BRP readies launch of hot SxS lineup

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You can spell the DNA of Canada’s BRP powersports manufacturer as E-X-C-I-T-E-M-E-N-T. No conservative, working machines for this global OEM based in Valcourt, Quebec. It builds and sells the high performance Ski-Doo snowmobiles, Sea-Doo watercraft, and Can-Am ATVs, and the category building, on-road three-wheel Spyder.

So, when we start talking about BRP launching a line-up of side-by-side machines, we’re not talking about another lawn tractor. We’re talking about something like Polaris‘s very hot RZR UTV. Expect to see the new models from BRP before mid-June.

Jose Boisjoli, BRP's president and CEO was tight-lipped about details when we talked (click here) a few months ago, but he said the product “will support our Cam-Am positioning.” That means a high performance machine that appeals to experienced, aggressive riders, one built upon the company’s championship racing heritage.

When I asked Boisjoli if BRP’s new machine would remind viewers of the very popular Polaris RZR, he declined to answer directly. “We want to be No. 1 with customers in products that support our Can-Am brand positioning,” he replied.

Look for a hot rollout similar to the sophisticated marketing campaign that accompanied BRP’s Spyder launch in the spring of 2007. That could mean a multi-phase campaign, initially sending limited models to selected dealers in selected states, but with distribution in key markets overseas as well.

Early distribution might be limited to demo units with full production next year. However, BRP has dealers experienced in selling SxS units, including the RZR, so the company is not a novice in this market.

June could be a good time to launch a sports recreational SXS lineup. One group of dealers I talked with said RZR sales are up more than 30% this year through April over the same period last year, and they said they could have sold a lot more RZR four-seaters. Another source told me RZR sales were up more than 25% nationwide in the first quarter.

I’ll have a more complete report on BRP’s new lineup in the next few weeks.