BRP wants 200-300 new dealers by early 2017

Publish Date: 
Mar 28, 2014
By Vince Guerrieri

VALCOURT, Quebec – Bombardier Recreational Products is seeking more dealers, management announced during the company’s call highlighting quarterly and annual earnings on March 28.

BRP signed 38 new dealers in fiscal year 2014, which ended Jan. 31, in North America, mostly in the South and Southwest. The company said it had hoped to sign between 35 and 40 new dealers last year. The company’s target for FY 2015 is to add 65 to 75 new dealers, and President/CEO Jose Boisjoli said the brands would like to have between 200 and 300 new dealers by the end of FY 2017.

“I’m very happy with the progress made in the side-by-side market,” Boisjoli said. “And the improvement we made with our dealer coverage in North America.”

Boisjoli said corporate revenues will likely be down in the first quarter due to one-time expenses, such as the transfer of distribution services to a third party for efficiency gains.

Boisjoli said the ideal new dealer would be someone who would be willing to take on all the BRP products – Ski-Doo, Lynx, Sea-Doo, Evinrude, Can-Am and ROTAX. However, they’d also have no problems with a multiline dealer adding some or all of BRP’s lines, Boisjoli said.

“We prefer to sign quality dealers,” he said. “When you sign a dealer, it’s for the long term. It takes a lot of energy and time to sign and train a new dealer.”

BRP, which made its initial public offering in May, had more than $3 billion in annual revenues for the first time in the company’s history, finishing the year with $3.19 billion, an increase of 10.3 percent year-over-year, Boisjoli announced. (All dollar amounts are Canadian.)

FY 2014 also marked the first time that year-round products – off-road vehicles and roadsters – were a bigger earner for the company than seasonal products, like snowmobiles and personal watercraft.

“We have lots of priorities to grow our business in the off-road market,” Boisjoli said.

The big seasonal product introductions for BRP in 2014 were the Sea-Doo Spark, a personal watercraft at the lower-priced end of the market, and the Renegade XRS and Summit X-T3 snowmobiles.

Boisjoli said snowmobile inventory is expected to be at an all-time low – a consequence of a winter conducive to buying snowmobiles. Personal watercraft inventory is up, driven by the Spark and lower-than-expected industry growth last season.

In year-round products, BRP introduced the Maverick and Commander four-seat off-road vehicles. In motorcycles, Can-Am introduced the Can-Am Spyder RT with the ROTAX 1330 in the fourth quarter, but Boisjoli said motorcycle revenues for the company were flat for the year.