BRP expects PWC delivery delay but says sales won't be affected

Publish Date: 
Mar 31, 2014
By Vince Guerrieri

VALCOURT, Quebec -- BRP management is anticipating a delay in some personal watercraft deliveries from the first quarter to the second, but believe existing retail inventory will keep it from affecting sales.

“All in all, we remain comfortable with our current inventory position,” said BRP Chief Financial Officer Claude Ferland during a conference call revealing quarterly and year-end financial results March 28.

In November, BRP opened a new factory in Queretaro, Mexico, and anticipates half of its traditional watercraft lineup will be assembled there by fiscal year 2016, and all of it by 2017. Company CEO/President Jose Boisjoli said that the transition is more difficult than planned – and that the line will have to be shut down for three to four months to extend the line.

However, managers don’t believe that will be an issue, since there’s a higher level of inventory available on the retail level, thanks to the addition of the Sea-Doo Spark, a new entry-level personal watercraft, and lower-than-expected industry growth during the watercraft season last year.

Related: BRP wants 200-300 new dealers by early 2017

Overall, dealer inventory for seasonal and year-round products was up 7 percent year-over-year. Year-round products – off-road vehicles and roadsters – were up because of new models and lower-than-expected industry growth. For seasonal products, inventory is up for personal watercraft, offsetting a low level of snowmobile inventory because of a winter that was more conducive to sales.

In fact, snowmobile inventory is down 28 percent year-over-year, putting Ski-Doo inventory at an all-time low for the company, a good sign for next season’s wholesale volume.