Snowmobile Sales Continue to Grow in North America
The International Snowmobile Manufacturers are pleased to report that snowmobile sales in North America continue to show a positive growth pattern in 2014-2015 with sales increases that outperformed the US and Canadian economies. Supported by a strong snowmobile sales season and great snow cover in 2013-2014, sales of new snowmobiles in 2015 grew 8% in the United States and 4% in Canada.
Snowmobilers and outdoor winter enthusiasts purchased snowmobiles at a rapid pace early in the year responding to heavy snowfall the previous year along with strong positive levels of confidence. Sales slowed somewhat in December due to light snow cover, but finished on a strong note as heavy snow and cold winter weather engulfed much of North America in January, February, and March.
Sales in Canada in 2015 were 50,752 new sleds sold, up from 48,758 units in 2014 and 44,022 units in 2013. Canada has reported a 16% increase in new sled sales over a two year period!
Snowmobiling continues to be very popular throughout North America. Miles ridden and usage of snowmobiles increased over 10% and positive expanding economic impact reports were the rule in the snow-belt. Snowmobilers generate more than $34 billion dollars of economic activity in North America annually. Snowmobilers continue to express a high level of interest in purchasing new snowmobiles in the future and are actively participating in the Go Snowmobiling campaigns and club membership. Recent surveys by ISMA show that approximately 70% of all snowmobilers are members of organized snowmobiling clubs, associations/federations throughout North America. The continued growth in interest in snowmobile club/association activity paints a bright picture for snowmobiling worldwide.
Sales in Northern Europe (Finland, Norway, and Sweden) were somewhat flat this year and sales in Russia declined due to well-known issues related to currency value, political challenges, and decline in oil prices which impacted on the Russian economy.
Recent surveys continue to show that snowmobilers are active outdoor enthusiasts, participating in many outdoor related activities such as fishing, hunting, camping, etc.
Joining the increase in sales of snowmobiles, the sale of Parts, Garments, & Accessories continues to be strong, with an increase on the purchasing of snowmobile related gear, trailers, clothing, and other related accessories. Snowmobilers continue to purchase the new high tech products for their enjoyment and eagerly embrace new equipment used for communication, global positioning, riding directions, and mapping.
Snowmobilers are also improving their safety awareness as a growing number of snowmobilers are participating in avalanche awareness and related safety classes, preparing them for mountain and trail riding.
The 2015-2016 year is shaping up to be another successful year for the industry. Carryover snowmobile product inventory is at its lowest level in many years and new products have been displayed and are being widely accepted by the buying public. Early shows and events have reported excellent crowds and advanced orders for products is strong. Snowmobile dealerships are well positioned to take advantage of the growth potential in this sport and are optimistic in their outlooks and planning.