BRP retailers in the United States and Canada are planning on buying more products – because they want to and because they have to, according to the results of the latest Dealernews/Baird Research Dealer Sentiment Index survey.
.Although the dealers' outlook for near-term conditions as well as three to five years out has dropped since the previous survey, the Index still remains high at 54 and 62, respectively, Baird researchers said. Innovation increased to an 88 as two-thirds of dealers said new products have helped demand.
BRP Dealer Sentiment Index: INNOVATION
Slightly more than 40 percent of the 134 BRP dealers who participated in the survey said that BRP would gain shares of the inventory budget. One dealer said that was a testament to the strength of the products available. By contrast, 20 percent said BRP would lose inventory budget share.
Dealers continued to praise the entry-level, lower priced Sea-Doo Spark, along with the Can-Am Maverick and Commander ATVs, although in light of Polaris’ recent new product rollouts, some dealers said they hoped BRP will freshen its offerings.
Can-Am dealers want a new Spyder to combat the attention being given to the new Polaris Slingshot.
“To attract more new buyers or convince someone to trade in their current Spyder, if they haven’t already, we need to see something exciting and new for next year which I believe BRP will unveil this fall,” one dealer said.
Dealers also reported seeing demand increasing for snowmobiles, which they attributed to the upcoming season, and reported that inventory was closest to demand in that vehicle category.
Dealers still cry foul over inventory, with some respondents complaining that they were forced to carry too much across all product lines. Dealer sentiment when it came to return on investment dropped about seven points, down to 51 percent, and dealers had harsh words for the OEM’s inventory policy.
One respondent said that “BRP has an inventory stocking plan that borders on blackmail."
- “I believe BRP is poised to be one of the best brands to have based on ROI (with the exception of H-D) but they need to back off some on inventory and get realistic on the certification program.”
- “We are confident BRP will continue to build great innovative products, which they will have to do to keep up with their competitors, but the continuing trend to require more and more out of dealers as with certification has to be reconsidered.”
Dealers were also asked about land access for this survey, and some requested that the OEM become more involved in opening lands for riding purposes. They reported that available snowmobile riding areas were increasing but dropping for ATVs and SxS activities. Dealers reported seeing access to trails denied, either because the vehicles are getting larger or because of government action – or inaction.
“ATV and SxS riding in our local area very limited and getting worse,” said one dealer. And it's a fight that belongs to the OEM as much as the local retailer, another dealer noted: “It does not appear that BRP or any other manufacturer is putting any effort into addressing this issue at the state level.”