PowerSports Business

October 2, 2017

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www.PowersportsBusiness.com Powersports Business • October 2, 2017 • 11 OPINION FROM THE EDITOR WHAT THEY'RE SAYING... 1. Harley-Davidson releases 2018 motorcycles 2. Yamaha releases Wolverine X4 side-by-side 3. Can-Am reveals Maverick teaser reel 4. Yamaha to enter U.S. e-bike market 5. Yamaha announces production delay 6. Labor unions end agreement with Harley-Davidson 7. Ski-Doo releases 2018 race model 8. Arctic Cat releases 2018 race sleds 9. Honda unveils 2018 returning models 10. Yamaha to unveil new touring model on Sept. 6 11. Honda launches video series teasing 2018 motorcycle 12. Kawasaki unveils 2018 Ninjas 13. Polaris begins production on 2018 Ranger XP 14. Former Yamaha exec joins Honda auto division 15. Polaris releases 2018 race sled The headlines above belong to the most frequently viewed articles from Power- sports Business' three-times weekly e-news during the Aug. 21-Sept. 17 period. The number is based on the percentage of e-news viewers who clicked on the article's headline. To subscribe to e-news, go to www.bit.ly/PSBEnewsSignup WHAT'S THE HOTTEST INDUSTRY TOPIC? POWERSPORTS BUSINESS BLOG Leading industry executives and dealer consultants are among the contributors to PSB's blog. See below for recent blogs. Visit powersportsbusiness.com/blogs After an awfully slow start to summer sales, August seems to have offered some dealers a glimmer of retail hope as we head into the final quar- ter of the year. As you can see in the chart in the Finance section, CDK Global data from more than 1,600 Light- speed dealers shows that overall sales increased 2.4 percent, compared to August 2016. That's a step for- ward from August 2016 overall sales, which had seen a 0.5 percent decrease compared to the same month in 2015. Same store sales data is taken only from stores that were open during both months; dealer- ships that opened after August 2016 are not included. Major unit sales also brought a welcome end to back-to-back declining months in June (down 1.5 percent) and July (down 0.8 percent). August unit sales at dealerships that use the Lightspeed DMS increased 3.4 percent in August. That's the largest increase of the year, and only the second month (along with May) that has been on the positive side of the ledger for major unit sales. Service tossed aside its worst month since 2013, down 6 percent in July, with an impressive rebound, showing 2 percent growth for the month of August, compared to August 2016. That all fits nicely into news out of a September Polaris investor meeting and plant tour in Hunts- ville, Alabama, where the company said its North American ORV retail sales grew double-digits in July and August. BMO Capital Markets analyst Gerrick Johnson reports in a research note provided to Pow- ersports Business that the company "also stated that initial orders for new model year 2018 introductions are ahead of plan, with MY18 Ranger XP 1000 expe- riencing orders 150+ percent ahead of plan and RZR Turbo with Dynamix active suspension experiencing orders that are 200+ percent ahead of plan." The Polaris Factory Authorized Clearance surely spurred some (much?) of that growth, but Johnson reports that "it appears an uptick in overall con- sumer demand combined with positive response to the company's Factory Authorized Clearance events have led to strong retail sales of Polaris ORVs and a gain in market share. Management com- mented that the improvement in retail was pretty much across the board, with upticks in oil and gas regions as well as agricultural areas. The best per- formance, though, was said to be in the higher-end, high-performance turbo product." And despite Harley-Davidson combining its Softail and Dyna lines into a new Softail platform, Johnson reports that "dealers who have ridden the new cruis- ers are highly complimentary and believe skeptics will quickly be won over after a test ride. Dealers are also hopeful that the changes will be successful in enticing a younger demographic to the brand." Meanwhile, analyst Tim Conder of Wells Fargo Securities reports that after conversations with indus- try wholesale lending contacts, he sees new unit sales in the on-road motorcycle segment as down low sin- gle digits in August. ORV industry retail, meanwhile, is seen up middle single digits, with promotions for end of MY17/non-currents driving ATV and side-by-side growth. September retail trends were difficult to predict due to the effects of the hurricane disruptions. "Industry aging continues to improve, down about 10 percent along with turns," Conder reports. "Collectively, inventories and aging appear to be in good/to very good shape. Dealer health remains strong. Economic indicators solid." 