In the opening line of his breakout song, “Mama Said Knock You Out,” LL Cool J says, “Don’t call it a comeback. We’ve been here for years.” As we start to return to normal in this (at least partially) vaccinated country and new cases of Covid-19 are falling faster than a Mike Tyson TKO, the question facing powersports dealers and OEMs is: are we going back to pre-pandemic sales levels, or are we going to continue where we left off in 2020?
According to Scott Yarbrough, Senior Analyst for Black Book’s Powersports segment, powersports values were “on fire” in the first quarter, as strong consumer demand, combined with inventory shortages of both new and used vehicles, created “one of the most exceptional markets we have seen in decades.” He says the rise in prices that started last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic “shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.”
Aside from some supply chain bottlenecks that have affected most industries in the first part of the year, ATV/UTV manufacturers are sitting in a pretty good position right now. Most OEMs report that they’ve had positive growth in the first quarter of 2021, led by Polaris and BRP.
Polaris saw strong growth in North American retail sales for the first quarter of 2021. Sales of $1.95 billion were up 39% from year-ago sales of $1.41 billion. Off-road vehicle sales were up 50% year over year.
Much like the street bike segment, ATVs and UTVs did not see any drop in values during the winter months, leaving their prices elevated well beyond normal levels as we enter the spring selling season. In this case, values rose faster than “normal” spring. Notably, the ATVs have kept pace with UTVs, as they had been relative underperformers in recent years.
Read more: ATV-UTV MARKET UPDATE