are unable to attend the event will still receive a limited edition T-shirt to acknowledge their contributions. CUSTOM ZR 200 ACCESSORIES AMONG LATEST FROM ARCTIC CAT Arctic Cat has released a range of accessories for the ZR 200 snowmobiles. Running Board Grips provide added boot traction. The set includes aluminum foot grips and nylon edge-roll grips. The MSRP is $49.95. Young riders can join the legendary Black Cat team with a new Cat Wrap. Right and left side graphics are constructed from premium vinyl, with exact sizing for the ZR 200 hood. The MSRP is $169.95 U.S. Premium Hand Guards add style and increased hand protection. Sold in pairs, they're injection- molded and come with flex- ible nylon mounting brack- ets. The MSRP is $79.95 U.S. When the temperature drops, hardcore riders will appreciate the added warmth and protection of a 10-inch High Windshield. It's shaped to move air over and around the rider. The MSRP is $69.95. Also, one of the Pro Flex series of jack- ets, the Arctic Sno Camo features premium 100g 3M Thinsulate Platinum insulation and durable three-layer TriBalance waterproof, breathable construction that's 100 percent seam-sealed for all-day warmth, breathability and comfort. The A-TEX Teflon- treated shell adds extra water proof- ing, while zippered vents allow easy, precise control of body temperature. It's available in sizes S–3XL adult and 4-16 youth. The MSRP for adult sizes is $299.95; youth $159.95. PSB DIGEST Hibbert to Walk for Wishes again in 2017 Premium Hand Guards add style and increased hand protection. Sold in pairs, they're In 2016, Tucker Hibbert's Team 68 was the top fundraising team at Make-A-Wish Minnesota's Walk for Wishes. Arctic Cat has released its Cat Wrap for the new ZR 200 snowmobiles. The Arctic Cat Sno Camo jacket is 100 percent seam-sealed for all-day warmth and breathability.

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