30 UNDER 30 PROGRAM COMING With fall upon us, we're already in planning mode for 2018, and we've come up with cool new editorial program that we think will benefit the industry. Our inaugural 30 Under 30 recognition program will launch in 2018, with the idea to spotlight 30 dealership staff members under the age of 30 who are doing innovative things to help push the dealer- ship forward. We all know of a "youngster" in the dealership who simply makes things happen, most of the time with little to no recognition outside the dealership. Team members from all departments are eligible; start thinking about your prospects now. INDUSTRY STEPS UP Be sure to check out the stories in this edition that describe how dealerships and industry companies are lending a hand with hurricane recovery efforts. It was hard not to notice how PWC and boats played an integral role in saving lives during the flooding in Southeast Texas. And after the fact, dealerships and other companies stepped up in a big way to do whatever they could to assist in the recovery efforts. That's why we love covering this industry, and the people in it. PSB Dave McMahon is editor in chief of Powersports Business. Contact him at 763/383-4411 or dmcmahon@powersportsbusiness.com. Data, analysts show August brought a retail sales uptick ON THE BLOG: "POWERSPORTS — THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED" Great piece, Gary, and at least in my opinion, spot on. While virtual reality can trick the mind into the sense of reality and movement, it cannot recreate the physical. The sensory experience of riding is both mental and physical, and in a world where I recently heard two kids sitting outside of a basketball gym telling each other how "cool" playing VR basketball was rather than dribbling down the court, it is worrisome. Thank you for this well written piece. ON THE STORY: MAJESKY TO RETIRE FROM YUASA AFTER 47 YEARS OF SERVICE Congratulations on your retirement! Your help to me over the years is still fresh in my mind, and I appreciate it! Congratulations Joe on your well deserved retirement! You will be missed, your expertise and knowledge of batteries has been appreciated! Thanks for your support and it has been a pleasure to work with you for my 39 years as a rep for Parts Unlimited. Ohh Spoonman. The industry just won't be the same without seeing your shining smile at the trade shows. Thank you for being a friend and a most esteemed colleague. ON THE BLOG: OWN YOUR ONLINE VIEWS LIKE A BOSS Thank you for putting a lot of important and useful information into a very compact article. Every business today needs to recognize the ever-increasing significance of staying on top of reputation management. FORREST FLINN Managing Partner, Powersports Management Concepts Study after study has proven that vacations help improve employee performance, which in turn, increases your dealership's bottom line profit. According to Francine Lederer, a clinical psychologist, in a 2012 article in The Atlantic, "Most people have a better life perspective and are more motivated to achieve dealership goals after a vaca- tion, even if that vacation is only for a 24-hour period." JACKSON SMITH Parts and Service Manager, Destination Powersports Last year, I spoke to several dealer- ships during these slow times, and we discussed ways to capture this seem- ingly extra time we are given. During the "off season" we must not take a defeat- ist attitude. Often we just sit around the dealership doing nothing because the customer flow has slowed way down. However, once we understand this is a part of our business cycle, we can look for things to maximize this opportunity. GLENICE WILDER Vice President, Powersports, EFG Companies Within the next 20 years, I expect the entire powersports buying process to take place online. It will look much more like an Amazon purchase model. Con- sumers will control the entire process and will have access to all information on motorcycles, F&I products and financing. By moving the sales and financing online, transactions will be streamlined and simpler. The online platform will also make it easier for deal- erships to demonstrate transparency. RON CARIKER Owner and President, 7 Media Group After doing more and more research on dealers, it's apparent this area of man- aging your dealership's repurtation and reviews is incredibly deficient across the board. Many dealers attempting to manage their online reputation are utilizing tools and strategies that are not allowing for maximum success. Some dealers are downright acting very questionably when it comes to soliciting and managing the reviews they are receiving. ONLINE WITH POWERSPORTSBUSINESS.COM DAVE McMAHON

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