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 34 of 51

FEATURE STORY | Trends www.outdoorpowerequipment.com OUTDOOR POWER EQUIPMENT AUGUST 2017 35 THE OPE MARKET as a whole con- tinues to be steady to trending slight- ly upward. While sales of battery- powered products are growing rapid- ly, gas products are also positive for some companies. It is looking like another great year for Stihl Inc. Sales are strong across the board, and we've seen significant growth within the battery segment. We credit this suc- cess to the work of more than 9,000 Stihl servicing dealers who have actu- ally taken back market share over the last 10 years from the mass channel. – Steve Meriam, director of sales at Stihl Inc. COMING INTO THE SUMMER SEASON in the U.S., our outlook for the industry is optimistic. A strong housing market has consumers looking for commercial landscaping options. Additionally, weather conditions are important in forecasting the future of the industry. This year, unusual weather patterns continue across the country. Also, because the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season is predicted to be especially active, if the forecast comes true, we might also see an uptick in generator and pump sales. – Mark DiPietro, assistant vice president of Honda Power Equipment AS WE'VE SHOWN in recent years, we don't sit back and rest on our current product offering. We're always looking for ways to improve. Probably the best way we do that is by listening to our dealers and customers. They're our partners, and we always look to them to help us make the best mowers we can. – Ron Scheffler, product manager, Bob-Cat Mowers 2017 IS A HUGE YEAR for us with the launch of the Steiner 450 tractor. We're working with our dealers to make sure that our cus- tomers are getting their 450 tractors, and we're getting valuable feedback from them on what they think of the machine. So far, we've had a very positive response. Combine that with our new Flex Deck mower attachment, and it's going to be a year to re- member for Steiner. – Matt Donohue, business manager, Steiner Tractors IN ADDITION TO LISTENING to our customers and dealers, and producing quality products, we've been working on an initia- tive to educate people on the importance of aeration, and we'll be doing a lot in that realm this year. – Kyle Nelson, product manager, Ryan Turf AT JOHN DEERE, we have a positive outlook for the rest of 2017. We are confident our commercial mowing portfolio of products will continue to meet the needs of our customers in this compet- itive industry. – Ruben Peña, product marketing manager, zero-turn mowers at John Deere THE REMAINDER OF 2017 is looking very positive in terms of the machinery market, with particular strength in the compact equipment space. Our out- look for the G-Series skid-steers and compact track loaders is very strong. – Gregg Zupancic, product market- ing manager, skid-steers and compact track loaders, John Deere Construction and Forestry WE ARE VERY EXCITED about the progress and developments we're see- ing so far in 2017, and we are optimis- tic that the outlook for the remainder of the year will remain strong. As operators encounter new challenges, we are focused on providing the right product at the right time to increase their productivity. We are also looking at newer equipment trends and technology to help end users in the marketplace confidently get the job done. – Chris Thompson, Ditch Witch product manager for compact equipment WE'RE BULLISH ON THE REMAINDER of 2017. There's a lot of optimism among dealers and landscape professionals, and we're using that positive energy to fuel our activities in providing new customer-driven innovations, products and services. – Jim Cross, marketing manager for Briggs & Stratton Commercial Power WE EXPECT THE REMAINDER of the year to be on par with prior years. We didn't see the traditional heavy spike in the spring season, but we saw steady sales through the extended spring. – Allen Baird, senior product marketing manager, Cub Cadet OUR EXPANSION INTO outdoor power with our cordless blower, hedge trimmer, and string trimmer has been extremely successful. We anticipate this momentum to stay considerably strong throughout the remainder of the year, especially as we get into fall cleanup season. We're committed to improving productivity by providing performance-driven and trade-focused solutions, so users can perform an entire day's work on one battery system. We're excited about our expansion into out- door power, and, while we can't share details of our future product roadmap, rest assured we will continue to leverage our technologies to provide true productivity enhancements where our users need it most. – Andrew Lentz, senior product manager, Milwaukee Tool WE PREDICT THAT we'll continue to see a strong demand for the Gravely commercial lineup through the end of October. We're excited about the future and look forward to continuing to pro- duce top-quality solutions for commercial landscapers. – Matt Medden, Ariens Company VP of marketing OPE PHOTO COURTESY OF STEINER TRACTORS

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