Outdoor Power Equipment

August 2017

Proudly serving the industry for which it was named for more than 50 years, Outdoor Power Equipment provides dealers who sell and service outdoor power equipment with valuable information to succeed in a competitive market.

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Page 33 of 51

FEATURE STORY | Trends 34 AUGUST 2017 OUTDOOR POWER EQUIPMENT www.outdoorpowerequipment.com on investment. We always have the landscape professionals' business in our thoughts when we design equip- ment and engineer our equipment, and because of that, it is important for us to look at how new technology affects their bottom line. We think that there are many new technolo- gies out there now that are going to do great things for our industry, and we're excited to see how those tech- nologies evolve in the coming years. As far as technology affecting dealers, we see the dealer-contractor relationship changing slightly. Since improvements in technology will help contractors with things like scheduled maintenance and equipment upkeep, we imagine an increase in equipment uptime that is enabled by predictive or preventative maintenance. – Matt Medden, Ariens Company VP of marketing L&I: What is your outlook for the remainder of 2017? We are looking for an extended season. With temperatures slow to warm and plenty of moisture, hopefully mowers will sell strong all summer long. – Brad Unruh, director of product strategy, Excel Industries (Hustler Turf ) 2017 IS LOOKING GOOD for Bobcat Company and the en- tire compact equipment industry. The outlook for the remain- der of the year appears to be positive for the company and the more than 550 Bobcat compact equipment dealers in the United States and Canada. – Christopher Girodat, marketing manager, Bobcat Company THE GENERAL CONDITION of the economy, weather condi- tions and housing starts are good sales indicators, and all have been favorable to start 2017. The outlook for the remainder of 2017 is small-to-moderate growth, assuming those conditions re- main favorable. – Tim Phillips, KIOTI Tractor eastern regional sales manager BY THE NUMBER OF UNITS SOLD so far, it looks like we are going to reach another record year in the U.S. and Canada. We are actively looking to appoint new dealers and to provide more training and support to our entire dealer network. We are also visiting as many of our existing customers as possible, and want to work with their feedback. This involves inviting some of them over to our manufacturing facility in the Czech Republic. We are also looking to develop our subsidiary company, Slope Care, in Orlando, Florida, where Spider is the majority shareholder now. We are definitely having a greater visibility at shows and expos, and will have a significant presence at GIE+EXPO in Kentucky. – Lubor Hladik, international sales manager at Dvorak-Spider, manufac- turer of Spider dedicated remote- controlled slope mowers WE'RE EXPECTING A STRONG FINISH to 2017 across all of our prod- uct lines, including the Echo Bear Cat chore products, which include elec- tric- and gas-engine-powered pressure washers, water pumps, trash pumps, inverters and generators. – Kurt Kainz, marketing manager, Echo Bear Cat SO FAR, WE ARE SEEING about a 10-percent increase in sales over 2016, which is mostly due to a strong spring with our landscaping equipment. The second half of the year will be determined by the sales of our snow removal products. With the last two years being light snow years, we do not expect to see a significant increase in the sales of snow remov- al equipment. – James Day, general manager, Turf Teq WE CONTINUE TO SEE strong demand in the landscape market as consumer confidence and discretionary income continue to rise. – Matt Hutchinson, product manager, Vermeer 2017 HAS BEEN a unique year with a slow start. While some regions continued to see cool weather, others saw ideal growing conditions. We expect to see continued optimism throughout the rest of the year. – Ed Wright, vice president of engineering, sales & marketing, Wright Mfg. THE OUTLOOK FOR the remainder of 2017 will continue to be strongly fueled by the positive momentum of housing, commer- cial real-estate values and low interest rates. – Denis Bedard, vice president of sales, Schiller Grounds Care WEATHER PATTERNS ARE always unpredictable and have certainly been that way this year. In the North, winter was mild for the most part, and then we saw a see-saw with warmer weather coming in early, only to be followed by another cold spell. Florida being abnormally dry until June has certainly created some challenges for landscapers, and the industry in general. The economy continues to be strong with historically low unemployment. For 2017, we expect another positive year for the industry as long as we keep getting rain. The mid-term beyond 2017 does look challenging as the Federal Reserve Bank raises interest rates and manufacturers are forced to tighten low-rate financing. – Rajesh Joshi, Kubota product marketing director, turf/RTV PHOTO COURTESY OF RYAN TURF

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